I got the urge to bake something sweet today. I checked the cupboards, surveyed the ingredients and decided on Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, from the Betty Crocker website. The results were wonderful and I will likely make these again. Bar cookies are a quick and easy alternative to a drop or rolled cookie. I changed up the original recipe and used my food processor for mixing both the crust and filling, as I always try to reduce the number of bowls, cups, spoons et al needed for a recipe. I also toasted the pecans, before adding them. This is a good practice when using nuts in a recipe, as it deepens the flavor.
For the shortbread cookie crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons very cold butter, cut in squares
2 – 3 tablespoons of ice water
Add all ingredients, except the ice water, to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix, as if making pie crust. Add the ice water a little at a time, until a crumbly dough is formed. Press the dough into a buttered and floured 13×9 baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, in a 375′ oven until firm and lightly brown.
For the filling
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup (HINT – spray your measuring cup with canola oil spray first, and the syrup will slide right out)
2 tablespoons butter, melted (Melt the butter in the microwave in the same cup as you used for the syrup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups pecan halves, toasted in a 325′ oven for about 10 minutes, and cooled
3/4 cup good quality, dark chocolate chips
Place all ingredients, except nuts and chocolate chips, in the bowl of your food processor. Mix well. Add the pecans and give it a quick pulse. Add the chocolate chips and pulse one more time.
Spread the mixture evenly over the par-baked crust.
Bake 20-30 minutes until mixture is set and color is golden brown. I have to admit, I overcooked mine a bit, and will keep a very close eye on these the next time I make them. If they are getting too brown and not yet set, cover with foil and finish baking.
Cool for at least an hour before serving. Cut into bars. Enjoy!