Friday, November 9, 2012

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars
Pecan pie.  Do you love it or hate it?  If you hate it, don’t go anywhere.  I promise you, this is not your average pecan pie recipe.  For one, it’s a pecan pie bar recipe.

I did not grow up loving pecan pie.  I always chose apple, peach or butterscotch over pecan.  What was I thinking?!  I have since come to love it, especially around the holidays.  I have come to crave it, actually.  That rich gooey, nutty, buttery filling makes me weak.in.the.knees.

I felt like I needed to kick it up a notch this year, though.  Go beyond the regular filling and original pie crust.  I was thinking about other pies that I crave.  I was thinking about all different pie recipes that are over-the-top and there was one that goes beyond all other pies.  The Milk Bar Crack Pie.  You remember right?  I fell head-over-heals in love with that pie – the crust, the filling…everything about that pie made me grin.

Pecan Pie Bars

So I made a few changes, added in some Missouri pecans, changed the shape to bar-form and here it is, dessert of Thanksgiving 2012: Pecan Pie Bars.  Even if you dislike pecan pie, give this one a try.  The filling is more brown-sugar-y and buttery than the usual recipe; the crust is made of a sort-of oat cookie recipe and the texture is different – almost like caramel.

Don’t stray after looking at the time it takes, the ingredients and/or the directions.  A lot of the time involved is “hurry up and wait” kind of timing.  The cookie crust is so simple to put together; the filling is fast, it just takes all of your attention.  It doesn’t take long to bake, just has to cool completely and then set in the freezer.  So, really, take the time to make these pecan pie bars, you can decorate your tree between steps.  You, and your guests, will not be sorry.

Pecans

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Pecan Pie Bars

Yield: 1 9x9 pan

Total Time: 5 hours (includes prep time, baking time and chilling time)

Ooey gooey caramel-y and buttery pecan pie in bar form. Inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie.

Ingredients:

for the pie:
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 recipe Oat Cookie (recipe follows)
1 Tbs. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 recipe Crack Pie Filling (recipe follows)

for the oat cookie:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/8 tsp. baking powder
pinch baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 Tbs. white sugar, granulated
1 large egg yolk

for the crack pie filling:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. corn powder (corn powder is defined as freeze-dried corn, ground to a fine powder)
2 Tbs. milk powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks (make sure you remove all of the egg white)
1 cup pecan halves

Directions:

To prepare the Oat Cookie crust, preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On a lower speed, add the egg to incorporate. Increase the speed back up to a medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar granules fully dissolve and the mixture is a pale white color. On low speed, add dry ingredients. Mix 60-75 seconds until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Your dough will still be a slightly fluffy, fatty mixture in comparison to your average cookie dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Plop the oat cookie dough in the center of the pan and with a spatula, spread it out until it is 1/4″ thick. The dough won’t end up covering the entire pan, this is okay. Bake the oat cookie for 15 minutes. Cool completely before using in the recipe.

Line a 9x9 square baking dish with aluminum foil, allowing a bit to hang over the edges. Spray the foil liberally with non-stick cooking spray. When the oat cookie is cool, combine it in a food processor with one tablespoon brown sugar and one-quarter teaspoon salt. Pulse the mixture on and off until it resembles wet sand. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the five tablespoons melted butter and knead the mixture until it is moist enough to form a ball.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish with foil and spread out in an even layer, compressing with your hands. Use a spatula to smooth out the surface.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the pie filling, mix the sugars, salt, corn powder and milk powder using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed. Be sure to keep your mixer on low speed during the entire process of preparing the filling; if you try to mix on any higher than a low speed, you will incorporate too much air in the following steps and your pie will not be dense and gooey – the essence of the crack pie. Add the melted butter to the mixer and paddle until all the dry ingredients are moist. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix until the white from the cream has completely disappeared into the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the egg yolks to the mixer, paddling them in to the mixture just to combine. Gently fold in the pecans. Be careful not to aerate the mixture.

Pour the filling into the pan with the oat cookie crust. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. The bars will still be very jiggly. At 10 minutes, open the oven door and reduce the baking temperature to 325°. Depending on your oven this will take 5-10 minutes – keep the pies in the oven during this process. When the oven temperature reads 325, close the door and finish baking the bars for another 20-25 minutes. The bars will still be a little jiggly in the center, but will be set on the edges, and will be golden brown.

