Butter Tart Pecan Bars

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July 28, 2018

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes

Hands on time: 30 minutes

My buddy Alison’s dad, Harry, is 94 years-old. He’s a great old guy. A Canadian in his childhood, he grew up hardscrabble in Nova Scotia. They don’t make them like him anymore. His favorite dessert is butter tarts which is to Canada what chocolate chip cookies are to us in the US. Baked in little gem tins (like mini muffins) they are quite time consuming to make. Little rounds of dough line the cups and are then filled with a gooey pecan filling and baked. I wanted to make them for him, but just couldn’t find the time. So, I came up with this easier to accomplish version of butter tart pecan bars which is no less delish. Just ask Harry.

It’s that easy: Don’t even think about skipping the parchment paper lining the pan. If the filling gets between the crust and the pan it will become as cement and you’ll have to chip them out. Also, they will firm up as they cool so be patient. You don’t want the filling to ooze out like it did in the picture above.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt


1 3/4 cups corn syrup
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs and 1 yolk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chopped pecans

Line a 9 by 13-inch pan with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a mixer or with a fork until crumbly. Spread the crumb mixture evenly in the pan and press firmly to compact and make a good base layer.

Bake for 20 minutes or until firm.

While the base bakes, combine the syrup, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, vinegar and salt with a mixer or by hand until thick and well blended. Stir in the pecans.

Pour the filling over the base layer and return to the oven for another 30 minutes or until bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

In my ears: Willie and Susan Tedeschi


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