December 20, 2020

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Last month, when I showed you our best pecan harvest ever, a couple of people asked how we used them. Here's one of our favorites! It uses pecan meal, which forms a crispy top layer when the cookies bake. Very rich, very special, and very holidayish!

Chocolate Layer cookies

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Bottom Layer:

½ C butter
¼ C sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
1¼ C unbleached flour
⅛ tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt and add in 3 parts to creamed mixture. Pat dough into the bottom of a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350°F (180°C).

Top Layer:

While the bottom layer is baking, mix the following:

2 eggs, beaten
1½ C brown sugar
1½ C chocolate chips
6 oz pecan meal (can make this in the blender)
2 tbsp unbleached flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Remove the bottom layer from the oven and spread the top layer mixture over it while still hot. Bake another 25 minutes. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and slice into bars.

When the kids were little I'd bake a different batch of Christmas cookies every week for dessert for Friday night pizza. We'd eat some and I'd freeze about half-a-dozen or so. I'd start the baking right after Thanksgiving, so that on Christmas Eve, we'd have a huge assortment of Christmas cookies for dessert after our traditional pepperoni bread. That's a lot of cookies for just the two of us, so I don't do that any more, but we certainly do enjoy our best favorites this time of year. Do you have Christmas cookie baking traditions? I'd love to hear them!


Holly said...

Looks delicious!

wyomingheart said...

Wonderful! Yes, that is a perfect way to use some bounty of pecans! Mom always baked fruitcake and chocolate chip cookies for Christmas, and at 90, she still does! It’s simply delightful! We will certainly give your cookies a try, because they really do look scrumptious! I bet they are really good with a hot cup of coffee ! Have a perfect week, Leigh!

DFW said...

Sounds like the perfect recipe for us, with our over abundance of pecans this year too. And a thank you ... when I cut & pasted the recipe to put in my Recipe.doc, I had very little adjustment to make, to make it match my format. I think I only had to change the font & font size. When 'borrowing' recipes from other sites I usually have to spend several minutes modifying. I don't know why people feel the need to spell out cup, teaspoon, Tablespoon, etc. when C, tsp, T, etc. work. And, they always go into such detail. Yours was short & succinct & for that I thank you. You know, it's the small things that make me smile. Merry Christmas & hope you & Dan have a great rest of the year.

Cockeyed Jo said...


Leigh said...

Holly, they are!

Wyomingheart, good for your mom! I baked my first fruitcake this year, to be served on Christmas. Not sure what to expect!

DFW, thank you! I'm guessing the recipes to which you are referring are from folks who give extremely lengthy and wordy introductions, lol. Seems to be a particular style. I'm like you, I just want to cut to the chase and get to the basics. Even so, I do think I get too wordy myself sometimes.

Jo, exactly!

Nina said...

Nanaimo bars, butter tarts, gingerbread men and spicy raisin crinkles were the holiday staples in our home. While we no longer need to make quite as many or as wide a variety, we still have to have Nanaimo bars and some sort of gingerbread for Christmas Eve celebrations.

Your pecan cookie recipe looks delicious, but pecans are so pricey here, and difficult enough to find that I'll just have to put it on my one day list.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

There is nothing wrong with any cookie bar recipe. Nothing at all. They sound delicious!

Rosalea said...

Gingerbread men, always! Those squares look and sound delicious. Good wishes for the season to you and Dan, Leigh. All the best.

Leigh said...

Nina, gingerbread men are the only cookies on your list I'm familiar with. You've got me curious!

The chocolate pecan bars could easily become chocolate walnut bars or chocolate hazelnut bars. Even chocolate coconut bars! I'm just fortunate to have pecan trees, so for me, pecans it is!

TB, I like bar cookies too. So easy to make. :)

Rosalea, that's another vote for gingerbread men! Actually, I've never made them. I do make my grandmother's ginger cookie recipe every year. I wonder if the dough would be good for cookie cutting(?) I'll have to try it some time.

Henny Penny said...

How rich and wonderful those pecan bars look. Pecans are delicious just about any way, aren't they. I love your idea of baking cookies and saving some of each kind. You have the BEST ideas! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Leigh said...

Henny, thank you! Merry Christmas to you and yours too!

Mama Pea said...

Oh, I love your schedule of baking a batch of Christmas goodies every week for a period before Christmas and stashing part of the bake away to pull out right at holiday time! We have no pecan trees here (nor nut trees of any kind) but it's always been a plan of my husband's to give establishing some of them a try. We sure haven't had any luck with fruits other than apples, but perhaps nuts?? We do purchase organically grown nuts and consume a few each day. Such a good snack!

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, someone once told me about a hardy pecan; I wonder if that would grow for you? I think nuts are pretty interchangeable in recipes though. Growing up, I remember if there were nuts in a recipe it was always English walnuts. I feel fortunate we had so many pecan trees when we bought the place. :)

Cockeyed Jo said...

I love pecans the way The Cloister fixes them with a honey bourbon candy mixture. Yummy! My daughter used to make them fresh for the owner every morning and she "shared" the recipe with me one year while making a batch for her Jack. Unfortunately, it's one recipe I can't share.

Leigh said...

Jo, I'm not familiar with The Cloister, but it sounds really good. Nice your daughter could do that!