329: Pecan Squares
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I had just decided I wasn’t going to bake (to try to fit another recipe in during the month of November) when I came across the recipe for Pecan Squares. It was exactly what I’d wanted all day long. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to eat it until the next day when they were cool, but I’d probably want them then, too.
This recipe wasn’t difficult to make. I used a pastry cutter to combine the flour, powdered sugar, and margarine. I patted it into a glass 9×13 inch pan and made 1.5 inch edges up the side of the pan (which was a little higher than they actually needed to go). While the crust baked for 20 minutes, I chopped my pecans and put the brown sugar, honey, margarine, and whipping cream in a pot so I could heat it once I took the crust out of the oven. I set the hot crust aside, heated the sugar mixture to a boil, added the pecans, and spread the mixture evenly over the warm crust. I baked this for about 27 minutes at 350F, until the center of it was nice and bubbly. I let the bars cool until the next morning, when I cut them, had a couple for breakfast, and took some in to share at work.
These pecan squares are everything wonderful about pecan pie with none of the disadvantages. I’ve never been able to make a satisfactory pecan pie. Pecan pie is always incredibly runny in the center when it reaches the time it should be done, so I bake it longer; the center of the pecan pie is then gooey, but the edges are hard and sometimes burnt. With the pecan squares, there’s just the right amount of sugar and honey to make the pecans sticky and sweet, but not so much that it’s gooey. There’s also more pecans to go with your crust! I never liked eating the crust of pecan pie because it’s tough and there’s never enough pecans and filling to make it worth eating. That’s not a problem with the pecan squares.
These are much easier to eat than pecan pie is, since they’re designed to be picked up and eaten. While pecan pie can be overwhelmingly sweet, these are more balanced. The shortbread crust is a nice change from the traditional pie crust. I really liked the flavor of the honey in these, since it goes with the pecans so well; I’m not sure that they’d be as good with corn syrup instead, but they would technically still work if you didn’t like honey.
I seriously love this recipe, and if I could get away with it I’d never make pecan pie again. The pecan squares have more pecans and less goo than pecan pie, and I can eat however much I want to (which is still probably lots) instead of being stuck eating a whole piece of pecan pie. This recipe is a keeper, and I encourage you to try it if you like pecan pie.
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2/3 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Combine flour and powdered sugar. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the 3/4 cup softened butter, until it resembles crumbs or meal. Pat mixture on bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, and cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in pecans, and pour into the crust.
Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly. (Mine were done at 27.) Cool completely before cutting.