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bringing crunch to the bars

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pecan bars-hI can’t believe Valentines Day is just around the corner.  I just got all my Christmas down (yes, it took me a little while) and now it is time to think red & pink with hearts everywhere…but first lets talk about bars.

Valentines Day has always been a special holiday for me, it is my Mammaw’s birthday!  This year she will be 89 and we are making sure it is a super special day for her and these bars a favorite of hers (& mine) so they will definitely be on the birthday menu.  To be honest pecan pie is her favorite but I love turning a pie into a bar and these are some AMAZING bars!!

I started with a super rich and tender shortbread crust…it literally melts in your mouth it is so good.  Next comes the filling…it is a traditional pecan pie filling but mine is made with brown sugar.  Now my Mammaw always made hers with white sugar and my mom did a 1/2 & 1/2 version but for me I am a 100% brown sugar pecan pie gal.  I just love the richness it brings and also the dark color it adds without using dark corn syrup (I am a fan of light corn syrup)…but if you want to use white sugar with dark corn syrup or any combo you prefer you can use it…make it your own.  Then top the bars with chopped pecans giving them a crunchy and super yummy crust that everyone is sure to love.

30 bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie bars that are filled with a delicious filling and topped with toasty pecans with a shortbread crust...a perfect afternoon snack or Valentines treat

15 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

3 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • Shortbread Layer:
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, chilled & cut into cubes
  • Pecan Pie Layer:
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour & sugar
  • Using your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a food processor cut butter into mixture until butter is size of peas and mixture is well combined
  • Press into the bottom of the prepared in an even layer
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown
  • While crust is baking prepare pie layer
  • In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar and flour
  • Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, salt & corn syrup until mixture is well combined and no lumps remain
  • Let mixture stand for 10-15 minutes, allowing mixture to thicken
  • When shortbread is done, stir pecans into corn syrup mixture and pour onto shortbread
  • Place back into oven and cook for an additional 40-50 minutes or until edges are set but the center jiggles a little, like jelly
  • Let cool at room temperature for 30-45 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before cutting
  • To cut use a serrated knife and saw through the top layer and then gently press down through the bar to cut completely
  • Serve & ENJOY!

Notes

Each bar is 6 WW+ points:

Nutritional Info Calories 202 Calories from Fat 94 Total Fat 10.5g Saturated Fat 3.6g Cholesterol 34mg Sodium 120mg Potassium 54mg Total Carbohydrates 26.4g Dietary Fiber 1.0g Sugars 11.3g Protein 2.5g Vitamin A 3% - Vitamin C 0% - Calcium 1% - Iron 4% Nutrition Grade D

7.8.1.2
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Now I know some of you are not fans of pecans, I get that I really do.  I was not a fan of these little nuts either growing up but these bars can turn anyone into a fan.  I use just enough to cover the top in a thin layer so the pecans are not overpowering while still giving the bars the undeniable hint of pecan in each bite.  If you want to make these bars extra special try toasting the pecans in a skillet just before adding them to the bars for an extra special pecan yumminess.

Whether you are looking for a special treat for Valentines Day or a little weekend baking fun these bars a perfect treat that everyone is sure to love (maybe, even the non-pecan lovers out there)!!

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