Sticky Pecan Squares
These delicious squares combine the best of two classics: shortbread and pecan pie.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Kosher, Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol, Peanut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Taste and TextureChewy, Nutty, Sweet
Type of DishDessert
- 1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (125 ml) confectioners (icing) sugar, sifted
- ½ cup (125 ml) soy margarine
- 1/3 (75 ml) cup soy margarine
- ½ cup (125 ml) packed light brown sugar
- 1½ tbsp (22 ml) soy creamer
- ¼ cup (50 ml) pure maple syrup (see Notes)
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/3 cups (325 ml) coarsely chopped pecans
- 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan, greased
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Crust: In a bowl, mix flour with sugar. Using two forks, a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press evenly into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until light golden and firm.
Topping: Meanwhile, in a pot, melt margarine over medium heat. Add brown sugar and soy creamer and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until blended and heated through. Reduce heat to low.
Add maple syrup and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add pecans, stirring until evenly coated.
Spread pecan mixture evenly over hot crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer or until topping is set and pecans are fragrant. Let cool to room temperature in pan on a rack. Cut into squares.
Chocolate lovers can add a drizzle of melted chocolate to these bars. After the bars have cooled to room temperature, melt ¼ cup (50 mL) vegan chocolate chips with 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil. Dip the tines of a fork into the mixture and drizzle threads of melted chocolate over the pecans.
Replace pecan pieces with walnut pieces to make Sticky Walnut Squares.
Although any kind of maple syrup works well in this recipe, using dark, rich Grade B or dark amber maple syrup adds extra depth and character to the caramelized pecans.
Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t stick together when you are mixing it. It will meld as it bakes.
Use a serrated knife dipped into water to cut neat squares.
2005 Maxine Effenson Chuck and Beth Gurney