Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I have to admit, I was extremely hesitant about this week’s chosen recipe for Project Pastry Queen (see everyone’s results delicious results here!).  After all, I have my own secret special recipe for pecan pie and, since I was bringing this into the office for our September birthday celebration, if this recipe was a flop I did NOT want people thinking this was a version of my famous Thanksgiving pie.

But I saw that my fellow PPQ’ers loved the recipe and I decided to go for it and wouldn’t you know that this is a great recipe!  I can definitely say this though: it is RICH.  This recipe has a total of 7 cups of brown sugar in it–one cup in the crust and 6 cups in the filling.  Definitely meant to be eaten in very small portions.  I liked the addition of bourbon to it, though, and am even thinking about tweaking my own pie recipe just a touch to include it.

Just some notes about my little changes to Rebecca’s original recipe: I left out the coconut since the recipe depended on coconut for texture, not flavor, and I’ve never really loved shredded coconut’s texture.  I substituted in an extra 3/4 cup of pecans to make up for any lack of texture in the filling.  I also used strictly whole wheat flour in the crust here.  Truth be told, it was because I was afraid I would run out of white all-purpose flour before finishing my various baking projects for the day and I have to say that I think the whole wheat flour really was a great add.  It gave the crust a sweet nutty flavor that really complimented the filling instead of just being a sweet butter crust to support the filling on top of it.

This recipe makes a huge huge batch of bars, so just beware.  Also, I didn’t have the 12×17 baking dish the recipe calls for so I used my largest and second largest glass baking pans and I actually still had extra crust left over.

Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen bars
Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (white all-purpose flour can be used instead)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 8 large eggs
  • 6 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups pecan halves

To Make Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12×17″ glass baking pan (or whatever smaller glass pans you have on hand).
  2. Beat butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add the sugar to the butter and beat 1 minute, until fluffy.
  3. Add flour and salt, mix on low speed until evenly incorporated but still crumbly.
  4. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan(s).  I made sure not to let the crust get over 1/4 of an inch, which is why I had leftover crust mixture even after 2 pans.  I’d rather have more filling than crust in the end, wouldn’t you?
  5. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, until it has darkened to a deep golden brown.
  6. Leave the oven set on 350 degrees while you make the filling.

To Make Filling

  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until blended.
  2. Stir in the bourbon, butter, vanilla, flour and salt until blended.
  3. Stir in pecan halves.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust(s).
  5. Bake until the center is set and doesn’t wobble anymore, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Cool thoroughly, at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Between my two different pans, I baked one until it was fully set and one until it was mostly set but still a little jiggly when I took it out.  I preferred the one that was baked longer, as the jiggly one was a bit more oozy and less solid than the ones pictured above.  It’s up to you, though!

3 comments :

  • thetoastedsprinkle

    love the new look my dear! you’re making me jealous! xo

  • Shawnda

    Looks great! And I’m impressed that you tackled the full batch! I don’t think I’ve ever had 7 cups of brown sugar in my house at one time.

    • Emily

      I certainly had to go buy a whole new bag of brown sugar, but I wanted to be sure to have enough to serve everyone in the office.

      When I left work yesterday, there was 1/3 of the pan of bars left and 6 chocolate cupcakes left. I wrapped them up and left them, expecting a cupcake or two to disappear but expecting to have to throw away the leftovers today.

      Would you believe that everyone wolfed them down for breakfast!? The cupcakes were gone and the pan was practically licked clean!

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