Saturday, 16 July 2011

Georgia Pecan Bars

Another contender for the Ugly But Tasty Awards, adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies, pp108–9

Preheat oven to 180C and centre a rack in the oven. Line a 13x9” oblong slice pan, though I found this made a rather thin slice by Australian standards and I’d try a 7x9” if I did this again.

200g plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder
100g dark muscovado sugar
120g unsalted butter, chopped up
¼ teaspoon salt [my addition]

Maida says to add the butter to the dry ingredients and cut in the butter with a pastry blender. I don’t have one of these utterly unfamiliar-looking objects, and neither does any eBay seller in Australia, so that’s too bad – into the Kitchenaid with it until it formed a rough crumbly mixture I could flatten firmly into the base of the pan and set aside.

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g dark muscovado sugar
¾ cup dark corn syrup (I used roughly equal parts golden syrup and raw agave nectar to approximate this)
3 tablespoons sifted plain flour
200g pecans (I used half walnuts once I found out I had too few pecans – yes, I should have checked first, and no, I didn’t – checking the Back Fridge is a very cold exercise at the moment and one readily neglected)
I also added a good handful of choc chips at the end because I felt like it and it seemed right. And I stand by that.

Beat the eggs to mix. Add vanilla, sugar, syrup and flour and beat until smooth.
Pour the topping over the waiting and uncooked crust, tilting to form an even layer. Scatter over the pecan pieces, with walnuts and choc chips in my case.
Bake for 40 minutes (an hour for me) or until the top is golden brown – which it already is, but I won’t quibble.

After about 20 minutes, carefully lift the slice out of the tin in its baking paper, and leave on a rack to cool completely before moving it to the fridge to chill for an hour before attempting to slice it up with a serrated bread knife.

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