The Tree at Granny’s House
I wrote the above some years ago, obviously about a favorite pecan tree from my childhood. Because the tree was bent, it was easy to climb. A few yards away from the tree were the remains of a house where my mother had lived as a child. A tornado had ravaged the house leaving behind some broken steps, bits of glass, and nails. My cousins and I would periodically scavenge the site looking for things to use as props for our pretending. I remember that the old rusty nails were always a prize; we’d draw squares in the dirt then stick the nails in the ground within the squares. These would serve as our control panels when we played Star Trek.
Oh, how I wish that I could go back in time and watch us all playing as children. We’d roam at will through the nearby pine forests, corn fields, and cotton fields. It was a magical time.
A part of those childhood memories and The Tree revolves around pecans. In the late Autumn we would gather pecans which had fallen to the ground. Dry pecan leaves have the most remarkable spicy scent and that spicy scent would swirl around us as we stirred up the fallen leaves in search of the pecans. What a lovely thing that God created when he made pecan trees.
In this recipe I’d like to pay homage to pecans. A product of the environment in which I was raised, I keep pecans on hand for baking. Pecan pie is my very favorite pie and these pecan pie bars are a wonderful reminder of the joy of that pie. Bet you can’t eat just one.
Note: These are very, very rich. I cut them into about 1″ x 1″ square bite-sized pieces. They can be topped with a little bit of sweetened whipped cream.
Pecan Pie Bars
All of the glorious flavor of pecan pie is packed into each one of these little bites.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 117 1- x 1-inch squares
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine, cut up
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 tablespoons white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9- x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.
For the Crust:
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
- Cut in cold 3/4 cup butter thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Press mixture evenly into baking pan. Bake at 350° F for 17 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
For the Filling
- While crust is baking beat eggs lightly in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently. Once the filling is brought to a boil, turn off burner and remove saucepan from heat.
- While stirring eggs briskly, slowly pour about one cup of hot mixture into beaten eggs.
- Stir the tempered egg mixture into the remaining hot filling mixture. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
- Pour filling over crust. Bake at 350° for approximately 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 1- x 1-inch squares.
For the whipped cream:
- Whip together the cream and the sugar until desired thickness. Serve on top of the pecan pie bars if desired.
Because these are very, very rich, I cut them into 1″ x 1″ square bite-sized pieces. The can be topped with a little bit of sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Christmas with Southern Living 2000