Maple Pecan Bars

It's finally November and now that Halloween if officially oven, I can now get into Thanksgiving mode! I've been scouring some ideas for what to serve at our annual Friendsgiving dinner and the biggest challenge is to choose what dishes make it to the table. There are a plethora of recipes I'd like to try - it's just hard to narrow it down to a final menu! One thing on my list to make are a couple of pies. Thanksgiving just has to include a pecan pie but I'd like to put a little twist on the traditional where I can. One idea is to make pie bars instead of the usual round pie. These Maple Pecan Bars have a shortbread crust with a more traditional pecan pie filling with a touch of maple syrup. If you always wanted pie to be portable, these are one way to do it!...

The shortbread crust is made with a combination of both all purpose and whole wheat flours.I found the nuttiness of whole wheat flour compliments the maple and pecan in the recipe nicely. You can also make these in advance, leaving you some time on the big day to focus on other things. But beware - making them in advance just increases the chance these may be eaten before guests arrive!

Maple Pecan Bars
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

Maple Pecan Filling:1 egg
1/3 cup packed brown sugar3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

To prepare the crust, cream the 1/3 cup brown sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add the 2 flours and continue to mix until a dough forms. Transfer dough mixture to an ungreased 8x8 inch baking dish. 
Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. 

To prepare the filling: to the same bowl of a stand mixer, combine  together the egg, remaining brown sugar, maple syrip and pecans  Pour the maple pecan mixture over the hot crust and continue to bake in the oven for an additional 12-15 minutes. 

Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges to prevent sticking. Cool completely to room temperature and then cut into 1-inch squares to serve

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