The Dish | Thanksgiving Pecan Pie Bars

Over twenty years ago my friend and neighbor, MJ Dodds, shared this recipe and I have been making it for Thanksgiving ever since.  The bars are a great alternative to pecan pie.  If you have chocoholics at your Thanksgiving table, melt a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and dip half the bar in the chocolate.

CRUST:

  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup ice water

FILLING:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pound toasted pecans chopped (should be close to 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375.  Butter and flour a 9×13 pan.  To make the crust, put butter and flour into food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate. With motor running, add the water and blend until dough forms a ball. 

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  After dough has chilled, roll it out to make a 11×15 rectangle.  Fit dough into pan, making sure dough comes up the sides at least 1 inch.  Pierce dough with fork and chill while you make the filling.

For the filling, combine brown sugar, butter, honey, and sugar in a heavy sauce pan.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 3-4 minutes and keep stirring.  Remove from heat and add the pecans and the whipping cream.  Pour over dough and bake 25-30 minutes.  Check after 15 minutes. If the filling is browning too much, reduce heat to 350.  Cool completely before cutting. 

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