The Dish | Sticky Pecan Slice

If you’re craving that pecan pie flavor but without all the work that goes into a pie, these sticky bars check all the boxes. Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt take the edge of the sweetness. Once cooled and sliced, they package nicely for a Thanksgiving gift, too.

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 11/2 cups all purpose wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, half-and-half, or dairy-free coffee creamer
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Variations: Add 1/2 cup of mini white chips or chocolate chips, or substitute walnuts for the pecans.

DIRECTIONS

Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter 9x9x2-inch metal cake pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Beat together butter, sugar, and egg yolk.
  • Add flour and salt; mix until moist clumps form.
  • Press dough over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.
  • Bake crust until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool.

Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan bring the syrup, sugar, cream and butter to a boil, stirring until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Boil filling 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat and mix in vanilla and pecans.
  • Pour hot filling into crust. It will be very runny. Bake until filling is bubbling in center, about 15 minutes.
  • Cool bars completely in pan on rack (filling will become firm). Score the cooled slice with a sharp knife. If any filling has bubbled over the crust or parchment paper, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.
  • Chill at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Can be made 3 days ahead.

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