Um, getting married is FUN! I'm not even talking about the actual marriage part, or the ceremony, or reception: the weeks/months leading up to the day have been super fun for me! People are always excited to talk about wedding plans, offer support/advice, and have generally made me feel exceptionally special for the last seven months. Not to mention the gifts rolling in, which often show up on our doorstep unannounced — and who doesn't love getting mail!? It's all very fun.
I've spent this (long) weekend in Portland with my Mom and Grandmother, planning, chatting, and generally getting ready. The main purpose of this trip was to be at my bridal shower this afternoon! What fun! Big thanks to the ladies who put it on — it was perfect, and I had so much fun! We played the game where the couple answers questions how they think the other would respond, and we ACED it. We know each other quite well, I think! I can credit Derek and his road tripping questions for much of that knowledge! Now I'm full of incredible cake and spinach-artichoke dip. YUM.
We also got down to the nitty gritty of ceremony planning this weekend — what a great way to feel connected to your partner! It's a fun exercise to talk about how to talk about your love, and communicate it to with others. Hopefully we'll get the message across!!
These bars are from WEEKS ago. Really, like probably five weeks ago. I made them before we went to Alaska, but didn't have time to photograph them so stuck them in the freezer while we were gone. Then I took pictures, and dilly-dallied on getting you the recipe! I've since been using a new lens, so these look a bit funky to me... but I assure you they are DELICIOUS! They are VERY sweet, so cut them into tiny pieces, but if you love pecans as much as I do (or probably even half as much as I do), you'll love them!
This recipe comes from the Martha Stewart Cookies book, which I love. The only change I made here was to double the amount of topping. I made the recipe as is, looked at it and thought "that isn't enough pecans!" and quickly doubled the topping before baking. If you don't want it quite as sweet and gooey, you could halve the topping for more of a pecan-topped shortbread! Either way will be a sure winner.Print
- 1 ¾ cup (3 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¾ cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup honey
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 4 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 9x13" pan, and line with parchment paper.
- Combine 1 ⅛ cup (2 ¼ sticks) of butter with ¾ cup brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy. Add ½ teaspoon salt, then the flour one cup at a time. Mix until dough forms into large clumps.
- Press the dough into the bottom of your prepared pan, fork-prick the crust, and chill for 20 minutes. When chilled, bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely before proceeding.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
- Place remaining butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir together and bring to a boil.
- Cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in pecans and vanilla.
- Pour the pecan mixture over the cooled crust, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling.
- Let cool completely before cutting into small pieces for serving.