SMiLes by Meg

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Sometimes, when you’ve got an 8 hour final coming up, you just need to spend the day before doing fun things. Like baking. And climbing. And Christmas shopping. And just trust that you really weren’t going to learn any more copyright law today anyways.

Of course, proscratibaking also includes browsing through various cookbooks, so I’ve got a bunch more stuff I want to make in the coming weeks. This one, though, comes together quick, just in case you do need to get back to work at some point.

First, in a food processor, pulse together the butter, flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt about 20 times until mixture resembles sand. Press into the bottom of a 9×12 pan. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, until golden at edges and firm. Remove from oven and grate chocolate over the top.While the cookie layer is in the oven, make the pecan topping. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add dark brown sugar, honey, cream, and salt, stirring frequently, and continue cooking until comes to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans. Pro tip: if you’re toasting the pecans, you can do so by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet and putting them in the 350°F oven for 5 minutes while the cookie layer cooks. Chop them up by pulsing a couple of times in the food processor. Pour and spread pecan topping over chocolate layer. Bake for an additional 16 to 18 minutes, until mixture bubbling in the middle. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Slice into 24 bars.Store in an airtight container, and serve plain or with vanilla ice cream. They’re like mini pecan pies, but better because chocolate and cinnamon.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Ingredients:

Cookie Base

  • 9 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely grated

Pecan Topping

  • 15 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, make the cookie base by pulsing together butter, flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt 20 times until begins to come together.
  2. Press mixture into bottom of a 12×9 inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes until edges brown and base is firm.
  3. Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with grated chocolate. Set aside.
  4. While cookie base is in the oven, prepare the pecan topping. Begin by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Stir in dark brown sugar, honey, heavy cream, and salt and bring to a simmer for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans.
  7. Spread mixture over chocolate layer of cookie base. Bake at 350°F for 16 to 18 minutes, until middle of mixture is bubbling.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan before slicing into squares.

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