Monday, June 29, 2015

Pecan Bars


This recipe comes from a cookbook that I've had for a VERY long time, Creme de Colorado, which is a Junior League of Denver cookbook.  Honestly, it is one of the best cookbooks I have in my cookbook library.  I bought it when my daughters were little, used it often then, and I still refer to it today. If I need a recipe for an occasion, I will often pick up this cookbook first. 


I'm sure you've had some version of a pecan bar at some time in your life but these honey-sweetened-caramel-mixed-with-loads-of pecans-on-a-shortbread-cookie-base bars are Irresistible!  Try to eat just one. They are not exactly diet friendly but for a special occasion, holiday or party they are worth every calorie!


If you like sweet and salty, you can also top them with a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt.


Whether your are hosting a 4th of July party or attending one, this is a quick and delicious dessert to share.  Just be sure to make plenty as they will disappear quickly. 


The garden is a display of flower fireworks right now! Every day I'm oohing and ahhing.

Happy Fourth of July and Happy Birthday to the U.S.A!  May those of you who celebrate the 4th with family, friends, or on vacation, have a safe holiday. Remember that Independence Day can be one of the most dangerous times to be on the road.  Please drive safely. 

Pecan Bars


Makes 24 bars

Crust

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened

Topping


3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup honey
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F.

For the crust, mix the powdered sugar and flour together. Blend in butter until crumbly. Firmly pat crumbs onto the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. (I like to cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the inside bottom of the pan, then spray the bottom and sides with baking spray, such as Baker's Joy). Bake the crust for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stirring constantly, add the cream, honey and brown sugar until well mixed. Remove from the heat. Stir in pecans and spread the mixture over the hot crust. Return to the oven and bake an additional 30 minutes. As the bars are cooling, occasionally run a thin knife around the edges of the pan to separate the caramel from the pan. When completely cooled, cut into bars.

75 comments:

  1. Look stunning Susan!! I love them!!

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  2. OMG, the pecan bars sound totally decadent and delicious.

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  3. Yummo! I can tell and have been off pinning. The treehouse project you mention sounds wonderful. Hope that there'll be an open treehouse someday!

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    1. Thank you, Vee! I'm not sure what you mean about a tree house project though :)

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  4. Yummy. And I love the garden photo project. Inspiring.

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  5. They look wonderful and I think I'd like the salt too:@) Happy 4th of July Week Susan-enjoy:@)

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    1. Me too :) Thanks so much Lynn, and Happy 4th to you too!

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  6. These sound wonderful! I have an old Denver Junior League Cookbook - Colorado Collage. How cool - I'll have to go see if this recipe is in there too! Really tasty :) Have a great week and a lovely July 4th!

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    1. I have that one too, Tricia :) Lots of great recipes in both of them. Thanks so much and happy 4th to you too!

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  7. They look like the 4th on a plate:)..I mean.. adorbz napkins..
    My clems are blooming too..so chilly here today and yesterday..no gardening:(
    Demain I hope..
    Enjoy the holiday!

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    1. Thank you, Monique! Our weather is so up and down here this month too. So many days of breezes off the lake which keep it cooler. I hope we finally get some real summer weather in July. Happy Canada Day :)

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  8. Thank you for awakening my cookbook library. I have had this cookbook along with its mate, "Colorado Cache" since the 80's. Have used those books so many times, but not recently,. Yes...thank you for letting me again, look at this magnificent cookbooks.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! Colorado Cache is one that I do not have but I do have Colorado Collage which is also excellent. I just made a couple of appetizers from Collage for guests last weekend. They are classics!

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  9. This has to be from a southern transplant to Colorado! It has long been a favorite for us and I haven't made it in a long time. Junior League cookbooks are among my favorites but I don't have this one. I'll be watching for it at AAUW book sales.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie! The Junior League cookbooks are some of my favorites too and I have quite a few. Look for Colorado Collage at your book sale too.

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  10. I love Junior League cookbooks, they are some of my favorites! My husband would love these bars. The plate is so cute. Happy 4th of July to you and your family!!!

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    1. Thank you, Julie! Same here! Happy 4th to you also!

