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PECAN PIE BARS

PECAN PIE BARS

adapted from cooks illustrated

Growing up, we moved around a lot, but when we were in America for Thanksgiving, my mom would do her best, to try to adapt her very European and Israeli cooking style to the American classics. One year she attempted pecan pie – but went for the walnuts because they were just more familiar, it was delicious, but it was definitely not pecan pie. Since then I have been looking for the perfect pecan pie recipe. This is nearly it. It’s actually a cookie, topped with pecans, far easier to make and a lot less intimidating, no pre baking the crust, no custard, and with the added benefit of being vegan! And now I’m itching to try this with walnuts! My mom would love it!

For the Base:

  • 250g (1 ¾ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 75g (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 115g (8 tablespoons) coconut oil melted

For Pecan Topping

  • 100g (½ cup packed) dark brown sugar
  • 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 170g (½ cup) light corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 7 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and hot
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 450g (4 cups /1 pound) pecan halves, toasted
  • ½ teaspoon flake sea salt
  1. Heat oven to 180℃ (350℉). Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, 8 to 12 minutes, shaking the sheet halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. FOR THE BASE: Make a foil sling for a 30x20cm (13×9-inch) baking tin by placing two long sheets of foil in the pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of the pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Lightly spray foil with vegetable oil spray.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add melted coconut oil and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form. Using your hands, continue to combine until no dry flour remains and a small portion of dough holds together when squeezed in the palm of your hand. Evenly scatter tablespoon-size pieces of dough over the surface of the pan. Using your fingertips and palm of your hand, press and smooth dough into even thickness in the bottom of the pan.
  4. FOR THE TOPPING: Whisk the sugars, corn syrup (or golden syrup), melted coconut oil, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold pecans into sugar mixture until nuts are evenly coated.
  5. Pour topping over crust. Using a spatula, spread topping over the crust, pushing to edges, and into corners (there will be bare patches). Bake until topping is evenly distributed and rapidly bubbling across the entire surface, 23 to 25 minutes.
  6. Transfer pan to wire rack and lightly sprinkle with flaky sea salt if using. Let bars cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Using foil overhang, lift bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 24 bars. (Bars can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.