Boozy Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
I wrote this post as part of the Plugrá Butter Brigade. Thanks, Plugrá, for sponsoring this post and for making my favorite butter!
Some people are so good at friending. They drop a thoughtful gift by your house out of nowhere. They buy those blank-inside cards to write you a letter instead of looking for the ones with a prewritten message. They’re superb at keeping in touch.
Then there’s me. I have about the same talent at friending that I have at crafting, which is to say: none. I try! I’m just missing some critical relationship-building link in my brain somewhere, I think.
A few weeks ago my amazing friend Jamie sent me the sweetest gift. I’d had a stressful few months dealing with some family health issues and she sent me a reminder to reserve some energy for myself.
I was determined to send her some Thanksgiving treats as a thank you. I know she loves chocolate pecan pie, so I adapted a New York Times recipe to make a huge pan of indulgent, boozy, chocolate pecan pie bars. They are absolutely luscious and — I found out just as I was carefully packing them up to mail off — they are not shelf stable.
That’s right: apparently pecan pies require refrigeration. You probably knew that and you probably would’ve picked a perfect recipe to mail, because you’re probably GOOD AT FRIENDING. Sigh.
I would say it’s the thought that counts, but when Boozy Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars are involved, I’m pretty sure it’s the dessert that counts.
At least you can enjoy these bars! The dense chocolate pecan (and bourbon!) filling sits atop a buttery shortbread crust made with my favorite European-style Plugrá Butter. They’re also an easy last-minute addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Whip them up on Wednesday and pull them out about an hour before serving on Thanksgiving Day!
One year ago: Brown Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Two years ago: Brown Butter Pecan Gooey Butter Cake with Spiked Whipped Cream
Three years ago: Rosemary Thumbprints with Clementine Curd (and The Day I Went to Ina Garten’s Cookie Swap!)
Four years ago: Salted Caramel Chocolate Trifle
Five years ago: Browned Butter Pumpkin CroquemCAKE with White Chocolate Chai Mousse
Six years ago: Homemade Cannoli
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold Plugrá butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 cups pecan halves
- 12 tablespoons Plugrá butter
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Toast the pecans. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 6-8 minutes, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- Melt the chocolate. Add the butter and bittersweet chocolate chips to a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Set this aside to cool.
- Make the shortbread. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with a foil sling sprayed with cooking spray. Process the flour, powdered sugar, and salt together for a few seconds before adding in the chunks of cold butter. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with about 6-8 pulses or until it looks like small peas. Press the mixture into the baking dish with the flat bottom of a glass or small dish, pressing the crust slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until very lightly browning. Stick it in the fridge to speed up cooling.
- Finish the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the cooled melted chocolate mixture, dark corn syrup, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, bourbon, and salt. Pour onto the prepared shortbread. Arrange the pecans evenly over the filling (‘cause no one wants the piece with no pecans!) Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is set when the pan jiggles. Remove bars from the oven and let cool completely (for at least a couple of hours, perhaps even chilling in the fridge) before cutting into bars.
- When ready to serve, whip heavy cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters. Serve bars with freshly whipped cream. Store uneaten bars in an airtight container in the FRIDGE. Because they're not shelf-stable. Duh.