Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
This is from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, copyright 1999. These are easy and oh so very good, very rich but not diet friendly! A good choice for gift giving during the holidays and/or for your celebrations at home. Didn't include chilling times.
- 1 1⁄4 lbs unsalted butter or 1 1⁄4 lbs unsalted margarine, room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 3⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb unsalted butter or 1 lb unsalted margarine
- 1 cup good honey
- 3 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 2 lbs pecans, coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces good semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- MAKING THE CRUST:.
- Beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approxiamtely, 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs and the vanilla, and mix well.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
- Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18x12x1" baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
- Combine the butter, honey, brown sugar and zests in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir.
- Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. BE VERY CAREFUL - IT IS HOT CARAMEL!
- Stir in the heavy cream and the pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into small bars(as they are rich).
- MAKE GANACHE:.
- Cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee(if using) in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until very smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
- Dip only one end of pecan bars in the ganache, & place on white muffin cup liners; smoosh(for lack of a better word - this word is mine, not Ina Garten's) to open and place the dipped pecan bar in it. This way it can drip into the liner! Serve with or without liners.
This makes a whole lot, so if you're having a bake sale - perfect! I made the recipe as is. It came out good, but I should have made it in a larger pan as the crust was a tad too thick for my taste. Also, 2 lbs. of pecans were a bit much - you could get away with probably half as much. One last thing - it's really important to refrigerate as stated in step 13 to make sure the bars have enough cohesion. It really impacts the flavor. After dipping them in ganache and refrigerating overnight, the bars tasted vaguely like a Snickers bar. Give it a try, but make sure you share all your hard work!
When I made this i cut the recipe in half but still put baked it in a 18x12x1" jelly roll (baking sheet) pan. I did this because i like the crust thinner. Either way they are amazing any time of the year.