Friday, January 11, 2013

Creole Pecan Praline Bars

Creole Pecan Praline Bars
Source: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (Random House, 1995 ed.), pg. 57.

This is an old New Orleans recipe and it is a breeze. A shortbread-like base is covered with pecans and a praline/caramel topping.

For the Crust:

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups sifted unbleached flour
9 oz. (2 1/2 cups) large pecan halves

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350.

Run water into a 9x13 inch pan and swirl it around until the pan is wet. Pour out all but a tablespoon of the water and line the pan with foil. The water will help keep the foil in place.
Beat the butter to soften it.
Add the salt.
Add the sugar. Beat for a minute or two until the mixture forms tiny crumbs that hold together when you press them between your fingers.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and with your fingertips and the palm of your hand, press down firmly to form the base.
Place the pecan halves touching each other - flat sides down - all in the same direction to cover the entire base. Let stand.

For the Topping:

6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and sugar. Stir over high heat with a  
wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil.
Continue to stir over the heat for another 30 seconds.
Pour the mixture over the pecan layer, coating all the pecans.
Ready for the oven!

Bake for 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand until cool. When cooled, transfer to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Remove from the refrigerator and use a flat board or pan to turn the bar over and remove it from the pan. Peel the foil off and invert the bar again right side up.
With a sharp knife, carefully cut into small bars. You can make these large or small (32 or more bars). They can be wrapped individually in cellophane or wax paper or place them on a serving plate and cover with plastic wrap. Serve at room temperature.


Jen said...

I'm pretty sure easy recipes like that are why the south leads in obesity rates. Those look fantastic!

Laura Dembowski said...

Those are really cute and look super yummy! They'd make a great dessert for a party!

Sage Trifle said...

My Mom just sent me a big bag of pecan halves from Alabama. I have been thinking on what to make that will really feature them--and now I know. These look just perfect. Thanks for sharing!

Sage Trifle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phillip Oliver said...

Sage, you might also consider the Pecan Squares Americana. It is a great dessert as well. :)