I’ve been making these bourbon pecan bars, which I adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, for many years. Their rich buttery shortbread hits your taste buds first, then your mouth explodes with bourbon and pecans and sweetness. I typically double the mixture for parties, but for a small 9×13 dish worth, these ingredient portions should serve thee well.
BOOZY BOURBON PECAN BARS
1 1/2 cups flour
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
BOURBON PECAN MIXTURE
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
8 ounces (about 2 cups) coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl very evenly (I use a food processor for this). Add butter in chunks; pulse the food processor until mixture resembles corn meal, and then add the egg; after pulsing the egg in, stop when a sticky dough forms. Transfer this shortbread dough to the pan; and with a spatula or your fingers, press the dough evenly into bottom of the pan. Pop in the freezer until it’s firm, about 10 minutes.
Then, prick the bottom of dough with a fork and bake until lightly golden, 23 to 26 minutes. Set it aside to cool while we start making the delicious filling.
LET’S MAKE THE FILLING!
Bring out a big pot and combine the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar over medium-high heat until all is melted and bubbling/boiling, whisking constantly to avoid burning the sugar. Once all combined and melted, let is bubble without stirring for 2-3 minutes, the mixture will start to look a bit lighter. After that, take it off the heat, and mix in the salt, bourbon and cream. Lastly, add the pecans.
Spoon the heavenly mixture evenly over the shortbread, and even out everything with your utensil so it’s nice and evenly coated with nuts.
Bake until bubbling throughout the pan and a gorgeous brown color, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
Using foil, lift cake from pan; peel off foil. With a sharp knife, trim edges (if desired). Cut crosswise into 8 even strips; cut each strip into 6 even rectangles to make 48 bars.