Warning - If you try to photograph these while the family is arriving for Thanksgiving, they'll get eaten fast! Plus you'll be rushed and will take crappy, poorly lit photos. Sorry readers, the pictures do not do these little bars justice.
You'll have to take my word for how good the salted caramel pecan bars are because the pictures are not worth 1,000 words. My dad ate about 3 bars while I napped and my aunt and grandma were grabbing bars before dinner. True story.
I didn't even taste a full bar, just the trimmed edges. Everyone gobbled (deliberate turkey-day pun) down the bars while I was enjoying my pumpkin pie. And the remaining bars were eaten by father while I was out shopping on Black Friday. No leftovers for Tracy. There is a much bigger story to tell, but that's a story for another day.
In other news, the bars are a dream to pack and travel with! There was minimum breakage and zero problems with TSA. Honestly, I've never had a pecan pie before, but I imagine it would taste like this. So if you like pecan pies, but don't like the work of a pie, I recommend these bars.
The crust is solid and tender so it holds its shape without being impossible to chew. It sort of soaks up the caramel-y goodness from the top! The topping is full of pecans and some caramel sauce to hold it all together. Sprinkling sea salt on top makes the whole dessert sing on your tongue; salt is magical! If you want to make your whole family happy, like mine, make some bars!
One Year Ago - Vanilla Vodka Chai Cocktail
Salted Caramel Pecan Bars Adapted from Bake or Break Yield – 15 bars
2 cups flour 2/3 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces 3 1/2 cups pecan pieces 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 cup maple syrup 3 tablespoons heavy cream pinch of salt smoked sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a 9x13” pan with foil. Spray the foil liberally with Baker’s Joy, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment mix together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed. Add the cold butter a few pieces at a time and mix until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs.
- Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and press evenly on the bottom.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust just begins to brown. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack and then cool in the refrigerator for another 10.
- Start the filling after the crust comes out of the oven.
- Toast the pecans in a dry skillet until they are warmed through and begin to smell nutty. Set aside.
- Add the remaining butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cream, and pinch of salt to a medium saucepan. Heat until the mixture begins to boil and then stir in the pecans.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the pan and spread over the crust. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is set. Let cool completely on a wire rack, preferably overnight, before cutting into pieces.