Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pecan Pie Bars

Certain memories tend to stand out in ones mind, vividly. It seems like yesterday I was eating Thanksgiving Dinner with Greg's family. I was a bride of just a week when we were invited to Aunt Melbas to share in their Thanksgiving traditions.
I was young and came from a big family so I was no stranger to large gatherings. I felt welcome immediatly at Aunt Melbas. Aunt Melba was the kind of person  you want to be like when you grow up. She would ask questions and then wait for an answer, she really was concerned! She remembered our childrens names and did thoughtful things like send the news clipping that a baby girl  was born to G and C on Sept.19. A little yellow piece of paper, that said, 'I am thinking of you and I did something about it." Oh how I want to be like that!

Back to Thanksgiving in 1975, Pecan Pie was served!! My Mom made awesome pumpkin and coconut cream pie but I had never tasted pecan pie. It was love at first bite! Aunt Melba made the best Pecan Pie, I selfishly anticipated Thanksgiving each year just for her pie!
I wish this was a post all about how I have mastered the art of pie making--especially Pecan Pie. But I have not--Greg often asks me when I will be old enough to make pie. My answer is always, 'In ten years'. I think I may be running out of years. This will be the year that I master the art of making pies, especially pecan.
In the meantime I found a great recipe for Pecan Pie Bars. This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen so you know it is the best! I have made it 3 times in the last week. I always bring home an empty plate.

Pecan Pie Bars

1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Place all ingredients except butter in bowl of a food processor. Process the mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal, about five 1-second pulses. Add cold chunks of unsalted butter, pulse untill mixture resembles sand, about 8 times.
Pat crust ingredients in a 9 inch square pan that has been sprayed and lined with foil, spray again. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
While the crust is baking whisk together the melted butter, sugar, corn syrup, flavorings and salt in a medium bowl until just combined. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
Pour the filling on top of the hot crust and sprinkle pecans evenly over the top. Continue to bake at 350 for 23 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Remove the bars from the pan and cut. Be prepared to share the recipe!


jill said...

you weren't kidding, those look amazing!! So tasty!

Grandma Scott said...

I always get hungry just looking at the wonderful food... You are amazing !! I never could make Aunt Melba's pie either.... Can't master the crust ???

Candise said...

I think I should make these today...

Kayte said...

Stealing this recipe, right now. You don't mind, right? Thanks. Love the family story.