Pecan Bar Thingies

Pecan BarOK, this recipe is the most decadent, delicious and delightful dessert recipe you’re likely to find here on DRB. The Queen (it’s all her fault) brought this recipe home from someone who brought these little devils to a church potluck. You may know those church potluck cooks…they feel no guilt making their most delectable, diet-wrecking, downright tasty dishes to church potlucks when they’d never make them for their foodie friends. God love ’em.

Anyhow, let’s say you are looking for a pretty-easy dessert you can serve to anyone (who’s not diabetic) and get a “Wow, this is fantastic!” reaction. OK, get ready….

Ingredients

  • 1 package grocery-store sugar cookie mix – should make 3 dozen
  • 1/4 cup oil – I haven’t found any recipe where EVOO doesn’t work fine, but the recipe calls for vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon tap water
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup corn syrup – dark is recommended, but light is OK
  • 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar – dark or light is OK
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter – salted OK
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt – regular, not Kosher
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans – don’t pulverize them into powder, but should be pretty well chopped

How-To

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Make crust
    1. Combine cookie mix, oil and water in large bowl. OK, oil and water don’t mix (!) but the egg in the mix will emulsify
    2. Stir well with a fork (this really works best) until texture is very uniform
    3. Press the mixture into an UNGREASED 9×13 Pyrex® glass pan (or metal if you don’t have one). Take your time to try and press the crust to an even thickness all over…makes a difference at the finished-product level.
    4. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes (more or less, depending on your oven)
    5. Remove from oven and REDUCE OVEN TEMP TO 350°. (It’s so easy to forget steps like this.)
  3. Make top layer
    1. Melt the butter in a 2-cup measuring container in the microwave (or in a minimum two cup sauce pan on the stove) and let cool for about 5 minutes.
    2. Add the eggs to the butter and beat slightly with a fork
    3. Using the same bowl as above, wiped out pretty clean, combine the brown sugar and corn syrup with a fork until thoroughly blended.
    4. Add the vanilla and salt to the egg-butter liquid and combine thoroughly with the sugar-corn syrup in bowl.
    5. Chop and stir in the pecans until distributed evenly.
  4. Pour mixture over baked crust. The sugary-syrupy mixture will be liquidy enough to pour over the crust. Do it. Spread carefully to a uniform thickness. (Being liquid, this is easy! Gently shake the pan to help this along.)
  5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes (more or less depending on your oven). You can start checking at 25 minutes. What you’re looking for is that the center is “set”…it doesn’t look liquidy any more. Don’t worry too much about this. As long as the thing doesn’t get burned, it will be good.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool. After a few minutes, loosen the mixture from the edge of the pan by working a sharp knife all the way around the pan.
  7. When completely cool, cut into bars. Should make one or two dozen or more depending on how many you need or the sweetness tolerance of your audience.
  8. Enjoy! You are looking very impressive to your friends!

These bars are great eaten by hand (slightly gooey) or served up fancy on a plate with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. They keep very well if you keep the air away. Should be eaten at room temp.

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