Chocolate Chip-Pecan Pie Bars
These pecan bars were the very first thing that I ever baked on my own. Like, EVER. Sure, I helped my mom make Christmas cookies when I was a kid, but I began baking on my own in high school with this very recipe. These bars showed up at a family party and given my affinity for pecan pie, it’s no surprise that I was totally and completely enamored with them. My grandma gave me the recipe and I found myself making them quite frequently. They quickly became my “signature” and were for a long time – I would take them to work potlucks, family parties, and anywhere else I thought people could use a little something sweet.
These bars are a breeze to throw together and don’t require much in the way of equipment or time. You can easily mix together the crust ingredients with a fork, a pastry blender, or your fingers – just make sure you get the mixture to a crumbly texture. The bars need to cool completely before you cut them or the filling and chocolate will smear and run a bit. I actually prefer these chilled in the refrigerator, but you can keep and serve them at room temperature if you’d like.
Ironically, I never made these bars around Thanksgiving, but it goes without saying that they are the perfect portable Thanksgiving dessert. They’re a great alternative for a full-blown pie, and you could easily omit the chocolate and add more pecans if you’d like. Although, I do think the combination of chocolate and pecans is something extra-special.
Do you remember the first thing you learned how to bake all on your own?
Chunky Pecan Pie Bars
For the Crust:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chunks in a bag!)
1½ cups chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
2. For the crust, mix together the flour, butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Press into the baking pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown.
3. For the filling, beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla extract with a wire whisk. Stir in the chunks and pecans. Pour evenly over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until set.
4. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the refrigerator if you live in a warm/humid area with no air conditioning).