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
Pecan Shortbread Bars
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- 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.
How long do these keep, in your experience? Can they be made ahead and refrigerated?
Absolutely - I'm embarrassed to admit that it took us a few weeks to get through a huge batch I made this summer. I wouldn't recommend letting them sit THAT long, but I certainly wouldn't bat an eye at making them a few days ahead. I've actually frozen them before, too, although I think it compromises the texture a tiny bit.
Maggie Fisher says
Mary this recipe is a must try. I am also asking all your wonderful women who give us these great posts of your recipes about one that I lost several years ago. They are date squares, not date bars, not date cookies, but individually made with a dough you fill with dates and stuff you cook on the stove then pinch edges together and bake each one separately, it was an aunt's recipe and somehow lost over the years and I am simply unable to find it anywhere. Can you help me by any chance? thanks
Maggie in Michigan
Hi Maggie! Unfortunately, I have never seen a recipe like that! I wish I could help — sounds delicious, but it doesn't ring any bells! Good luck! xoxo
Jane McClelland says
I found this 1923 recipe from Nebraska for a rolled dough date squares. Date filling: 1 box of dates, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup water. Remove pits and dice dates, place in saucepan and boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Rolled dough: 1 cup Crisco shortening (it called for Mazola shortening) 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 2 eggs, 3 cups white pastry flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract...Cream together shortening and brown sugar. Using a fork, break eggs into a cereal bowl and beat eggs until frothy. Add eggs to creamed mixture and mix well. Add rolled oats, sift the rest of the dry ingredients together and add along with the water and vanilla extract. Roll out thin; spread the cooled date mixture on half of the dough, cut into squares and place on greased baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes. Sorry I missed the rolled oats measurement- if I can find it, I'll send it to you
Jane McClelland says
There was not a measured amount given in the recipe...I would guess 1 cup quick oats because the size of the oat is smaller and more tender than old fashioned oats. When you're making these cookies, just use your discretion and memory as to the appearance and texture of the dough! Good luck!
Jane McClelland says
I don't know if you received the recipe that I found and sent as a reply. It is almost complete, but the lady that wrote it down forgot to give the amount of oats used! There were a couple of typos but I tried to correct it as I typed it in. Just see below for the recipe and please let me know if that's what you've been searching for.... God bless, and Merry Christmas!
I made these and they are delicious but my caramel is too runny. Once they sit out of t he b fridge more than a few minutes it oozes out of the cookie. I followed the instructions and after it boiled approx 1 minute it did coat the back of the spoon. After 20 minutes the filling was only bubbling around the edges so I left it in another 5 but was still not bubbling all over. Just the edges. Should I have left it in until it bubbles all over? I need to m a key the filling firm enough that it doesn't ozze once out of the fridge
Hi Suzanne! I'm so sorry these are running all over for you!! I wish there was a way to better interpret what went wrong ... it sounds like you did everything right! Based on my experience, the *only* solution would be letting it boil/cook longer, but again: I'm not sure. So sorry!! Thanks for stopping by! xo
Absolutely delicious!! Made them for the first time today,will be making them many more times in the future. Thank you Mary,for sharing the recipe.
Have a great holiday!
Thanks, Charlie! I'm so glad you enjoyed them! xo
Rachel C says
Holy smokes these are amazing! And addictive!!
AREN'T THEY!?? Glad I'm not the only one 😛 Thanks, Rachel! xo
Jacqueline McDonald says
Just wanted to say that 4 cups of pecans is one pound not eight ounces.
Julie P. says
Love, love, love.
They take awhile to make but it was definitely worth it.
Thanks for a great recipe!
Gail Carter says
Can you use syrup instead of honey?
I haven't tried it, but I bet it would work! Let us know how it goes!