Well, looks like my autumn dance worked.
It wasn’t pretty to watch, I’m sure, but Mother Nature listened, or didn’t want to witness the dance again. Whatever. Fall is here and I’m a happy baker.
This week, you’ll all be happy bakers. Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. Sounds delicious, tastes delicious and easy-peasy to make. This treat is one you will want to keep in your holiday back pocket for years to come. It’s hard to beat toasted pecans and chocolate on any level, but imagine kicking it up with a layer of gooey ooey (it’s a word) melted dark chocolate over a sweet shortbread crust, topping it with rich pecan pie filling, then hitting it with more dark chocolate goodness. Food porn? I think so!
Now, many a pecan pie recipe includes bourbon, and we all know I love baking with the libations. This recipe, however, I prefer without. That’s not to say I don’t sip the bourbon while making it, just to make it feel a bit more authentic. In fact, the more I “sip,” the better my fall dance looks — to me at least, maybe not to those around me. Wait, I think it’s the more you drink, the better I look.
Anyhoo, I’m excited about this week’s dessert and plan on making it more than once this season. I love the whole hold-in-your-hand thing, no utensils required. I don’t know where my aversion to sweets on a plate comes from, but I find I’m always patting myself on the back when I make a grab-and-go dessert. I will have to examine the root of that obsession and get back to you. Of course, I do always like a free hand to hold my bourbon. I think I just answered my own question.
OK, all you dark-chocolate, pecan-toasting Boulderites, jump on my bourbon bus (not to be confused with Banjo Billy’s Bus) and bake a treat that will have you and yours doing your own happy fall dance.
Just hold off on the winter dance for a a couple of months longer, please and thank you!
Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.
Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted softened butter
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark chocolate (chips or bar cut up)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted softened butter
3/4 cup light Karo corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips, chunks or bar that has been cut up
1/2 cup pecans (not chopped up)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In bowl, combine first four ingredients — granulated sugar, flour, salt and butter — until dough forms. Press down into prepared baking pan until even, and slightly coming up sides of pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it starts to turn brown. Take out. Leave oven on.
Melt 1 tbsp. butter and 3/4 cup dark chocolate in pan over low heat or slowly in microwave. Stir until smooth. Spread over baked crust. Sprinkle chopped pecans over chocolate. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat eggs. Add in brown sugar, softened butter, Karo syrup and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Fold in dark chocolate. Pour mix over chocolate crust. Arrange pecans over top of mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and top is golden brown. Take out and let cool completely. Run a knife around edges to loosen (it can be sticky). When ready to serve, cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!
Note: This dessert needs to sit awhile before cutting.