Eric made these while he was here last week, and Scott requested that I put them on the blog. You have to love pecans to appreciate the use of 3 cups of good pecans, but if you do you will love these bars. He used pecans I bought at a Farmer’s Market last Fall and put them in the freezer. Hint – My mama always said it is best to freeze pecans in a glass jar instead of plastic bags, and it has always worked beautifully for me!
¾ c. flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off
¼ c. corn starch
½ c. powdered sugar
½ t. salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter cut into 1” pieces
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
¾ c. light brown sugar
3 TB honey
½ t. vanilla extract
Generous pinch salt
2 TB heavy whipping cream
3 c. coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a 9” square baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Push foil neatly into corners and up sides of the pan, using two pieces if necessary to ensure it overlaps all edges. (The overhang will help removal from the pan.) Spray foiled pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size clumps of butter within. Dump mixture into prepared pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the bottom. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake until crust is set but not browned, about 17 minutes. Set on a rack to cool, but leave oven on.
In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil gently for 3 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and chopped pecans. Pour pecan mixture over crust (It doesn’t matter if the crust is still warm.) Bake until filling is bubbling and caramel in color, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on rack. To cut, use the foil overhang to lift baked square out of pan and onto cutting board. Loosen the foil from the edges, then cut with a sharp knife into 2” squares. Store finished pecan squares in air-tight container and serve at room temperature.