Remove the bars from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Freeze your pie for as little as 3 hours or up to overnight to condense the filling. Cut into squares.

Inspired & adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

Pecan Pie Bars

Some more pecan pie recipes:

Pecan Pie Bars by Just a Taste
Rustic Ramekin Pecan Pies by Bev Cooks
Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie by Pass the Sushi
Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie by The Kitchn
Pecan Pie Popcorn by Taste & Tell

Pecan Pie Bars

 

55 Responses to “Pecan Pie Bars”

  1. #
    Emily — November 9, 2012 @ 6:24 am

    Oooooh. These are so happening at my house soon. YUM!

  2. #
    Victoria — November 9, 2012 @ 6:28 am

    These could be dangerous!

  3. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — November 9, 2012 @ 6:42 am

    Cassie those look awesome!! Going on our holiday menu for sure!

  4. #
    Blog is the New Black — November 9, 2012 @ 6:43 am

    Looks great!

  5. #
    DessertForTwo — November 9, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    I used to not like pecan pie. I always chose cherry pie. Then, I became an adult and love it! I feel like I have to make up for all those years that I didn’t eat it! I think I’ll have a slice of pecan pie AND a pecan pie bar today, ok? 😉

  6. #
    luv what you do — November 9, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    My boyfriend loves pecan pie and I have never tried to make anything like it. These might be perfect for his Bday this weekend!

  7. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — November 9, 2012 @ 7:41 am

    Oh my! These look heavenly…I am totally in awe of your dedication to the Milk Bar intense processes, ha.

  8. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — November 9, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    It’s been so long since I’ve had a good pecan pie–and these look even better. NEED TO MAKE!

  9. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — November 9, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    This is awesome! And thanks for the linky luv!

  10. #
    Erin@TheLawStudentsWife — November 9, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    Things I love:
    1. Pecan Pie
    2. CRACK PIE. Is that stuff appropriately named or what???
    3. The look of these bars. Yum, yum, and yum! I heart the holidays. These look like the perfect November treat.

  11. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — November 9, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    Omg, I love this so much! Pecan pie is my favorite but this… this is even better! I need this in my life.

  12. #
    Aggie — November 9, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    Pecan pie is one of my favorite pies! love these dessert bars – yum!

  13. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — November 9, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    I’ve never had pecan pie but I did make pecan pie cookies a few years back. I love how much easier these are!

  14. #
    Vicki Bensinger — November 9, 2012 @ 8:47 am

    Oh wow, I was expecting brown bars not white! These sound sensational, I’ll definitely add these to my holiday baking list.

  15. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — November 9, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    These look perfect!!! We’re traveling for Thanksgiving, and I’ve been trying to think of a dessert that would travel well – this is it!!! You’re a genius, Cassie!

  16. #
    Angie — November 9, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    I haven’t made these in so long. I love them!

  17. #
    Bailey @ Bailey Bakes — November 9, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    Yum! These look to die for! And I love that you’re representin’ for Missouri pecans!

  18. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — November 9, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    I just started to like pecan pie about 4 years ago! Definitely will try these easy to take with you treats! It could get a little dangerous – oh well!

  19. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — November 9, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    My favorite dessert at Thanksgiving but now I can hold it in my hand instead of using a fork. BONUS! Great recipe Cassie 🙂

  20. #
    Sandy @ RE — November 9, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    I adore pecan ANYTHING.

    So yummy, Cassie!

  21. #
    Baking Serendipity — November 9, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    I’ll be honest, I’m not usually a pecan pie lover, but in bar form, I can definitely get behind this 🙂 Love it, Cassie!

  22. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — November 9, 2012 @ 9:26 am

    These need to make an appearance at my Thanksgiving dinner!

  23. #
    Judy — November 9, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    I did not see pecans in the recipe. When and how much do you add?

  24. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — November 9, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    First, when my family heads down to Table Rock Lake in the summer we always pass a zillion pecans stands along the highway. Never thought to stop. Next year I am for sure stopping by and picking some up! Second, these pecans will be making an appearance at T-Giving. Word.

