Caramel Pecan Bars

My older brother C loves pecan pie. So I knew I wanted to make something with pecan in it to take over to his in-laws for Thanksgiving. Everyone enjoyed these bars which are very similar to pecan pie, but with a caramel sauce instead of the typical corn syrup sauce that pecan pie has. This made for a richer, thicker filling that tasted amazing.

I toasted my pecans because I always toast my nuts when using them in a recipe. It brings out the flavor of the nuts more than the raw flavor. I had some difficulty with the crust because my kitchen was very warm when I made these. I had to rechill the dough multiple times but in the end it worked out just fine.

These bars can be made in advance and stored at room temperature for about a week which is always helpful.

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Caramel Pecan Bars

Yield: 16

Ingredients:

For the Crust
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/4 cup ice water
1 Tbsp white vinegar

For the Topping
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound pecan halves, toasted, and 1/2 chopped

Directions:

For the Crust
In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on the ice water and vinegar and process until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Turn the crumbs out onto a sheet of wax paper and knead just until the dough comes together. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until slightly chilled, about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to an 11- by-15-inch rectangle (1/4 inch thick). Trim the dough to a 9-by-13-inch rectangle and place it in the baking pan. Cut the remaining dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips and press them up the side of the pan to form a rim all around. Refrigerate the dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the dough is just set. Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake the crust for about 12 minutes longer, until lightly golden and set. Let cool.

For the Topping
In a large saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until foamy and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder (if using) and cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer inserted in the caramel registers 240° (soft ball stage), about 10 minutes longer. Add the pecans and cook for 2 minutes longer. Pour the filling over the crust, spreading it evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the topping is bubbling. Let cool completely. Slide the parchment onto a cutting board. Cut into bars and serve.

Recipe as seen on Delicious Dishings, originally from Food and Wine

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19 Responses to “Pecan Pie Cookies”

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    1
    Carrie — October 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Wow those look awesome, I am going to have to add these to my cookie idea list which seems to be never ending

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    2
    Crystal — October 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    These look delicious! I will have to try them. I have a recipe for pecan pie cake. It’s quick, easy and tastes just like pecan pie.

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    3
    Joe — October 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    There is nothing better than a perfect pecan pie. These look great and really easy.

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    stephchows — October 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    perfect for a pecan pie addict!

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    5
    gaga — October 19, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    These are such a great idea! One of my favorite pies is pecan, but I can never finish a whole slice because it gets too disgustingly sweet. These are perfect bite-size versions, I love it!

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    6
    Stephanie Wagner — October 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    So thoughtful! My dad loves pecan pie, I’ll have to make these for his birthday this winter.

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    7
    Kat — October 20, 2009 at 12:18 am

    What a great way to have pecan pie in moderation :). Sometimes I find pecan pie too sweet so the cookie base is a nice change.

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    Jigginjessica — October 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    These look and sound really great! I think these would be a perfect dessert addition to my families Thanksgiving!

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    nutmegnanny — October 21, 2009 at 4:05 am

    These looks great!

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    Mansi — October 21, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I make these too, aren’t they simply delicious! loved your pic!:)

    btw, they’d be perfect for my sweet celebration contest I’d be glad if you could send them in for my blog event!

    I’off to check out your giveaway:)

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    11
    thereddeer — October 24, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Yum! My hubby loves pecans so I might have to give these a try one day 🙂

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    12
    Amethyst — October 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    These are perfect to add to my cookie bags for holiday gifts! Thank you for sharing!

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    13
    Tami — November 4, 2009 at 4:17 am

    I love pecan pie so I can’t wait to try these little gems. 🙂

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    How To Eat A Cupcake — November 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I totally saw the write up about Baking Gals in Taste of Home! I was so excited! 😉

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    Tami — November 12, 2009 at 3:54 am

    I made these this week for the Clean Plate Club Cookie Carnival. They’ve become a family favorite! Oh my are they good!!

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    16
    Tari McDonald — November 27, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Jen, you left a comment on my blog asking if I chilled my dough when I made these cookies (responded on my blog, but I’ll do it here, too!). I didn’t chill the dough, altough I think I will last time. Some of my cookies spread too much just making it following the recipe. Thanks for sharing and submitting it for the cookie carnival!

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    17
    booksncooks — December 11, 2009 at 2:37 am

    You saved me this weekend – after being unable to find an ingredient for another recipe, I was in a jam, as all the desserts for my holiday party this weekend had chocolate in them. I remembered I had flagged these cookies to try out – I’ll be making these tomorrow night. Thanks!

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    18
    Shannon Pivetta — November 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Does anyone know if these freeze well?

    • beantownbaker — November 11th, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

      These freeze really well. I’m actually making a batch tomorrow night to freeze until Thanksgiving.

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