We spent Sunday at my parents’ house for Fathers’ Day. I had called Mama earlier in the week to tell her that we were driving in to surprise Daddy with lunch. The plan was for us to be there, with lunch on the table when they arrived home from church.
Things in my world rarely go as planned.
We realized late Saturday evening that Michael’s van had a flat. I immediately suggested that we take my vehicle instead, but that wasn’t an option. Michael needed his tire fixed before Monday because he was leaving town to work a claim. Of all of the places in our area that fix tires, most were closed on Sundays, but the few that were open didn’t open until 9:00! The drive to my parents’ takes an hour and a half. Well, needless to say, it was close. We made it to my parents’ house 10 minutes before they got home! Daddy was surprised and we had a wonderful day!
The food? Oh, yeah. It was good! I made barbecue pulled pork sandwiches and we had those with chips and dips. But the star of the show was dessert!
My daddy loves pecan pie. That’s usually my first assignment for Thanksgiving. At the top of my list is Daddy’s pecan pie. There aren’t many desserts sweeter than pecan pie, but it is a Southern staple.
This turned out to be better!
Pecan Pie Bars
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup of white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 11 tablespoons of butter, cold and cubed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 baking dish with foil, making sure that foil overhangs the ends of the pan. Spray the foil with baking spray.
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Will resemble coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture into the foil-lined pan and press evenly from edge to edge. Bake for 20 minutes.
While the crust is baking, make the filling.
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup of dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 cups of chopped pecans
Mix in a medium bowl until smooth, adding pecans last. Pour over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until completely set.
Cool completely before using the foil to lift the entire thing out of the pan. Use a sharp knife to slice into bars.
Well Duh #1: For the crust, I cubed the butter and then put it back into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. It really needs to be cold. If you don’t have a food processor, you can combine the crust ingredients with a pastry blender.
Well Duh #2: 11 tablespoons of butter is 1 stick plus 3 additional tablespoons. I use salted butter. Always.
Well Duh #3: You really have to make sure the middle is set. If it’s not, the filling will run everywhere when you cut it. If you start to take it out of the oven and it jiggles, bake for another 5 minutes.
Well Duh #4: Make sure this cools completely before cutting. I let mine cool overnight.
Well Duh #5: You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature. Just be sure you put waxed paper, foil, or parchment between the layers so the bars don’t stick together.
My daddy said he actually preferred these bars to pecan pie. I think it’s the buttery crust! The other awesome feature is that a pie can only be sliced into 8 pieces (in my family, at least), but this recipe makes 15 bars! Probably 20 if I had cut them a little skinnier.
The verdict? We were still on the road, heading home when Mama texted to tell me that Daddy said he wanted the bars for Thanksgiving!