weird coincidence no?
i don’t necessarily think that’s some cosmic sign but it’s still an interesting fact… it goes up there with the saying i’ve seen lately and it goes something like, “don’t reward yourself with food. you are not a dog.” ok so they don’t really mesh well together but neither do me and whoever said i can’t reward myself with food. what a fool. here’s the thing i’m an emotional eater… as in… if i’m celebrating, let’s bake a cake or make some gumbo. if i’m sad, let’s bake some brownies or roast a chicken. if i’m angry, well just screw the chicken or beef and stay out of my way towards the sweets. i’m giving you fair warning now. don’t say you didn’t know.
but back to desserts and stress…. those two things don’t actually have anything to do with each other for this post but desserts sure do…. see i told you about the cookies and sausage balls for fusion thanksgiving. and the green beans for thanksgiving thanksgiving. but i haven’t told you about dessert. and there are two. i know! TWO! for this post i’m going to leave you hanging a minute or two about the second. this post is dedicated to the not quite traditional pecan pie like dessert… see i really love pecan pie. like i seriously think it should be mandatory for every thanksgiving and christmas meal. but they can be finicky. they don’t always come out all perfectly and beautifully set. and on top of that i was preparing a lot for thanksgiving day. (i’m not complaining just a statement of fact). so my desserts were simple and i’ve made these pecan bars before. so while there were quite a bit of steps, i knew that going into it. and they were a perfect pecan pie stand in. they are martha stewart’s recipe from her cookies cookbook so you know that domestic diva knows a thing or two about baking. the bars have a buttery shortbread crust with a pecan caramel topping… awesome.
- 18 tbs (3 1/4 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
- 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 c flour
- 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
- 6 tbs honey
- 2 tbs granulated sugar
- 2 tbs heavy cream
- 2 c pecan halves
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- preheat oven to 375F
- to make the crust: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. add salt, and mix to combine. add flour 1 cup at a time, on medium speed, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. continue mixing until the dough begins to come together in large clumps.
- press dough about 1/4 inch thick into a 9×13 pan. stab the crust with a fork to poke some holes. chill until firm, about 20 minutes. bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- reduce oven to 325F.
- to make the filling: place butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. remove pan from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla.
- pour filling onto the cooled crust. bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. carefully transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. (ok because i’m slightly lazy i don’t do the following part. i just leave the bars to cool in the pan and cut them there) run a paring knife around edges of the pan, and invert onto cooling rack, leaving the pastry on the rack. invert rack with pastry onto a cutting board, leaving the pastry on the board, filling side up. use a sharp knife to cut into 1×3 inch bars. store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
it has been suggested that i use pecan pieces instead of halves. next time i just might. but i had halves on hand and didn’t feel like chopping them.
you want to know what the other dessert is?