Monday, October 8, 2012

Sticky Cinnamon Pecan Bars

Pecan Bars

So how did you kick off the first days of fall? Pulling sweaters and jeans (except those evil skinny ones) out of the back of the closet in anticipation? Instagramming pictures of the changing leaves? Skipping in joy through cool morning air? Digging up dead basil from your herb garden? (or did that last one only happen to me?)

It seems many people celebrated the start of fall with pumpkin in their bellies with all the delicious looking pumpkin treats I've seen floating around the food blogosphere. And while I do love pumpkin, it's not really something I'm chomping at the bit to dive into at the first sign of fall. My pumpkin desires don't really kick in until November, ya know, with that whole Thanksgiving thing. My pecan pie desires, however, are in full force.

Pecan Bars

But just to be sure I wasn't getting too predictably Thanksgiving-ish about it, I made pecan pie in bar form with cinnamon shortbread crust and cinnamon pecan filling. Because that totally changes everything...

Actually, it sorta does. Mainly the super cinnamon factor and the increased portability. Because who doesn't want gooey cinnamon pecan awesomeness on the go? No one. That's who.

Pecan Bars

Sticky Cinnamon Pecan Bars
makes 20, 2 1/2(ish) x 2-inch bars
adapted partially from Martha Stewart via Not Derby Pie

For crust
375 g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
225 g (1 cup) cold butter, cubed
2 eggs

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang. Set aside.

Place flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Sprinkle butter over the top of the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add eggs and pulse just until a dough comes together in moist clumps. If you don't have a food processor, simply whisk the first four ingredients then work the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your finger tips until texture is sandy. Then mix in the eggs with a spatula until dough comes together.

Transfer 3/4 of the dough to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. (The remaining dough can be rolled out, cut into cute shapes, and baked into delicious cinnamon shortbread cookies. You're welcome.) Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, or until firm. Prick the dough and bake until just golden on the edges, 20 - 24 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

For filling
170 g (3/4 cup) butter
240 g (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) light brown sugar, packed
90 ml (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) light corn syrup
90 ml (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
340 g (12 oz., about 3 cups)  raw pecans, roughly chopped

In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, begin to melt butter. Before butter is completely melted, add brown sugar and corn syrup and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once mixture reaches a boil, continue cooking without stirring until it begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in cream, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Stir in pecans until evenly coated.

Assemble and bake

Pour filling over the crust and spread/smooth out with a spatula to make an even layer. Bake until bubbling and begin to turn amber in color, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Using the parchment, lift bars from pan, place on a cutting board, and slice. Bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. I wrap mine in plastic wrap for easy transporting!

Pecan Bars


  1. I could definitely see myself chowing on these throughout the fall! Will keep them in mind for Thanksgiving too =)

    1. They would be a great and super easy substitute for pecan pie, and just as gooey and buttery!

  2. Yep! I have dead basil too. Except I've been too lazy to dig it up.
    I love pecan pie. Your bars look delicious. Will have to try!

    1. Ugh I know, all my herbs have officially gone south now. I need to work on an indoor herb garden!

  3. Pecan Pie on the go..absolutely...Beautiful pics..

    1. Dessert on the move is definitely a favored mode!

  4. These sound delicious and I am happy with pecans any time of year. I am thinking of using maple syrup instead of corn syrup. What do you think? I have subbed it in other things and think the flavours would work well here.