I fell in love with these little fellas when I found out how nicely they freeze. I made, like, 16,003 batches and hid them in our chest freezer downstairs. Spring is always an insane carnival of birthdays and baby showers around here, and finally: I was prepared! They’re delicious hot off the cookie sheet, and also delicious gently thawed and hurled onto a fancy plate in the car while I’m working the steering wheel with my knee. (Editor’s note: don’t try that–the steering thing. Definitely try the Glorious Pecan Toffee Squares.)
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 pound pecan halves
- 2 cups chocolate chips, semisweet or bittersweet
- For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350° and set rack to the middle of the oven. Line 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the egg and vanilla. Lastly, add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until well blended.
- Press evenly into the parchment lined baking pan. The dough is very sticky. Use a spoon to help guide the dough while holding the parchment paper from the other side of the pan or flour the palm of your hand before pressing the dough into the pan. Bake at 350° for 24 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through.
- For the filling:
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Bring the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the cream, stirring to combine. Lastly, add the pecan halves and stir well.
- Pour over the baked crust, evenly spreading the nuts and the caramel sauce. Return the pan to the 350° oven and bake for 18 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through.
- Remove the squares from the oven and turn the oven off. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and place the pan back in the oven for 3 minutes.
- Place the pan on a cooling rack and gently swirl the chocolate over the squares. Immediately place both the cooling rack and the pan into the refrigerator and cool for 1¾ hours. Score the top of the bars with a sharp thin knife and return to the refrigerator to cool completely. This is done so that the chocolate does not break apart once it is completely chilled.
- Lift the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut The Ultimate Pecan Toffee Squares into bars using a sharp thin knife, rotating the cutting board so that the square you are cutting is in front of you. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Sneaky inside tips:
- The parchment paper makes it much easier to cut the squares evenly. However, using a 9” x 13” ungreased and unlined pan will also work, but it is much harder to remove the squares this way.
- I prefer bittersweet chocolate chips on top of my squares, but semisweet will work just as well. For that matter, milk could also be fabulous if that is your favorite chocolate.
- When cutting Pecan Toffee Squares, cut one square at a time. I have tried cutting horizontally across all of the bars at once and have found that the top and bottom separate this way.
Culinary Credit Goes To: DessertRequired.com