Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maple Pecan Sticky Bars

Maple Pecan Sticky Bars

I love, love, love maple. These bars are kind of like pecan pie, but with a maple twist. They are super rich and delicious so you only need a small piece, but so good you might want to go for a bigger one. With ice cream.

I highly recommend this recipe. It will become a staple in our house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and special occasions, because it's one of those recipes that is so good that I can eat the whole pan myself. Therefore I can't make it often! I read the comments over at Bon Appetit on this recipe, I noticed that people were complaining about things but I think they made a few baking errors. First, the crust is like a butter cookie dough so don't worry that it seems a bit crumbly when you mix it. As long as you can take some and squeeze it together, and it forms a clump, you're good. If yours feels too dry and won't come together at all, add a little more butter.

Adapted From Bon Appetit October 2003

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (I used salted and skipped the salt later on)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (recipe said gold brown, I used regular brown)
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper. I highly recommend you use the parchment, because if the filling overflows it can make a sticky mess.


In a bowl with your electric mixer, beat your butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg yolk and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Measure in the flour and salt, then blend together on low. It will seem dry-but stop, put the mixer aside, reach in and grab a bit. Does it clump together when you squeeze it? If so, it's perfect. If not, add in a bit more butter. You aren't looking for a wet dough, but instead something that is a little dry but will come together. Also, it's a BUTTER cookie dough, don't add water!

Dump the mixture into your pan. Press the bits firmly along the bottom and sides, making sure to work your way about 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. This is important! Try to make the crust evenly thick, but it's not imperative. Bake the crust for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Set it aside and let it cool.


In a saucepan, heat up the maple syrup, brown sugar, whipping cream and butter over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture is warm. Continue heating, stirring, until it boils. Let it boil about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans, stirring them so they are well coated.

Pour the filling over the crust. You'll notice that the sides that you created keep it all neatly in the square, instead of running under the crust and making a mess. Smooth it out as best you can so that it's even.

Bake the bars in the center of your oven for 15 minutes. Cool them in the pan on a rack before cooling them further in the fridge. They must be cooled well in order to cut nicely-at least a few hours.

Keep the bars in an airtight container in your fridge. They will last about 3 days. The recipe claims that they make 30 bars, but with our servings here at home, that was more like 12. You can cut them very small, as they are really rich-but why would you?

Makes one 9x9 inch pan.
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