This dessert is one of my family’s favorites. We have tended to make it for Thanksgiving, but it is good any time. It tastes pretty much like pecan pie, but the pieces are thinner with a higher concentration of nuts than most pies, and the crust tastes better than plain pie crust. Also, this dessert goes a lot farther since it makes such a large pan full.
I recommend using 60% cacao chocolate chips, partly due to the fact that the dessert is so sweet to begin with. Also, for those who are in the habit of reducing sugar in recipes, I have already reduced the sugar and syrup in this recipe and do not recommend trying to reduce it further. If you avoid corn products you may be able to use honey of some other thick syrup type sweetening. I have never tried anything else, but I no longer use GMO corn products myself, so if I make it again I will have to experiment.
Pecan Pie Bars
3 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. light or dark corn syrup
1 C. sugar
3 Tbl. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. chocolate chips (optional)
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, butter and salt until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press evenly into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. (I recommend lining the pan with parchment as these bars are inclined to stick.)
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
In another bowl, combine first five filling ingredients. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Spread evenly over hot crust. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until set. Do not over bake.
Cool on wire rack. Cut when cooled. Store leftovers in fridge, but bring to room temperature again before serving.
Yield: 4 dozen
These bars freeze well. I recommend using a box, not a bag. Separate layers with waxed paper to avoid having them sticking together.
(First published here May 2010.)