I’m sitting here on my final morning in Tulsa, where I am visiting my in-laws, enjoying a cup of coffee with the last homemade pecan bar. Usually, I leave the pecan bar-making up to my mom, which requires us to await a care package that is immediately hidden from the kids. But, time spent in Tulsa over Thanksgiving has netted me a tasty cache of pecans picked fresh from my mother-in-laws house. Earlier in the week, we spent an afternoon with the kids grabbing pecans that had fallen from the tree, then cracking them open to enjoy. After about the 15th pecan enjoyed in this manner, my mind wandered to the pecan bars my mother made. And then, I began to think about how delicious they taste in the morning alongside a great cup of coffee. My mother-in-law must have read my mind, as she slipped several bags of pecans from her tree into my arms as we left that day.
I made a few batches of this recipe while in Oklahoma, sharing their the extended family. This morning I savor the last of them . . . but will definitely pack up a year’s supply of shelled pecans for our enjoyment throughout the year.
If you are brewing at home, this relatively quick (and easy) recipe is great to have on hand as you enjoy your first cup of the day. Oh, and it’s pretty delicious when topped with vanilla ice cream . . . but, we suggest waiting until the afternoon for ice cream.
- 2 cups flour
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
- 1 egg
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
FOR THE TOPPING:
- ¾ cup butter
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 5 Tablespoons whipping cream
- 4 cups pecan halves
For the crust, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and lemon rind and blend with a fork until the mixture just holds together.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. With floured fingertips, press into an even layer. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Bake the pastry crust for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, but keep the oven on while making the topping.
Melt the butter, honey and both sugars. Bring to a boil. Boil, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
When cool, run a knife around the edge. Invert onto a baking sheet, place another sheet on top and invert again. Dip a sharp knife into very hot water and cut into squares for serving.