Chocolate Pecan Pie Cookie Bars (from Dorie Greenspans's cookbook, Dorie's Cookies)
Servings: Makes 24 bars
- For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 t. salt (she prefers fine sea salt)
- 1 stick plus 1 T. (9 T.) unsalted butter,
- very cold, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- For the topping:
- 1/2 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup or light or dark corn syrup
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 T. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 T. dark rum or bourbon
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 t. salt (she prefers fine sea salt)
- 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) pecan pieces
- 3 ounces chopped semisweet or
- bittersweet chocolate OR 1/2 cup chips
- Note: Be sure to grease your pan very well, or use parchment paper. My bars were difficult to get out of the pan.
- Center the rack in the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan, and butter a piece of aluminum foil to use to cover the crust.
- To make the crust:
- Put the flour, confectioners'sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend.
- Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely-- don't worry about getting it evenly mixed. (Mine took 15 pulses)
- Stir the yolk just to break it up and add it a little at a time (through the top opening), pulsing after each addition. Then process in long pulses (I had to do it 6 times) --about 10 seconds each--until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms moist clumps and curds. Pinch a piece of the dough, and it will hold together nicely.
- Turn the dough out into the butter pan and spread it evenly. Using your fingertips (I used the back of a measuring cup), press the dough down into the pan so that you've got a compact layer. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
- Cover with the foil, buttered side down, and pour in the pie weights or dried beans or rice. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights, return the pan, still on the baking sheet, to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.
- Place the pan on a rack and let the crust rest while you make the topping. (Leave the oven on.)
- To make the topping:
- Working in a large bowl, whisk the syrup and brown sugar together. One by one, gently whisk in all of the remaining ingredients except the nuts and the chocolate. Don't whisk energetically---you want a homogeneous topping, but you don't want bubbles. Switch to a flexible spatula and stir in the pecans and chocolate.
- Pour the topping over the crust and, if the nuts seem to be unevenly distributed, use the spatula to spread them around. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the topping has puffed across the top and set. It shouldn't jiggle when you tap the pan.
- Transfer the pan to a rack to cool until the bottom of the pan feels comfortably warm or reaches room temperature.
- If you want to unmold the bars, run a table knife between the bars and sides of the pan. Invert the bars onto a rack and then turn right side up on to a cutting board. Or work in the pan (carefully, so you don't gouge it). Cut into 24 bars, each 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches.