These. Pecan. Squares…
….We don’t like to brag, but some things are just worth bragging about! The crust is like shortbread – fluffy, flaky and buttery. The topping is just the right amount of gooey chewy nuttiness. If you are looking for a holiday gift for coworkers, this is it! You’ll have everyone talking and lots of recipe requests. Tip: If providing pecan squares at a holiday party, make sure you have enough – pecan squares will be devoured quickly and you may have some angry guests demanding more.
There are two parts to this recipe, the crust and the topping. Both are relatively easy. For the crust, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13 x 9 pan (important! you want your crust to be thick) with foil, leaving 1 inch overhang on all sides. Butter your foil reaaaaal good. Stir all your dry ingredients together, cutting in butter using a food processor, pastry blender, or forks until butter is completely cut in. We love this hand mixer that wasn’t too expensive! It is easy to use and doesn’t tire our arms when mixing.
Press dough evenly onto foil-lined pan and pop that baby in the oven to bake until set and light golden, (about 7 minutes). Remove the crust from your oven and let stand while preparing topping. Reduce your oven to 325 degrees F.
For the topping, get a medium sauce pan and stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and butter over medium/high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils; let boil for 1 minute. Pound your pecans with a mallet to roughly chop them while still in the bag. This saves so much mess! Add your pecans and cream; boil until slightly thickened, which takes about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the vanilla (ensue delicious smell….). Pour hot topping over warm crust. Bake until caramel is darker and bubbles thickly, about 20 minutes.
Let this cool completely in pan. We know, its tempting to take them out right away, but it will crumble, and probably burn you. When the dish is completely cool, lift foil out of pan onto cutting board. Using a heavy, sharp knife, cut into squares or rectangles. Now, try your hardest not to eat all of it while standing at the cutting board – you made these for everyone, remember?!
Chewy Pecan Squares
Makes 15 large squares.
1 3/4 C flour
2/3 C powdered sugar
1/4 C cornstarch
1/2 t salt
3/4 C chilled butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/4 C butter
4 C coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 C heavy cream
2 t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Line 13 x 9 pan with foil, leaving 1 inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil. Stir dry ingredients together. Cut in butter using food processor, pastry blender, forks until butter is completely cut in. Press dough evenly onto foil-lined pan. Bake crust until set and light golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand while preparing topping. Reduce oven to 325.
Stir brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in medium saucepan over med/high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils; boil 1 minute. Add pecans and cream; boil until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour hot topping over warm crust. Bake until caramel is darker and bubbles thickly, about 20 minutes.
Cool completely in pan. Lift foil out of pan onto cutting board. Using heavy, sharp knife, cut into squares or rectangles.