Pecan Squares

pecan squares

Marta from the Pecan Blog contacted me recently and asked if I’d be interested in sampling Green Valley Pecan Company pecans. My husband is a huge pecan pie lover so I jumped at the chance.

I received a wonderful 1/2 lb. package of “the world’s best, freshest, crunchiest, tastiest pecans” from the Pecan Store. So for week 6 of my 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies I went in search of a great cookie recipe that would highlight these beautiful pecans and I found a fabulous Pecan Squares recipe on MarthaStewart.com.

The pecan squares are a delightful mix of pecan pie and cookie. The pecans are baked in a luscious caramel filling atop a crisp brown sugar crust. My husband could not stop raving about these cookies. I couldn’t resist reorganizing the pecans on top after I took the cooked bars out of the oven and before the filling set. Okay, it was just an excuse to eat the carameled pecans, but they were so hard to resist!

This is a must try recipe if you’re a pecan lover. Thank you to the Pecan Store for sending me the delicious pecans. Visit their website and see all the fabulous products they sale that would make fabulous Christmas gifts.

Pecan Squares

Ingredients:

  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Place rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 375 degrees. To make the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add salt, and mix to combine. Add flour 1 cup at a time, on medium speed, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until the dough begins to come together in large clumps.

Press dough about 1/4-inch thick into a 9-by-13-by-1-inch baking pan. Prick the pastry with the tines of a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Reduce oven to 325 degrees. To make the filling: Place butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla.

Pour filling onto the cooled crust. Bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a paring knife around edges of the pan, and invert onto cooling rack, leaving the pastry on the rack. Invert rack with pastry onto a cutting board, leaving the pastry on the board, filling side up. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-by-3-inch bars. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

For more delicious 12 weeks of Christmas cookies visit:
April from Abbys Sweets
Denise from Keeper Worthy Recipes
Megan’s from My Baking Adventures
Kim from Stirring the Pot

Did you know?
– Pecan trees are native only to North America.
– Pecan trees can live for hundreds of years.
– 75% of the world’s pecan crop is grown in the sunbelt region of the U.S. (Southern/Southwest States).
– Pecans are cholesterol and sodium free. They are also a proven source for unsaturated fats that your body needs to stay healthy.