Every fall, we’d return home from my grandparents’ little farm in northeast Texas with a car full of kids and pecans. Brown paper sacks filled to the top with whole pecans sat on the floorboards and left very little room for 8 feet on that 5-hour car ride. Then the real work began.
We’d spend hours shelling pecans, cracking and picking shells, for a bucket destined for the freezer. There was no way to escape – an “accidently” smashed finger courtesy of the nutcracker – or a good actor – would only garner so much pity and a few minutes on the sideline.
This week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge, “Texas Pecan Pie Bars,” is a fun take on the fall favorite. The dessert is aptly named: you get all the flavors of pecan pie, baked into a convenient bar. A gooey layer hides between a buttery shortbread crust and a crunchy top. Sweet tooth and glass of milk required. Fork optional.
And it’s probably best if you make them for friends, cutting them and giving them away immediately. Or at least have some sort of support system because even as sweet as they are, it’s hard to stop at one.
I took a few liberties with the recipe:
- I made 1/4 of the recipe in a 8-inch square pan and cut it into 9 squares. The original recipe is a doozy (doozie?), baked in a 12×17 – which is perfect if you need dessert for you & 29 of your closest friends.
- I replaced half of the flour with whole wheat flour.
- Because I live with a coconut hater, I replaced the coconut with rolled oats (not instant oatmeal, the kind you have to cook for ~5 minutes).
- I doubled the bourbon because… because it’s bourbon
They can be eaten by hand so they’d be perfect to bring for a holiday potluck this fall. To get the full recipe, head on over to Powdered Plum. And check out how the other members tackled the pecan pie bars. Next week, we’re going classic Texas comfort food: King Ranch Chicken.