Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

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While going through boxes of old recipe clippings for the last couple weeks, I came across this crumbled up one from Better Homes and Gardens that was stuck at the bottom of a box.

Bourbon Pecan Bars 2

The magazine used to offer monthly recipe contests and I would enter on a regular basis.  This particular recipe won a prize in a “Best-Ever Bar Cookie” category.  It’s a chocolate pecan pie bar made with a touch of bourbon, which enhances the chocolate and leaves a wonderful flavor and aroma.

Bourbon Pecan Bars 1

But the story doesn’t end there.  It seems the magazine had a typo in the instructions.  In one of the preparation steps, chocolate and butter are melted together and set aside, but then the recipe does not specify what to do with it.  Well… all I can tell you is that for the next 15 years, at least, and almost on a monthly basis, I got phone calls about this recipe from people making these cookies.  Things like, “OMG- are you the pecan pie cookie lady?  I am literally right in the middle of this recipe and don’t know what to do with the melted chocolate and butter!” Or, “Did you know there is a mistake in your recipe?”  (Gee, no, it’s fun getting calls for more than a decade about this..)  One woman was so mad, she said she was going to cancel her subscription for the error.  I talked her out of it.  And by the way, I went back and checked my entry for the contest and I had it written correctly.  The typo was their mistake.  Sorry BH&G, but I still love you.  Anyway, I haven’t had any calls in a long time and I can give you the corrected version.  They really are good.  The bourbon adds a great flavor, but if you don’t want to use it, just use water instead.  However, the bars are taken to new heights with the bourbon.  Anyway, it makes sense for Mardi Gras or the Super Bowl, right?

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(Here I go, playing with dishes again.  What do you like, the pink or the beige?  The beige plate and napkin are from Finland)

Here is the correct version of my cookies.  Enjoy for the game or a Mardi Gras treat.  Plus there is always bourbon left over if you just want a drink!

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate square
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in the ½ cup cold butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the ¼ cup butter and square of semisweet chocolate; heat and stir over low heat until melted; set aside.
  4. In bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs. Add brown sugar, bourbon, and vanilla. Add melted butter and chocolate and blend well. Pour over crust. Return to oven and bake another 20 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack before cutting into bars.

Bourbon Pecan Bars 4

 

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6 Responses to Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

  1. Shirley February 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm #

    They look good, Debbie. Don’t you wish BHG still had that segment (over the years so many very good recipes!) And, I can well imagine those calls. We’ve gotten some over the years. Some funny …most nice….and always interesting!

    • Debbie February 5, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

      Yes, Shirley. I miss those old monthly contests with the big annual prize. And guess what I also found in my boxes of clippings? Your monthly winning recipe for Pesto-Stuffed Pork Chops! Do you still make them?

  2. Kim Marsden February 6, 2016 at 7:59 am #

    I vote for the beige plate and napkin from Finland! Your bars sound delicious and right up my taste-bud alley; but who doesn’t love pecans and chocolate, and with a splash of Four Roses bourbon. Our neighbor recently gifted us with a bottle of that bourbon, too, so I am ready to go! Enjoyed your story, too.

    • Debbie February 6, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      Kim, I knew you would like the Finn plate and napkin! It’s prettier up close and so delicate, even though the napkin is very heavy and sturdy linen.

  3. shirley February 7, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Yes, Debbie, we still make those chops …BHG made a change or 2 but Alex still likes grilling ‘his’way. However, since we won’t be able to take the grill when we move … they’ll just be a good memory!
    There were so many GOOD and GREAT recipes while BHG had that spot (and not just ours!) – and there are some I still make occasionally.

    • Debbie February 8, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      Shirley, I always loved your pesto chops recipe. I found many of yours as I was sorting through my box. Lots of Priscilla, Janice, and Roxanne ones, too!

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