You see this? This is what that caramel was all about. This is the conclusion, the glorious result of drowning ourselves in Kentucky bourbon and melted sugar.
You see all that butter and sugar? Mmm yeah. This is that kinda life.
|Sorry about the clashing colors.|
Right about now, I’m afraid I’ve already begun to make the dreaded yearly snowball that begins to form at the beginning of every school year, that big, menacing wad of papers and homework and stuff that begs to get done and ends up looming over your every waking hour by March. It’s kind of sad. But that’s what happens when you plunge into a new school like “Fuck organization, I’mma just shove my papers in here and hope I remember to read chapter three” or whatever. It’s just fate. Any hint of cockiness you show at the beginning of the year comes back to bite you in the ass with all the predictability of a NYC subway route.
And right about now, I’m kind of at a loss of what to say.
So I’ll just let these pictures do the talking.
|"Hi! How are you? That's nice."|
These bars are the product of another recipe from Salty Sweets, that cookbook my mom picked up a few years ago and which I’ve recently begun to revive in the kitchen. And like those toffee cookies, it’s got another pecan-infused, salty-sweet winner on its hands.
Of course, the addition of bourbon caramel was my own idea. But it’s quite necessary. You can’t look at this recipe and not think to yourself, “Well gosh darn if that doesn’t need a bit of boozy caramel sauce!” It’s only natural.
And I’m gosh darn glad I did.
They’re sticky, they’re sweet, they’re rich and buttery and crunchy and everything else you could possibly want in a dessert. I even doubled the amount of crust in these babies, noticing that that layer of shortbread in the photograph looked awfully skimpy by Baby June’s standards. Some things just need a bit more crust, you know?
Here’s the recipe.
Salty sweet pecan pie bars with bourbon caramel sauce
Adapted from Salty Sweets
Makes 16 squares
80 grams • powdered sugar • 2/3 cup
250 grams • all-purpose flour • 2 cups
3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon
113 grams • nondairy margarine, softened • ½ cup
108 grams • coconut oil, softened • ½ cup
68 grams • coconut oil, melted • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon
80 grams • maple syrup • ¼ cup
23 grams • full-fat coconut milk • 1 ½ tablespoons
60 grams • dark brown sugar • ¼ cup, packed
1 gram • fleur de sel • ¼ teaspoon
220 grams • chopped pecans • 2 cups
½ recipe bourbon salted caramel sauce
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Also grease and flour an 8 x 8 baking pan.
For crust, sift together powdered sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat margarine and oil in the bowl of an electric stand mixer until creamy; then add flour-sugar mixture until fine crumbs form. Gather dough into a ball and press into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust starts to look dry but not browned. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
To make topping, mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, brown sugar, and fleur de sel together in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans. Spread mixture in an even layer on top of crust and bake for another 25 minutes, or until set and golden brown.
Let cool for at least 20 minutes before drizzling caramel sauce on top of bars. Let cool for another 20 minutes before slicing into bars. Munch.
|Oh noes! Where'd they all go?|
If you’re kind of afraid of real, pastry crust-filled pies (like me, and so many other bakers), these are perfect for satisfying all of your pecan pie needs. I don’t know why I’ve never made a pie bar before. Expect to see more of them in the near future.
Perhaps with some more *cough* seasonal fruits, like *cough* apple or maybe even *ahem* pumpkin. Because we all know it’s that time of year.