So, let me start by saying that my sister, Lauren, said she liked these bars more than my chocolate pecan pie (which I make every year for Thanksgiving, and has become a family tradition). When Lauren said that, I knew I had a winner. After trying them, I couldn’t help but ALMOST agree with her. They are similar in taste, but with more of a shortbread bottom layer opposed to crust. I also use semi sweet chocolate chips for the bars, and unsweetened chocolate for the pie so there are a couple differences.
The reason I chose to make chocolate pecan pie bars is because I was going over to a friend’s last night and wanted to whip up something relatively simple and also using ingredients I already had in the pantry. I originally wanted to make bars that used fresh fruit, but because I didn’t plan ahead I didn’t want to risk going to the grocery store and not finding ripe fruit. Instead I remembered a recipe I found a couple days earlier while browsing Pintrest (like many of us do). The original recipe is from Jam Hands and can be found here below: (http://www.jamhands.net/2008/11/chocolate-pecan-pie-bars.html)
I would say this is a treat that you can bring to any party, and it was a hit at the dinner last night. I think they are very decedent and I am not sure if you will have enough will power to only eat one. I think I ate two yesterday, maybe two and a half. ☺ One of the things I love most about this recipe is the shortbread bottom layer, this may have happened accidentally because I doubled the recipe for the bottom layer so that the ingredients filled the pan. I used a 13 x 9 size pan, and when I made the first batch of the “crust layer” I found myself half a pan short of crust. So, I told my sister to make another batch. Luckily it worked out and came out delicious and even better than I expected.
Crust: 20 – 25 minutes
Bars: 25 minutes
Bake Temp: 350 degrees (9 x 13 pan)
Crust Bottom Layer –
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Top Layer –
¾ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (you can always use less if you’re not a huge chocolate fan)
2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 and line the baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the pan before you are ready to put in the crust layer.
In a mixing bowl, beat two sticks of room temperature butter, then add in the brown sugar. In ½ cup increments add in the flour, and then the salt. The mixture should be course crumbs. Place crumb mixture into the pan and press firmly. Try and make it so this layer is pressed in the pan as evenly as possible to ensure correct baking time. Bake this for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before pouring on the top layer. Remember that different ovens will have slightly different baking times. Also you will be baking this again once you pour the top layer on so try not to over bake.
In the same bowl mix together the eggs, corn syrup, sugar and two tablespoons of melted butter. After that is mixed together, fold in the chocolate chips and pecans. Pour mixture onto the crust layer and spread evenly. I tried to make it so every part of the crust layer had a good amount of chocolate chips and pecans.
Bake bar for 25 minutes, and then let cool completely before taking out of pan. The foil helps to remove the bars from pan ever so nicely. Place bars on a cutting board once cool and then cut into squares. Then eat and enjoy.