Recipe by Elizebett Rocha Bento Eslinger
This is one of my favorite fall recipes. It’s relatively simple to bring together and very popular with my friends and family. The pecans really shine here, though you could swap the pecans for walnuts or your favorite nut (though, depending on the size and shape of the nut, you may want to chop before adding them to the filling). Makes 9 squares.
- 130 g (~1 cup) all purpose flour
- 40 g (~3 tbsp) granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp table salt
- 55 g (~4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
Nut Filling Ingredients
- 120 g (~½ cup) brown sugar
- 50 g (~3 ½ tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- ¼ tsp table salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz pecans (or nut of choice), lightly toasted
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided in half
Making the Shortbread
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a square 8-inch pan well. Line the pan with a foil sling and then grease well again.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter. Using a fork or your fingertips, mix the butter into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Note: the mixture should be sandy.
- Transfer the shortbread mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Press the shortbread mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the edges are just starting to show a golden color, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack. Begin making the nut filling.
Making the Nut Filling
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Heat until the butter is melted and all ingredients are incorporated.
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and toasted pecans.
- Transfer the nut mixture to the warm shortbread and spread evenly in the pan (the pan may still be hot, so be careful!).
- Bake for 15-18 minutes; the bars are done when the nut mixture is bubbling across the top.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let it cool completely, at least 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Once cooled, cut around the edges as needed to loosen it from the pan. Then use the foil sling to transfer the nutty bars to a cutting board. Slide away the foil sling. Note: I like to cut the bars into 9 even pieces at this point before making the chocolate topping; you can also wait to cut the bars until after they are topped with chocolate and the chocolate has set.
Making the Chocolate Topping
- Gently melt half the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave on low power, stirring constantly.
- Add the remaining chopped chocolate and continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Transfer to a piping bag and drizzle the melted chocolate over the nutty bars. I like to pipe random squiggles and lines; drizzle and decorate to your heart’s delight.
- Allow the chocolate to set before serving. Generally, it can take about 60 minutes for the chocolate to set at room temperature (depending on how warm your kitchen is). It can take about 30 minutes for the chocolate to set in the refrigerator. If you use the fridge, the chocolate may turn cloudy.