These Pecan Bars are one of the most used recipes from the Culinary Institute of America. I have seen various versions of these Pecan Bars but this one is the one we used in the bakery. The key is to boil the filling to 240 degrees or the filling will sag when it is cut. Otherwise this is the easiest of recipes to make.
While the CIA cuts these Pecan Bars into diamonds, we cut them into bars or into squares to avoid any loss of product. We used the squares for petit fours and they never failed to please. The baked bars or squares may be frozen.
For these Pean Bars, I don’t toast the nuts before using them as they bake in the oven. Make these once and I’m sure you will be adding them to your favorites list.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment and the sides of the pan. Set aside.
Place the flour in the bowl of a processor. Cut the butter into small pieces and place it over the flour. Process to cut the butter in until it is indistinguishable. Do not allow it to come together. Add the sugar and pulse in. Add the egg yolks and process until it forms a dough.
Alternately, place flour, sugar and butter in a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle. Cut the butter in until mealy. Add the yolks. Mix together until it forms a dough.
Break pieces of the pastry off and distribute them around the bottom of the pan. Press them together to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. Press the sides down flat with the bottom of the crust. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Immediately upon removing from the oven take a spoon and press the crust against the side of the pan.
Pecan Filling8 ounces butter (225 grams)
1/2 cup honey 170 grams or 6 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounce)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar (225 grams or 8 ounces)
1/4 cup cream
1 1/4 pounds medium to small chopped pecans (565 grams or 20 ounces)
Yield: 24 bars or 48 squares.