Healthier Pumpkin-Pecan Bars
Elizabeth Chambers' Coconut Cupcakes + Pecan Squares
TODAY
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Rating:
3.2307692 (65 rated)

These pecan squares are absolutely delicious and buttery with just a hint of citrus. I love the nostalgia of a pecan square, how truly Texan they are and the fact that it always feels acceptable to eat more than just one.

Technique tip: Use parchment paper under the crust for pecan squares to avoid burning the sugar.

Ingredients

  • Crust

    • 2 cups almond or rice flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, heaping
    • 1½ tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
    • 3/8 cup of pumpkin purée
    • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • Filling

    • 3/4 cup of pumpkin purée
    • 1¼ cups organic honey
    • 2¾ cups light brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1 teaspoon orange zest
    • 4 cups pecans, chopped
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Preparation

For the crust:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, salt and sugar.

2. Add shortening and process until mixture is the texture of coarse sand (roughly 10 seconds).

3. Fold in the pumpkin purée, until the consistency is that of coarse crumbs.

4. Remove mixture to large bowl. Sprinkle with ice water and knead until mixture becomes a sticky dough, adding a few extra drops of water as needed to help it hold together.

5. Gather the dough into a ball, then press into a round disc. Wrap in parchment, then plastic wrap and place in a plastic storage bag. Refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to 2 days.

6. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a 13- by 18-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle (large enough to cover the bottom of the sheet pan). Carefully transfer the dough to the baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan after the first 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

1. Place pumpkin purée, honey, brown sugar and zests in a large saucepan over low heat until is melted.

2. Chop pecans and spread evenly over a pre-baked 1/2 sheet crust.

3. Slowly whisk the heavy cream into the pumpkin mixture over high heat until temperature reaches 240°F.

4. Immediately pour pumpkin puree mixture over pecans in the crust.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan after the first 15 minutes.

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Pecan-pumpkin bars, coconut cupcakes: Guilt-free Southern desserts

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