Oh.My.Goodness. THESE BARS!!
Maybe you’ve had pecan pie. Maybe (definitely) have had chocolate. Maybe drank some bourbon. But how about we take all three of these delectable treats, create a custard filling out of them, pour that custard over a buttery shortbread crust, bake it, and eat it warm with vanilla ice cream. WUUUTT
They’re gooey, rich, chocolaty, choc-full-o-pecans, and have the perfect amount of bourbon flavor.
But what type of bourbon to use?? In general, the better the booze, the better the end result in your baking. Not surprising right? I get it though, you don’t want to pour 1/2 a cup of Whistle Pig into this dessert. So, I use Four Roses yellow label. It’s a relatively affordable bourbon that’s still a great quality, and drinkable too so you can sip a bit. 😉
With Thanksgiving just 3 days away (how did that happen?!) you can whip these up and impress your whole family. Everything can be done in 1 bowl for minimal cleanup too.
Let’s dive into this one. —->
Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Bars
2 cups flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup bourbon
2 cups pecan pieces
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate, for topping
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. It helps to press the paper into the pan and crease it. The creases will help it stay put. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray. Set that aside.
2) Up first, the crust. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Then, cut in the 2 sticks of butter. I use a pastry blender for this. You could also do it in a food processor or with two knives. Keep incorporating that butter until the mixture starts to stick together. It’ll form a dough.
3) Press the shortbread crust dough into your prepared, parchment-lined pan. I use my hands. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can use the flat bottom of a cup– that works well too. Bake the crust in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
4) While the crust bakes, let’s make the filling. In that same bowl where you had made your crust dough, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and corn syrup. Whisk, whisk, whisk. Then, add in the vanilla extract, salt, eggs, and bourbon. Whisk, whisk, whisk some more. You will get an arm workout. I usually end up whisking some with both arms. Have you ever done that– whisked with your non-dominant arm? It’s hilarious– or at least, it is when I do it. 😀
5) Once your arms are tired and the mixture is full incorporated, your crust will probably be almost done! When it is, remove it from the oven. Turn the oven temp down to 325 degrees F.
6) Sprinkle about half of the chocolate chips over the crust. Pour the egg-butter mixture over the chocolate chip studded crust. Then, sprinkle the pecans and remaining chocolate chips on top. Lightly press them into the custardy mixture to make sure they’re snugged in there.
7) Bake the bars in the 325 degree oven for about 1 hour. They’re done when the whole thing is a beautiful golden brown color and the edges are bubbly. The middle will still jiggle. That’s ok. It’ll set when it cools.
8) Cool the bars completely on a wire cooling rack in the pan. For best cutting results, refrigerate the bars until they’re completely cooled / they’re set and cold. OR…if you’re cool with some gooey-ness, carefully cut them warm. I’ve gotta say, there is nothing like eating a bite of one of these warm. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMm. + some ice cream…truly, I dream about it. I know, it sounds extreme, but you will too.
9) Last step– melt about 1/2 a cup of your favorite type of chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, stiring it every 30 seconds. It’ll probably only take about a minute. When the chocolate is smooth, take a fork, dip it in the chocolate, and waive it back and forth over the bars. It’ll create a light, artistic, chocolaty topping.
10) If you’re not eating them right away, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll be good for about a week, or more, but I’ve never had them last that long! They also freeze well, so you can serve half and freeze half for a later date.
Happy Thanksgiving y’all!! That’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?