Friday, July 3, 2015

Decadent Caramel Pecan Squares

One of the most irresistible of all desserts, nothing beats a sweet and delicious Pecan Pie. This classic recipe is an updated bite-size version of the traditional Southern family favourite. With a buttery shortbread crust and rich nutty caramel pecan topping, they're the perfect gift to bring up to a cottage or a family picnic. Be warned — these mouth wateringly decadent Caramel Pecan Squares are absolutely divine and completely addictive.

Caramel Pecan Squares
Makes 1 pan

3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2/3 cup powdered sugar 
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup honey 
2/3 cup butter 
3 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13"x9" pan with foil, leaving some hanging over the sides, to help remove them from the pan once they're baked.

Arrange the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until they're lightly toasted, then set aside and let cool about 15 minutes.

Mix the flour, powdered sugar, and 3/4 cup butter in a food processor 5 to 6 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Using your hands, press the crumb mixture evenly on bottom and 3/4 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned, then allow to cool on a wire rack 15 minutes.

While waiting for the bottom to cool, bring the brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, and whipping cream in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans. Carefully spoon the hot filling into the prepared crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool on a wire rack before removing the bars from the pan and transferring to a cutting board to cut into squares.