I make this recipe every year and it is always a hit. They look so pretty with all of the pecans lined up in a row and the sweet buttery taste is really divine. It has a shortbread base, covered with pecans and a praline like topping. Yum….This comes from one of my favorite cookie books, Maida Heatter’s Brand New Book Of Great Cookies, and I will try to post up as many recipes as I can this season. I have already made a handful of them already, I just find it so hard to find the time to sit down at the computer and type them out. ‘Tis the season you know (you know, where there never seems to be enough time). So let the baking begin my friends….
First off, prepare a 9 x 13 by 2 inch baking pan. Maida uses this method for almost all of her bar cookie recipes and I use it for all of mine, especially brownies. It makes getting the finished cookies out of the pan super easy and there is virtually no clean-up afterwards. Take your pan and flip it upside down. Cut a piece of tin foil large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Center the foil (shiny side down) over the upside down pan and press it down on the sides and corners to shape the foil to fit in the pan. Remove the foil and set aside. Put some water into the pan to wet the bottom; pour out the excess. Then place the foil (shiny side up) into the pan and press in into the bottom and sides.
CREOLE PECAN PRALINE BARS
1/2 C (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
1 C packed light brown sugar
2 C sifted all-purpose flour
9 ounces (2 1/2 C) large pecan halves
3/4 C (6 oz) unsalted butter
1/3 C packed light brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Make the Base:
Beat together the butter, salt and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add the flour and beat for 2 more minutes, until the ingredients form tiny crumbs that will hold together when you press them between your fingers. Turn it out into your prepared pan (see above). Spread the mixture into an even layer, using your fingers/hands to press down on the mixture to form a compact layer.
Place the pecan halves on top with each one touching each other- flat sides down- all in the same direction so it looks all nice and pretty. Set this aside while you make the topping.
Make the topping:
In a medium saucepan, place the butter and sugar. Stir over high heat until it comes to a boil. Keep stirring at a boil for 30 more seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the hot mixture over the pecan base, trying to coat the entire surface.
Bake for 22 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely. refrigerate for at least one hour. Cover with a larger cookie sheet, flip over to release, peel off the foil then flip it back over onto a cutting board.
Using a large, sharp knife, cut the cake into quarters. Then cut each piece in half, then cut each piece into 4 strips- or into tinier pieces if you wish.
Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.These keep very well in the freezer but must come back to room temperature before serving.