Salted Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars

Procrastibaking.

Noun

The action of delaying or postponing something important through the medium of baking.

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I am so very guilty of this, so very often. In this week’s case, us fourth year law students have a preliminary dissertation plan and bibliography to hand in next week, and I haven’t really started it yet … I did make a batch of cookies and these delicious salted pecan pie shortbread bars though!

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We Brits don’t have the indulgence and fun of Thanksgiving like the US and Canada do at this time of year, we have the long haul wait till Christmas day for our turkey dinner. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the same delicious bakes that they enjoy in celebration of the holiday.

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Pecan pie is a little alien to UK natives, we’re accustomed to apple pie and of course the more common meat-and-gravy pies of our own shores. Pecan pie is a damn tasty creation I only properly tasted last year, and have been keen to make my own version ever since.

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Traditionally, it seems to consist of a flaky pastry crust filled with a sort of caramel custard and a big old load of toasted pecans. An absolute must for nut nuts like myself. This version however is a little different. I took inspiration from one of my favourite bloggers, Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction, and her brown butter pecan pie bars.

Aside from just tweaking the measurements a little and altering to metric measurements, my version differs from her original (naturally). Swapping out pastry for a melt-in-the-mouth layer of buttery Scottish shortbread, and lacing the caramel custard pecan topping with cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Seriously guys, if you’re going to have pecan pie in any form, make it this one!

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This is a really great recipe for this time of year, it tastes so toasty and cosy, and has the perfect balance of sweet and savoury to satisfy all your cravings. Granted it’s a tiny bit more fiddly than other recipes I’ve posted, but I promise you it isn’t tricky, and the results are well worth it!

To make these little beauties, you’ll need to start by making the shortbread base, firstly, preheat your oven – 190 degrees for conventional and 170 degrees for fan.

Line a reasonably deep 12 x 8 inch (30 x 20cm) rectangular baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Measure some flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl and add your cubed butter.

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Rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs.

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Use either your fingers or the back of a spoon to press this mixture down well into your baking tray, it should press into a firm sheet of shortbread dough. Don’t worry if it’s a little scruffy looking, mine usually is!

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Once evenly pressed in, prick the dough all over with a fork to prevent it rising too much.

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Pop it into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. (This only part-bakes the shortbread, so it won’t looked completely cooked once the 20 minutes are up!)

To make the salted pecan pie topping, first place some butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and double cream/creme fraiche into a medium saucepan and place it over a medium heat.

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As the mixture melts, stir it occasionally with a whisk to help everything combine together smoothly.

Once melted, allow the mixture to bubble on a slightly higher heat for 2-3 minutes. Do keep an eye on it at this stage, you don’t want it to burn or overflow out of the pan!

While it bubbles away, crack two eggs into a jug and whisk to incorporate together.

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Remove the pan from the heat.

Slowly pour around half of the hot maple mixture into the jug of beaten eggs and whisk quickly and continuously until smooth and combined. This helps to temper the eggs, and stop them from scrambling in the hot mixture. A similar method is used to make traditional custard.

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Once all of the mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pan to combine with the remaining maple mixture.

Stir in a bunch of chopped pecans, salt and cinnamon and pour/spread evenly over the part-baked shortbread base.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. When baked, the topping should appear set and a toothpick/cocktail stick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Remove the salted pecan pie shortbread from the oven, pop it on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares or triangles.

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These salted pecan pie shortbread bars have been really well received by those who’ve tasted them, I hope you get a chance to make them, and that you enjoy them if you do!

salted pecan pie shortbread bars

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not swap out the pecans for hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts instead? I can see myself trying a new nut combination soon!

Salted Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars

Yield: 16-20 bars

Salted Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars

Salted pecan pie shortbread bars. Buttery shortbread, topped with sweet and salty pecan pie filling, laced with toasty delicious maple and cinnamon flavour.

Ingredients

    For the shortbread base:
  • 225g plain flour
  • 175g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
    For the pecan pie topping:
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 100g soft light or dark brown sugar
  • 100ml pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp double cream or creme fraiche
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300g roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

    For the shortbread base:
  1. First, preheat your oven – 190 degrees for conventional and 170 degrees for fan.
  2. Line a reasonably deep 12 x 8 inch (30 x 20cm) rectangular baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. Measure your flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl and add your cubed butter.
  4. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Use either your fingers or the back of a spoon to press this mixture down well into your baking tray, it should press into a firm sheet of shortbread dough. Don't worry if it's a little scruffy looking.
  6. Once evenly pressed in, prick the dough all over with a fork to prevent it rising too much.
  7. Pop it into the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
    For the pecan pie topping:
  1. Place your butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and double cream into a medium saucepan and place it over a medium heat.
  2. As the mixture melts, stir it occasionally with a whisk to help everything combine together smoothly.
  3. Once melted, allow the mixture to bubble on a slightly higher heat for 2-3 minutes. Do keep an eye on it at this stage, you don't want it to burn or overflow out of the pan.
  4. While it bubbles away, crack your eggs into a jug and whisk to incorporate together.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Slowly pour around half of the hot maple mixture into the jug of beaten eggs and whisk quickly and continuously until smooth and combined. This helps to temper the eggs, and stop them from scrambling in the hot mixture.
  7. Once all of the mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pan to combine with the remaining maple mixture.
  8. Stir in the chopped pecans, salt and cinnamon and pour/spread evenly over the shortbread base.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. When baked, the topping should appear set and a toothpick/cocktail stick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  10. Remove the salted pecan pie shortbread from the oven, pop it on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares or triangles.
  11. Enjoy!

*If you don't like or don't have any pecans on hand, I'm sure this recipe would be equally delicious with almonds, hazelnuts or peanuts!

*Why not add a little cocoa powder to the pecan mixture for a chocolatey twist?

http://maverickbaking.com/salted-pecan-pie-shortbread-bars/

 

 

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