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  11. I have all the Colorado Jr League cookbooks and Crème de Colorado has also been one of my favorites. I have so many cookbooks that I seldom go back to some of the older Jr League books. This is a reminder that I should look often at this book that I also deemed a favorite. I have never prepared this particular recipe from this book but with your rec I will. Thanks for the reminder that I should revisit this book, it truly is a keeper.

    Carolyn

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    1. Page 299, Carolyn :-) Thank you, and yes, it is a classic. Happy to see you!

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  12. Pecans are not very easy to find over here..you might see them during the winter holidays. These bars look to die for, Susan.

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    1. After thinking about your comment I realized that pecans are native to the United States! I would think walnuts would would also work in this recipe. Thank you, Angie!

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  13. um gorgeous!... um napkins!... um LOVE!!!!

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  14. I love a good pecan bar. This recipe looks amazing! Nicely done!

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  15. Good idea to put the sea salt on it! I absolutely LOVE pecan bars!

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    1. I'm all about salty and sweet too. Thank you, Cathleen!

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  16. I could only make these when I have company or I would be in trouble.

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  17. I will try to find pecans but I know it will be difficult, your flowers grow beautifully, thanks for these lovely pics ! Happy 4th of July to you and your family !A warm hug from Italy

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    1. I'm sorry they are so hard to find in Europe, Chiara. Try walnuts instead. Thank you, Dear :) xo

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  18. Love the pecan bars - have to try this recipe this week. Your garden is so beautiful!! We admire your photos all the time. Have a great day Sue!

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    1. Thanks so much, A & L! It's a great of year for picnics and parties :)

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  19. Hi Susan, there is a little bakery up here that is open on Thursdays and Saturdays only and if you don't get there early she always runs out of her pecan bars. Oh I love them so, now I can make my own, they look so delicious! Your garden looks like paradise....Happy 4th to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you, Cheri! You'd love them. Happy 4th to you also!

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  20. If these Pecan Bars are one of theirs, the cookbook sounds great! I'm hoping I won't be looking for it since I have so many and just "got rid" of a bunch of them. :-) I love Colorado and good things come from there! Can't wait to try this, sweet and salty works! Happy 4th your way!

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    1. I know what you mean, Pam! I have so many but this is one I always come back to. Happy 4th to you and your family, Pam!

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  21. Oh my but these do look irresistible - and addictive. I have to save this for when guests are coming. Otherwise, I'll eat the whole batch!

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  22. Those do look wonderful. I definitely could eat more than one for a small snack. :-) Thanks for sharing the recipe. Hoping my daughter's pecan trees produce lots of pecans this year (did not last year). They are so expensive in the grocery stores.

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    1. I buy the big bags at Costco or Sam's Club but they are still expensive. I love them though! Thank you, Glenda!

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  23. Just looking at these gorgeous Pecan bars makes me hungry.
    Love the pic with the little frog, so cute.
    Susan, I'm very glad I could comment on your site because I tried several times on your previous posts but it was impossible. Have a wonderful summer!

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    1. Daniela, I'm so sorry you've been having trouble commenting? I wish I knew what the issue was. Glad you made it here at least ;) Thank you!

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  24. I can see why these would disappear in a flash, they look amazing!!

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  25. I love the Creme de Colorado book, but I have to tell you that I think someone took it from the original Silver Palate cookbook. I have been baking these since that cookbook came out. I make them with pecans and always have them at Thanksgiving instead of pecan pie. They are decadent and deadly and totally to die for! Just seeing your photos makes me wish Thanksgiving was around the corner. Well, not really! But i do wish I lived nearby so I could come steal one!

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    1. Since the cookbook is a compilation of recipes from Junior League members, you could be right. That would be sad if they did, though. We love to take them to baseball tailgate parties too :) Thanks, Abbe!

