Desserts, Sweet Snacks

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars

Chocolate? Check. Bourbon? Yep. Nuts? Sure, why not. Mix ’em all together and you get these lovely dessert bars that will rival any pie, but is much easier to eat(read: handheld). You could also skip the bourbon (but why would you want to?) and substitute walnuts for pecans. Any way you cut it, they are pretty awesome though.

for the pecans
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup pecan pieces
2 teaspoons of kosher or coarse sea salt

for the crust
1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup cold butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

for the bars
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon all purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Preheat oven to 375F to roast the pecans. Toss the pecans with the melted butter and roast, on a rimmed baking sheet, for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until fragrant. Remove, sprinkle with salt, toss and transfer to paper towels to cool. Create an aluminum foil sling for your 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Reduce oven temperature to 350F. For the crust, whisk together the flour, cocoa and powdered sugar; cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and slightly up the sides.
Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes, remove and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let rest a few minutes, then use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly on the crust. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Once crust has cooled, heat oven to 350F again. For the filling, whisk together the brown sugar and flour. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the eggs, corn syrup, vanilla, bourbon and butter. Stir in the roasted pecans. Pour into the cooled crust. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Let cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator to chill for another hour. Use the aluminum foil sling to lift the bars out of the baking pan, let rest at room temperature until pliable enough to cut into bars.

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