We noshed on deviled eggs and sipped Arnold Palmers while the husband and his brothers tended the grill. And for dessert, we enjoyed decadent Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars.
With a salty-sweet shortbread crust, gooey filling, rich chocolate chips, and crunchy pecans, these dessert bars have something for everyone. Serve them with ice cream if you really want to gild the lily. And I love a gilded lily.
Let's get cooking!
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
2 cups flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1-2 teaspoons salt*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoons cold butter, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups pecans, chopped coarse
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" x 13" baking dish with aluminum foil. (The shiny side of the foil should be touching the pan with the non-shiny side up.) Set pan aside.
First, make the crust. Add flour, brown sugar, pecans, salt, and baking powder to your food processor. Pulse a few times until mixture is combined. Add cold butter and process until it's incorporated into a sandy texture. Press into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake until crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 17-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in eggs until everything is combined. Spread over warm crust. Alternately sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips over filling. Bake until filling is golden and set in the middle, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.
*I used 2 teaspoons of salt, and you could definitely taste it. We enjoyed the salty-sweet combo, but if that isn't your thing, cut the salt back to 1 teaspoon.