I don’t know what possessed me to make these in the spring, but I now understand why we’d normally eat them in the fall. See, in the fall, it’s cold. Animals are eating great quantities of foodstuffs to prepare themselves for their long winter’s nap. Humans, too, instinctively build up their body fat during this season. There are no swimsuits to sport, no cute summer dresses to don, and there won’t be for at least four months. The resolutions of nine-or-so months ago are nearing their expiration date. It is the perfect time for pecan bars. April, on the other hand, maybe not so much.
But plunging forward… the first step in this recipe is making the crust. Sift flour and powdered sugar together, then cut in a stick and a half of room-temp butter. This is only the beginning of the butter. Oh yes. Press the crumbly dough into the bottom and sides of a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Heat brown sugar, honey, mo’ butta, and whipping cream until boiling. Then add in chopped pecans and pour into cooled crust.
Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, then let dessert cool completely before cutting. (Well that’s what the directions say, anyway. Who are we kidding?) Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Verdict: The filling was predictably yummy, and I like that this recipe does not include corn syrup, like so many pecan pie recipes do. The smell coming out of the oven was extremely intoxicating, in that way that butter-laden desserts often are. We put it outside into the cold night air so we could cut it that much sooner! I was not a fan of this crust, however. It is very, VERY hard, a bit too dry and a bit too thick in relation to the filling, which is thinner and less gooey than pecan pie filling. Some of the flour never seemed to fully incorporate into the butter. Adding some cold water might have helped to bind it together, but if I make this again, I will probably look for another kind of crust recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together flour and powdered sugar. Cut in 3/4 cup softened butter using a pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pat mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
Bake crust for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool.
While the crust is cooling, bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter and whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in pecans and pour hot filling into prepared crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.
Makes about 28 squares.
Recipe from Judy Russell, Birmingham, AL as seen in Southern Living, Nov. 2004.