Pecan Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Yield depends on size you cut the cookies. Use an 11 x 15 rimmed baking pan. Line it with foil so that the foil comes over the edges. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toast all the pecans (4 ½ cups) at 350 degrees about 8 -10 minutes until fragrant. Watch so they do not burn.

Ingredients for crust:

– 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
– 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
– ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarsely
– 2 tsp. salt
– ½ tsp baking powder
– 1 ½ sticks unsalted cold butter cut into ½ inch pieces

Ingredients for pecan filling:

– 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
– 2/3 cup light corn syrup
– 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
– 2 Tbsp. bourbon or dark rum
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tsp. salt
– 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
– 4 cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarsely

Crust: Mix the dry ingredients and pecans in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the butter and pulse enough times so that the mixture looks pretty much like sand. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake till the crust is light brown and springs back when touched, about 25-30 minutes. (Check it at 20 minutes, because ovens are not always a uniform temperature.)

For the filling: While the crust is baking, whisk the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, bourbon vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated.

Pour the filling on top of the hot crust and sprinkle the pecans evenly over the top. Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven until the top is brown and cracks begin to form, about 22-25 minutes, rotating about half way through. I think my oven required 5 more minutes. You want the center to be firm and not wobbly.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack 1- 2 hours. Remove from the baking pan onto a cutting board by lifting the foil sling. I cut these cookies into squares about 1 ¾ inches square and then into triangles.