CHOCOLATE PECAN BAR

Chocolate Pecan Bars. A variation on our very popular pecan pie bars, with a little less filling but even more nuts, all topped off with a decadent chocolate top layer
The experiment worked beautifully. Spouse, who doesn’t eat large amounts of sweets, just couldn’t resist them. I saw her returning to the container several times to sneak another one. She also brought some to work on a couple of occasions to share with her co-workers and they loved them just as much.
Ingredients
For the base
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter

For the Nut layer
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup corn syrup dark is best
  • 1 1/3 cups roughly chopped pecans no need to toast the pecans

For the chocolate topping
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp butter

Instructions
  1. This recipe uses a 9x9 inch baking pan. In this recipe I think it is best to line to lightly grease the pan and line it with parchment paper so that you can lift the entire batch out of the pan after they have cooled and cut them on a cutting board. With cookie bars like this, which have different textures in the different layers, this enables you to have a more precise feeling for how to cut them well. More about that a little later in the recipe.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F for aluminum bake ware and 325 degrees F for glass bake ware.
  3. Mix together the 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/3 cup sugar. Rub the butter through the flour mixture until it is well incorporated and resembles a dry coarse meal. (You can pulse the butter into the flour mixture using a food processor if you prefer.)
  4. Press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. The edges should just be starting to brown. Remove from oven and pour on the nut filling while still hot.
  5. To prepare the nut layer of the cookie bars
  6. Mix together the 3 tbsp flour and brown sugar well. This will ensure there will be no lumps of either flour or brown sugar in you cookie bars when baked. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract, salt and corn syrup.
  7. Let the mixture stand for about 15 minutes while the bottom layer pre-bakes, stirring it occasionally. This gives the flour time to soften and help thicken the top layer.
  8. Mix in the chopped pecans and pour the topping over the partially baked bottom crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  9. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes until the filling is set and the nuts are just turning golden brown.
  10. Cool the pan to room temperature before chilling the cookie bars in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
  11. To prepare the chocolate topping
  12. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  13. Add the chocolate chips and stir constantly to melt the chips until the chocolate is smooth.
  14. Pour over the cooled pecan squares, spread evenly and allow to cool at room temperature until the chocolate has set.
  15. Cut into squares or bars. Store in an airtight plastic container. These will freeze quite well.
  16. I lift the cookies from the pan after they have fully cooled in and lay them out on a cutting board. I've found the best thing to use is a sharp serrated knife held horizontally to saw through the chocolate and nut layers before pushing on through to the softer layers below. I cut one entire row of cookies off at a time and then cut each row separately into individual cookie bars.
  17. As these are quite rich I tend to cut them a little smaller than other cookie bars.
Recipe Notes
Notes I do not use a grinder for nuts, as I think they generally get ground too finely. I give them a rough chop with a knife or if I have time, snap each pecan into 4 pieces, so that they are large enough to see and to bite into in the cake.

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