Friday, March 26, 2010

The Crust: Butter Pecan Turtle Bars

I do not love pie. What I love, is pie crust. I love it. And I’ve been known to pop a frozen pie crust into the oven, bake it to a nice, flaky, golden brown and eat it up just as it is – no fillings, no toppings, no sugar sprinkles – just butter, flour, and a pinch of salt baked to deliciousness.

The crust is what makes the pie filling worth eating, be it tart apples, key lime custard, or sugary pecans.

Then there’s quiche and pot pie – oh, what a bit of crust can do for eggs and cheese or chicken stew!

And shortbread – a little sugar and lemon zest added to that ever-so-simple butter-flour combination – heaven!

Tarts – I think of fresh berries and cream on a crusty, crumbly shell – so good!

And bars – mmmm, lemon bars. I’ve eaten quite a few, from lots of different bakers and every one was delicious. But can you imagine that sweet, tart lemon filling without the crust? No way – it wouldn’t work. It’s the crust that makes it so yummy.

My bar specialty is butter pecan turtle bars with a thick crust of butter, flour, and brown sugar. I’ve made them for many a pot-luck and a few bake sales too. They’re always a hit and requests for the recipe are common. I’m happy to share, of course.

This is not an original recipe, but I don’t remember exactly where it came from – some cookbook I no longer have.

Butter Pecan Turtle Bars  PRINTABLE RECIPE

2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter - softened
1-1/2 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

1. Combine flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter. Blend until crumbly. Pat mixture firmly into bottom of an ungreased 9" x 13" baking pan. Sprinkle pecan halves evenly over the crust and set aside.

2. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup butter. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, still stirring constantly. Then pour the hot caramel mixture over the pecans and crust.

3. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes, until caramel layer is bubbly and crust is light brown.

4. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly as it melts. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

1 comment:

  1. We would make a good pie eating team. I only like the fillings & not the crust.