Priceless Pecan Bars
If pecan bars had a gold standard, this would be it. I have never, ever had any better. So many pecan pie-like things are made with corn syrup—a practice I cannot ever see as acceptable in my kitchen. I have replaced that product with sugar, eggs, and butter, and if they aren’t the best you’ve ever had, please send me your recipe, and we’ll test them together, because I just don’t believe you!
YIELD: One 9 x 13 baking pan, or one quarter sheet pan
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, cold, plus more for the baking pan
1 ½ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan.
To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light, about 5 minutes.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour and salt, mixing them until you have coarse crumbs.
Pour the crumbs onto the prepared baking pan and press them down with your fingers to cove the pan evenly.
Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until it is just brown, remove it from the oven, and let it cool completely.
To make the topping, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on low speed beat the eggs and sugar together until they are smooth, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
Turn the mixer to the lowest speed, and add the salt, vanilla, and chopped pecans. Turn the mixer off.
Pour the pecan topping over the cooled crust and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is just set.