My favorite slice of pie is pecan so I was excited when I found this recipe. It’s another wonderful King Arthur recipe. I’m thinking that one, or even two, pieces are less calories than a slice of pecan pie. So actually, I would consider this a lo-cal, diet recipe. Plus pecans have antioxidants, dietary fiber and so many vitamins and minerals that I don’t have time to list them all. So not only are these bars lo-cal, they are also healthy! It’s all about positive thinking.
We never had pecan pie when I was growing up. We had berry pies made from the berries we picked, apple pie, sugar pie, and raisin pie. If you asked my dad what his favorite kind of pie was, he would always add that raisin was his least favorite. I actually liked raisin pie. It is very similar to a mincemeat pie. Sugar pie had a graham cracker crust, a very, very sweet custard filling, and meringue on top. We all loved sugar pie. At least I certainly did. Haven’t made that in years but I have my mother’s recipe. All of our pies growing up were made with ingredients that were, at the time, relatively inexpensive. Pecans certainly don’t fall Into the inexpensive category then or now. You’ll see how simple these bars are to make. You may even have everything you need on hand.
18 T unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup (160g) light brown sugar, packed
3 cups (360g) AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and line with parchment paper leaving an overhang for easy removal from the pan. In a medium size mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour and salt to make a soft dough. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Lightly flour your hands and press the dough into the pan in an even layer making sure to get into the corners. Using a fork, prick the dough all over.
Bake until the crust is lightly golden, 14-18 minutes. Remove from the oven. While the crust is baking prepare the filling.
8 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
6 T (80g) light brown sugar, packed
2 T heavy cream (or milk)
2 T granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups (227g) pecan pieces
Place all of the filling ingredients in a heavy medium size sauce pan.
Cook over medium high heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture is smooth and starts to boil. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the chopped pecans. Pour the filling mixture over the hot crust, letting it spread to the edges and corners. If necessary, use an offset spatula to smooth the filling into an even layer.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the filling is bubbling across the surface. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before lifting from the pan to cut and serve.
Cut and enjoy…this lower cal than a slice of pecan pie…treat.
NOTE: As with any recipe you can personalize these bars. If you prefer walnuts substitute them. If you don’t have light brown sugar dark would probably be fine. Likewise, milk would work if you didn’t have heavy cream. Whatever you do to these, I think they would still be delish!