Salted Pecan & Caramel & Brown Sugar Bites (Tray Bake)
Sunday March 17 2013
OK, so I don’t love shortbread-based tray bakes. I guess I actually don’t really love shortbread. I’ve just been pretending because there are so many shortbread-based sweets here in the UK. But man! Do I love those little “Salted Caramel Pecan Bar Petites” at Starbucks (except the you-guessed-it: shortbread base), so I’ve been on a little quest to find a ‘better’ version that I could make at home, with a variation of the normal base. So here goes…
You should have most of these ingredients/supplies at home & these quantities will make 20-24 squares/bites:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened/room temp
- 1 cup brown sugar (I used a mix of dark & light soft brown sugars)
- 2 1/4 cups plain flour
- 9 x 9 inch square baking pan, lined with parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Farenheit
Mix the butter & brown sugar until well-combined, then add in the flour. Mix the flour into the softened butter & sugar combo until a crumbly batter results. You may also want to use your fingers to crumble out any big lumps.
Use your fingers to spread the mix into the pan, and press it in well…
I also used a small rolling pin to flatten out/smooth the batter into the pan.
Bake the base for about 15-20 minutes, or until the top looks like a cooked cookie. In the meantime, while the base is baking, prepare the topping:
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups pecans, whole or chopped, your preference, but take the time to toast them for a few minutes
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 tspn vanilla paste or extract
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- Sea salt / fleur de sel
Mix all of these together in a bowl, adding pecans last…
Then pour the mix over the baked base, and cook in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
You’ll know it’s done when the top looks firm/set/crunchy. Add your sea salt or fleur de sel to taste (just enough so each bite has some salt).
I would eat them ooey-gooey from the oven, but the caramel will be runny. You should leave them to set for a few hours at least, and I promise they’ll be worth the wait… What you’ll end up with is a sweet & chewy brown-sugar biscuit base, with a yummy & salty caramel/pecan topping. I was going to drizzle some dark chocolate on these, but they actually were perfect without…