How do you say “pecans”? Peek-ans? Peh-caaaahhns? I have always grown up saying peek-ans but I feel like this is one of those age-old debates that can go toe-to-toe with the soda vs. pop argument or car-mel vs. car-a-mel. Is it a regional thing? A family thing?
Either way, I like ‘em. Pecans, that is. Sorta sweet, nutty, with a great crunch that goes great with sweet treats. Pumpkin pecan cheesecake might be one of my most favoritest things ever, along with pecan pie and pecan butter tartlets. As fall arrives, I feel like pecans are just a very welcome part of the whole transition-from-summer process… warm, inviting, and cozy.
These chocolate pecan bars combine a delicious shortbread-y crust with rich semi-sweet chocolate and of course, pecans. I like these hot, cold, or room temp- they are perfect for a fall sweet treat!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tsp ice water
- 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup honey
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
- 8 oz (2 cups) pecan halves
- Make the crust: Butter a 9-by-13 inch glass baking sheet and line with parchment, then butter the parchment. Stir together the flour and salt, and place the mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar, and pulse to blend together.
- Add the 6 tbsp of cold butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. With the food processor still running, carefully pour in the vanilla extract and ice water through the top opening and process until the dough comes together on the blades. Stop the machine and, using your hands, press into an even layer in the prepared pan. Stab the yummy cookie dough crust with a fork all over and chill for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until it is just beginning to get some color. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the top layer.
- Make the filling: Cream the remaining 4 tbsp butter with the honey, salt and nutmeg in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a food processor. Add in the eggs and vanilla and continue to process, then set aside.
- Distribute the chocolate and then the pecans evenly over the cookie layer. Scrape in the butter and egg mixture and spread in an even layer. Place in the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until set. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before cutting.
Adapted from the NY Times.