Paleo? Banting? Watching your weight? You might want to look away now. Low carb these are not. Pretty much the opposite really. They are basically composed of sugar, syrup and butter. Oh and pecan nuts. That makes them healthy, right?
The trouble with pecan pie bars is that they are so incredibly moreish, it’s impossible to have just one. The crumbly, buttery shortbread is made all the better by using brown sugar. This not only gives it a lovely golden colour but also adds a hint of caramelised flavour. The topping has a gorgeously nutty, syrupy flavour and is just soft enough to sink your teeth into without being chewy. The combination of the two together is pure perfection!
(Makes 15-20 bars)
225g unsalted butter, softened
80ml dark brown sugar
80ml white sugar
625ml plain flour
Pecan Nut topping:
100g unsalted butter
250ml brown sugar
100ml maple syrup
5ml vanilla extract
200g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm X 30cm baking tin with foil, leaving a 4 cm overhang on all sides (this will make it easier to remove from the tin later).
- For the shortbread: beat together butter, salt and both sugars until well combined using an electric/stand mixer.
- Gradually add in the flour and mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. (If you have a food processor, this is even easier!).
- Press the shortbread smoothly into the lined tin and prick several times with a fork.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until just golden brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, maple syrup, cream and salt over low heat, stirring often.
- Turn the heat up to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved and it starts to simmer.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well mixed, then stir in the pecan nuts.
- Pour the mixture over the hot shortbread and bake for 20 minutes. Watch it carefully as the sides can burn easily.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then place in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes (this makes it easier to slice).
- Using the foil edges, lift the contents out of the baking tin. Peel off the foil and carefully slice into squares using a serated bread knife.