I will go as far to say that these bars are better than a pecan pie. And they are way easier to make than a pie! They also slice up so perfectly and transport well to any holiday party. Pecan is second only to pumpkin on the list of top fall flavors and this dessert is all about the pecans. Depending on what pan you use, you may need to shorten the initial baking time on the crust. A metal pan will brown the crust more quickly. Lining the pan with foil is an amazing trick that you can use for many recipes besides this one. You will lift your dessert right out of the pan and cleanup is so much easier. As far as dark brown sugar versus light brown sugar, I have not noticed much difference in my recipe results in the past. Only recently did I start specifying. If light brown sugar is all you have, just use that. Take these to your next fall party with a few bottles of Southern Tier Pumpking. This is absolutely the best pumpkin beer. It is extremely smooth with a flavor close to pumpkin pie. It is not the easiest to find so if you see it, do not hesitate!
Pecan Pie Bars
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans
Prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining with foil, leaving enough for an overhang on all sides. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Make the crust. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the flour and salt until the mixture is crumbly. Use your hands to press the crust into the pan prepped with foil. Bake for 20 minutes (watch closely especially if using a metal pan.)
Prepare the pecan filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan on medium heat. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 1 minute, add in the chopped pecans.
Remove the crust from the oven. Pour the pecan filling over the hot crust. Bake for another 20 minutes. Let the bars cool in the pan and then lift them via the foil. Slice the bars on a cutting board.