Cookies, Desserts, Sweet Snacks

Maple Pecan Shortbread Bars

Thought I would make another Thanksgiving-appropriate, yet “Handheld” and easy to share trat, in case anyone is looking for ideas for the big Turkey Day coming up in a few weeks. These Maple Pecan Shortbread bars are very much like Pecan Pie (with a whole lot of maple!) yet double as “blondies” in essence. They hold up nicely in the fridge for at least 4-5 days (if they last that long) and can be eaten “on the go” … or stick one in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, top with ice cream, and your back to eating pie. No matter what the question, pie is always the answer.

Ingredients
for the base
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg yolk

For the filling
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup real maple syrup
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Create a foil or parchment paper sling for your 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

For crust, combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut butter into slices, and cut in with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly. Add in egg yolk. Press into bottom and half an inch up the sides of the prepared baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Cool on rack.

For filling, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, maple extract and salt, and mix until smooth. Pour into cooled crust. Distribute nuts evenly over top. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool on a rack before cutting. Note: I cooled these completely in the refrigerator overnight before cutting.

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