Pecan Bars. Mine. All Mine.

I made candy cane brownies earlier this week for The Man to take to work and he ate them all. To be fair, I should have just saved a few, but in my fantasy world he would’ve left one for me. Maybe on a decorative plate next to a glass of almond milk. With a little love note. Alas, The Man did none of that. It’s alright, though, because I would soon taste sweet, sweet unwarranted revenge.

Since Thanksgiving, The Man has been begging for pecan treats. I don’t make a lot of sweets, but I’ve been feeling festive since it’s our first Christmas together as a newly engaged couple (hence the brownies). I offered him a homemade pecan dessert if he would just abandon the pecan pies at the local overpriced grocery store; I promised twice the flavor, half the cost, and million times the love. Quite the boast, right? After a day or two of pretending to forget my end of the bargain, I decided to make these bars. They were SO GOOD, and SUPER SIMPLE! Today, a week later, he got on me for eating half the pan myself. I didn’t even try to deny it — he’s right! He was just jealous, though, that I got to enjoy them, alone. Muahahah – payback’s a witch!

Pecan Bars

Pecan treats - good for your soul; not so much your pants. But, hey! It's the holidays!

Pecan treats – good for your soul; not so much your pants. But, hey! It’s the holidays!

(Adapted from Real Simple Pecan Bars)

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • canola oil to grease pan
  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup  cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/3  cup sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/2  cup  brown sugar
  • 4  tablespoons  unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4  cup  honey
  • 1/4  cup  sugar
  • 4 tablespoons  heavy cream
  • 2  cups pecans
  • 1  teaspoon  pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Crust:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly oil an 8 x 8″ baking pan. Then, criss-cross two strips of parchment paper over each other, fully covering the bottom and most of the sides of the baking pan. You will be lifting the dessert out of the pan later using these sheets. Also, makes cleanup that much easier!
  3. Combine the flour, cold butter, sugar and salt in a food processor (love this!). Pulse until it forms loose crumbs.
  4. Press the flour mixture into the parchment-paper-lined pan. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until it is golden in color.

Filling:

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine butter, honey, sugar, heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  2. Add pecans and vanilla to filling mixture. Stir together.
  3. Pour filling onto the crust and spread evenly.
  4. Cool dessert for an hour; lift from pan and cut.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you – these are amazing pecan bars!

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