  25. #
    Deborah — November 9, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    I don’t hate pecan pie, but it’s not usually my first choice. But these bars? I could do some damage to them!!

  26. #
    Audra@The-Baker-Chick — November 9, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    Oh Cassie you didn’t! I loved that crack pie so much and the thought of adding pecans just puts it over the top! I would love to try one of these beauties!

  27. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 9, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    These sound delightful!

  28. #
    Anna (Hidden Ponies) — November 9, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    I love everything about these! That last picture…mmmmmm, yes please.

  29. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — November 9, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    Being from GA I am a pecan girl. Lovin’ these.

  30. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 9, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    I loved the filling of crack pie, the crust of it, too! And normally pie crust is so…blah. I have wanted to recreate that pie, but better, and with less work – and you did both. It looks fab!

  31. #
    Aly — November 9, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    I’m not feeling well today, so it might be my brain acting up, but I can’t see the pecans in the recipe?

  32. #
    Kathryn — November 9, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    I’ve only had pecan pie once but I liked it a surprising amount and seeing how much I liked crack pie when I tried it, these bars look like they were made for me!

  33. #
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — November 9, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    Like you, I never liked pecan pie until I reached adulthood. Now I love it. These sound fantastic!

  34. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — November 9, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    You are as evil as one of those girl scouts! Now I need to make these. Amazing

  35. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — November 9, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    mmmm. Pecan pie is one of my favorites!

  36. #
    Cookin' Canuck — November 9, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    Love, love, love pecan pie, and am pretty certain I could inhale at least three of these in one sitting.

  37. #
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — November 9, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

    Don’t shoot — but I’ve never had pecan pie before. Now, I must!

  38. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 9, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    Pecan pie in bar form? Yes please!

  39. #
    Anita at Hungry Couple — November 10, 2012 @ 7:36 am

    I find pecan pie to be a bit much but these look goooood… 🙂

  40. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — November 10, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    Pecan pie has always been my pie of choice actually and you are so creative modifying Crack Pie like this! These look like a combo of blondie and pecan pie to me which sounds like a little slice of heaven! Great recipe Cassie!

  41. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — November 10, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    I do love pecan pie (I think I love any pie). This is terrific as a bar, it’s so much more portable; just perfect for the Thanksgiving dessert buffet!

  42. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 10, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    I actually didn’t grow up with pecan pie and I think I’ve had it once but it wasn’t all that memorable. But these bars are definitely a must-try!

  43. #
    Bou Shin @ Shin's Vegan Lovin' — November 10, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

    Ooh, these sound amazingly delicious – I love the photography! ^^

  44. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — November 10, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    I am not a big pecan pie fan but I’m pretty sure these bars are the bomb, I am definitely trying them!

  45. #
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — November 11, 2012 @ 4:36 am

    I think I’m in love! I love pecan pie but what’s better than pecan pie you can walk around with? nothing.

  46. #
    Tracey — November 11, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of pecan pie but only because I don’t really like pecans. That said, they’re always a big hit with my family around the holidays and I have no doubt they’d go crazy for these bars 🙂

  47. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — November 11, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

    I’m one of the haters. There’s just something I don’t like about the texture of nuts and especially pecans. But I’m sure these bars are way better than the pie! They do look good. And maybe I could just leave out the pecans. 😀

  48. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — November 12, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    I have always wanted to try making something like this! I didn’t become a fan of pecan pie until later in life but now I make it every year.

  49. #
    Angela @ AnotherBitePlease — November 12, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    this looks great – excited to try a typical pie into bars!

  50. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — November 12, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    Pecan Pie? LOVE IT AND SMMOOSH IT INTO MY FACE doesn’t even begin to describe my affinity for it!! These are beautiful, Cass!

  51. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — November 13, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    YUM!! This looks like just the perfect kind of pecan pie for me!

  52. #
    Cass @foodmyfriend — November 13, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

    I got to meet the lady behind Momofuku a few weeks ago. She made us ‘compost cookies’. Very cool! This looks awesome. Pecan pie is my Dads favourite so I will have to try this out for family dinner next week 🙂

  53. #
    Cristina — November 15, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    Love these pecan pie bars. Looking forward to trying this recipe for next week’s gatherings! 🙂

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