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Southern Treats, Made Easy

Happy hump day. This hump day is even happier because I’m already two days into my four-day work week, thanks to President’s Day on Monday. The extra long weekend couldn’t have come at a better time– that training I briefly spoke about in my post Getting Ready for WeHo took a lot out of me, and quite frankly, I’m all sorts of out of it. Not to mention my WeHo weekend ended up being postponed because Em came down with tonsilitus 😦 So, my being out of it is also an excuse explanation for why I didn’t post last week. Whoops. AND last week was my itty bitty blog’s one year birthday/anniversary/celebration. Mega fail on my end.

Can I make it up to you with the most fabulous recipe I’ve come across in a while? So fabulous that I *gasp* almost didn’t want to share? And it’s actually quite easy.

My grampa is a huge fan of pecan pie. Huge. It probably has something to do with growing up in Tennessee. Maybe. He also happens to be ridiculously picky when it comes to what he enjoys eating and what he eats because otherwise he has to answer to my gramma. Someone’s gotta keep an eye on what he eats! So I know I’ve found a good recipe when he not only eats what I’ve made, but doesn’t want to share with anyone else. I made these bad boys for my grampa over Superbowl weekend. He’s already requesting more. Obviously, I’ll be cooking them up again soon, and you should too. This is one of those recipes I plan on making for a while.

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Gulp. Go for a run now. Then bake these.

I’ve mentioned before that I am not a fan of recipes that assume you can read the recipe writer’s mind. I like the directions to be crystal clear. Like, tell me to wait a minute or two (or like 10..) before pouring scalding hot liquid into freshly whisked eggs so that I don’t cook said eggs with said scalding hot liquid, even while continuing to whisk away furiously. Don’t just tell me to bring ingredients to a boil and then to pour one-fourth of the liquid into the egg mixture. Because I WILL DO JUST THAT. And then I get pissed, throw a temper tantrum in the kitchen, and threaten to throw the whole concoction in the trash. I mean, hypothetically.

I found this recipe on myrecipes.com, and most of it went really well the first time I made it. Minus the whole eggs-getting-cooked debacle. I managed to strain out all of the cooked egg parts and continue on my baking way (please, don’t even get me started). Luckily, the result was so freaking amazing, that I vowed to try again, and  ended up altering a few things due to lack of ingredients and a general lack of will to follow any recipe to a T. Below is my take on these fabulous pecan pie bars that my grampa loves so much. You’re welcome. P.S. it’s February, hell, it’s almost March. New Year’s resolutions don’t even count anymore.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, cut up (hint: the smaller the chunks, the easier to cut into the flour!)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups chopped pecans (depending on how crunchy you like your bars– I used about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I also like to swap this out for whiskey or bourbon)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl; cut in 3/4 cup butter thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very fine crumbs.
  3. Press mixture evenly into a greased 13″ x 9″ pan, using a piece of plastic wrap to press crumb mixture firmly in pan. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Combine brown sugar, corn syrups, and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat for about 10 minutes (otherwise it will cook the egg mixture!).
  5. Stir about a half-cup of the hot mixture into beaten eggs while whisking quickly. Once combined, add to remaining the hot mixture. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
  6. Pour filling over crust. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until set.
  7. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes approximately 24-32 bars.

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Something about the two kinds of corn syrups make this recipe even better.

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Cutting the butter into the flour mixture is the absolute worst. Lure in a sous chef to do this dirty work.

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Pecans for days.

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My lovely sous chef’s work.

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You want this stuff BOILING.

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It’s extremely helpful to have your sous chef help with either pouring or stirring. Especially if you’re planning on photographing the process.

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This looks so unappealing.

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Now it goes back into the remaining (and formerly scalding hot) mixture.

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Not that I’d recommend it, because of the whole egg sitch, but this is quite tasty as is.

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Pour it all over that beautiful crust..

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Oh. Man. Fresh out of the oven.

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So I also made the s’mores bars.. But with a graham cracker crust. Heaven.

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Oh and mac ‘n cheese bites.

This pecan pie bar recipe is the new favorite among friends and family. It’s what’s requested for just about every function. Alice hates pecan pie and loved these bars. As you may have noticed, I made a few other things for the ridiculously uncalled for 49ers’ loss Superbowl party I went to. I added a graham cracker crust (from my magic cookie bars) to my s’more brownies at the request of Clinton. He’s a genius. Then I made the most fabulous un-diet-friendly mac ‘n cheese bites ever. Like, there’s almost a stick of butter just. in. the. crust. But they were scrumptious. I suppose, in the interest in providing my dear readers with an accurate photographic journey in how to make these, I’ll have to make them again. Darn.

Check back next week for a quick snapshot of my fun little trip to San Francisco. Lots of Asian food. Lots of wine. Aren’t you excited?

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About In Natalie's Shoes

I’m a twenty-something food fanatic. By day, I’m working for a non-profit, by night I’m dreaming of becoming a domestic goddess, creating adorable crafts to gift and engineering delicious home cooked meals for the fabulous dinner parties I’ll one day throw. I love to travel, locally, regionally… heck, even internationally, I don’t discriminate too much when it comes to a new destination. I am a little obsessed with taking photos of the food I eat, whether I make it or pay to eat it. It is my firm belief that a girl can never have enough purses or too many shoes. I plan to fill this lovely little blog with my adventures in food, travel, and craftiness. I hope you enjoy!

4 responses »

  1. This looks phenomenal! I am salivating thinking of eating it. But I love even more the detailed instructions because, like you, I would get stuck at “cook on medium” when not followed by any “until”-prefaced clause!

    Reply
    • Thank you! They’re pretty easy to make after your first time. I highly recommend them, unless you or someone you’re making them for are on a diet. They’re addicting!

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Your Guide to Holiday Eating | In Natalie's Shoes

  3. Pingback: Spicy Chili-Lime Chicken Tacos | In Natalie's Shoes

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