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Pecan bar thingies

Decadent pecan bars for a potluck
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: bars, pecans, pecans dessert, snacks
Servings: 24 snackers
Author: dad

Equipment

  • 9x13 baking dish
  • mixing bowl
  • spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 package Grocery store sugar cookie mix The box should say you can make three dozen.
  • 1/4 cup oil I haven't found a recipe yet where olive oil doesn't work fine, but the original recipe calls for vegetable oil.
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed Light or dark will do. Darker brings more carmelly flavor.
  • 1 cup corn syrup Wow, this is a throwback for DRB. Anyone know of a substitute for this. The recipe calls for dark corn syrup, but light is OK.
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter If you only have salted butter, reduce salt to 1/8 tsp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans, chopped smallish Don't pulverize them, just chop to bits.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Combine cookie mix, oil and water in a large bowl. Mix with fork or spatula until evenly blended. OK, oil and water don't mix, but they tell me the egg in the cookie mix will take care of that.
  • Press the mix into an ungreased 9"x13" glass baking dish, or metal if that's what you use. Metal usually takes a bit longer to bake. Take your time and to press the mixture evenly across the bottom of the dish or pan. This makes a big difference in the final product. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and reduce oven temp to 350°.
  • Place butter in a two-cup measuring cup and melt in the microwave. This usually takes me two rounds at 30 seconds each on high. Let the butter cool for 10 minutes. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Add vanilla and salt and mix well.
  • In mixing bowl, wiped out clean, combine brown sugar, corn syrup until well blended. Chop and stir pecan into the batter. Add the butter-eggs to the sugar-corn syrup and blend thoroughly. That's you're batter/filling/topping.
  • Pour batter over baked crust. Spread carefully to make an even layer without disturbing the crust too much. An offset spatula helps. I usually shake the pan very gently to help even out the liquidy batter. Bake for 30 minutes. You're looking a center that is "set"—it doesn't look liquidy any more. Don't get too worried about this. As long as you don't burn your thingies, they'll be fine.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on the counter for an hour. after about 15 minutes, run a sharp knife around the pan to help things along. You want to eat these at room temperature. Don't rush! You'll be happy you waited. When completely cool, cut into bars—I'm thinking 24 or maybe even 36, depending on just how decadent you want each serving to be.
  • You have made a fantastic dessert. Your friends and even the church ladies are impressed! Work it.

Notes

We made these for a Lenten dinner at our church and were a big hit. This was in the South, these will be enjoyed by anyone who can indulge the occasional sweet thing. I understand these may be a bit daunting for newer cooks, but give it a try because you'll get experience with a several basic baking processes. I'm working on a way to lower the sugar and keep the flavor and texture.