Honey Pecan Squares
This is a rich and easy recipe given to me by Jayne Sutton of Darien, Connecticut. I’m proud to say that Jayne has been coming to my classes for more than 20 years, recently bringing her daughter Leslie, too.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Equipmentbaking/gratin dish, food processor
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturechewy, nutty, rich, sweet
Type of Dishcookie
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter
- 2 large eggs
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3 tablespoons dark honey
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups pecan halves or a mixture of halves and pieces
- One 9 × 13 × 2-inch pan, buttered and lined with buttered parchment or foil
For the dough, combine the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Cut the butter into about sixteen pieces and add to the work bowl. Continue pulsing until the butter is finely worked into the dough and the mixture is a fine powder again. Add the eggs; continue pulsing until the dough forms a ball.
Place the dough on a floured surface. Roll into a roughly 9 × 13-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in half (to make it easier to handle) and transfer it to the prepared pan. Unfold the dough and press it out evenly over the bottom of the pan. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it if necessary. With your fingertips, press the dough about an inch up the sides of the pan all the way around. Chill the dough while you prepare the filling.
Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
For the filling, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally with a metal spoon. Pour in the cream and allow the mixture to boil up once. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then pour over the chilled crust. With the point of a spoon, spread the pecans evenly over the dough. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is baked through and the filling is bubbling.
Place on a rack until completely cooled.
Transfer the pastry to a cutting board and slide a long knife or spatula under it to loosen the paper or foil, then pull it away. Trim the edges, use a ruler to mark, then cut the pastry into 2-inch squares.
For up to several days, store the squares in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover. Freeze for longer storage.
2000 Nick Malgieri