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  26. I love your napkin, so adorable! But I love your pecan bars more, they look so delicious!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jasline! I love those napkins too :)

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  27. (Really cute photos of the kids, Susan. They grow up so fast....pleased you're going to be a grandmother again! The breadsticks look divine!)
    Drooling all over the keyboard and don't these pecan bars look fabulous on top of that cute frog? Clever food styling...wish I was better at it!
    The Junior League cookbooks are gems. Do you have the cookbook from my League? Savor the Moment? It's a beaut and a lot of hard work went into it, plus a few of my recipes! I love the NYC League cookbook and the two Palo Alto League cookbooks. I've sorted though all the rest and saved recipes, but not the books. Way too many! I remember Boston had a good one, so did Grand Rapids and Ft. Lauderdale, Sunny Side Up. I've no doubt there are gems in every League cookbook AND the ones churches used to publish.
    Have a wonderful 4th...sure wish my grands lived closer, although I only have one left under the age of 23! He's 9. My other two are 23 and 33. Those years go by so quickly.

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    1. Thank you so much, Barbara! It's going to be a wonderful new year :) You are so right about the years passing too quickly. I can't believe our oldest grandsons is almost 6. It seems just like yesterday that we were holding him in our arms at the hospital. Thank you for all the recommendations on Junior League cookbooks! I do not have Savor the Moment and now I must look for it knowing that your recipes are included.

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  28. These pecan bars look spectacular! So delicious - what a great treat! Your garden photos are really lovely, too.

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    1. Thank you, Amy! They are so good - we had them again on the 4th of July :)

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  29. You bought the cute napkins :-) I would love the pecan bars!

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! I gave them as wedding shower gifts with nice cocktail napkin holders - Prince Charming :) Love them and bought some for myself too, of course.

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  30. I love these photos! Pecans are my favorite nut - so I need these asap!

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    1. They are so good, Rebecca. Dangerously good ;) Thank you!

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  32. I could eat an entire tray of these bars right now, they look sooooo delicious! As a long time member of the Junior League here in South Florida I simply adore all the different cookbooks **sigh** That's how I even started blogging was by cooking my way through our James Beard Award Winning "Savor the Moment" cookbook (a la Julie & Julia) to celebrate the books 10th anniversary. Anyhoo sorry to digress, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and I also adore your Mackenzie-Childs napkins and string of pearls serving tray - beautiful!!!

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    1. Stephanie, do you know Barbara who commented above regarding Savor the Moment? She said contributed several recipes. I know I must get that one! Thanks so much!

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  33. These are peeerrrffeeecctt. I frequently have pecan pie cravings in the "off season" and making these seems more socially acceptable than actually making a pie!

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    1. They are "all-seasons" for me, Joanne :) I get the big bags at Costco and love to snack on a few almost every afternoon. Love them! Thanks so much.

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  34. Susan, Barbara is right, Savor the Moment is an excellent League book. I have prepared many recipes from that book and it is one of my favorites. It's the League book from Boca Raton, FL and it was first published in 1999. One of my favorite recipes from that book is a Ham and Cheese Strata, placed in a spring form pan which makes for an unusual presentation and it is delicious. Another one that I love is a Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart, the crust has bacon in it. How bad can that be??? I have also made the French Toast Baked in Honey Pecan Sauce, amazing. If you come across that book it is an excellent read. Like Barbara I worked on our community League book, Thymes Remembered which is also an old book but I think unlike some is a timeless book. I hope you find the Boca Rotan book, you will enjoy it.

    Carolyn

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn! You've reaffirmed that I need that cookbook :)

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  35. So much goodness packed into one bar. I am left to wonder - is it better with coffee or tea?
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Tha you, Amalia! My vote would be after dinner with coffee - or a glass of red wine :)

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  36. You have really started an interesting discussion on League cookbooks Susan. Now I want the Colorado and the Savor the Moment books. My Favorite is Bravo!, the symphony guild cookbook from Greensboro, NC.
    I love your recipe for the pecan bars and the darling napkins (?). I thought it was a plate at first. Great styling.

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  37. It has been an interesting discussion and one that I think will cost me some money :). Thank you, Penny!

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  38. Hi Susan, your pecan bars look awesome, looking at it, its hard to stop munching. Great to go with coffee.
    Excellent and cute pictures. Great job.

    Have a nice day, regards.
    Amelia

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  39. Susan, I love all most anything with pecans, your Pecan bars look absolutely delicious, and thank you for sharing this recipe.😎

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  40. Hi Susan, my brother brought me two huge bags of pecans and I've been checking out various recipes using them..this one looks like a winner, thanks for sharing it ;)

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