Winter is the perfect season for hot drinks and cozy afternoon chats don’t you think? If you’re looking for a good companion with a cup of delicious mocha, you’re going to love these caramel pecan squares. Both gooey and crisp, these delightful nut bars are so easy to put together and make the perfect hostess gift or potluck dessert this time of year. Their buttery shortbread crust and rich caramel-pecan topping make them totally over-the-top. You can double the recipe and bake it in a 13×9 pan rather than an 8×8. Store the pecan squares in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Ingredients list for Pecan Pie Squares
For a 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) square pan
For the crust:
- 1 stick (120g) butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (70g) brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
For the filling:
- 1/2 stick (60g) butter
- 3 tablespoons (40g) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 1 cup (110g) coarsely chopped pecans
Make the crust:
1. In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix softened butter and sugar until the mixture gets pale and frothy.
2. Add salt. Stir in the flour in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Form a ball of dough.
3. Flatten the ball of dough. Spread by hand in a 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) square pan to make an even layer. Prick with a fork all over the surface. Place in your refrigerator for 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 370°F (190°C).
4. Bake the pastry for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden but not brown.
5. Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely. Leave oven one and reduce temperature to 340°F (170°C).
Prepare the filling:
6. Combine butter, brown sugar, honey, powdered sugar and cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves.
7. When the mixture coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat.
8. Add salt, pecans and vanilla extract. Boil over medium heat for 3 minutes more. The pour filling over the pastry.
9. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbles begin to form at the center. Remove from oven and transfer on a rack and let cool.
10. Un-mold the cake with the help of the back of a knife blade, running between the crust and the edges. Transfer the cake directly on the wire rack.
11. Once it’s cool, transfer on a cutting board and cut into squares or rectangles. These caramel pecan bars will keep for about 1 week into a air-tight steel box lined with parchment paper.