This bar is a wonderful marriage of gooeychewy caramel, pecans and milk chocolate atop a shortbread crust.The secret is toasting the pecans on the crust before addingthe caramel topping.
Recipe: Turtle Bars
12 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups pecan halves Topping: 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 1 cup milk chocolate chips or 6 ounces milk chocolate,chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a 13 x 9x 2-inch pan over the bottom and sides with heavy-duty aluminumfoil.
To make the crust: cut the butter intochunks and melt it in a large saucepan over medium heat. Removefrom the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add theflour and mix just until incorporated. Press the dough evenlyover the bottom of the pan. Scatter the pecans over the dough.
Bake until the pecans are lightly toasted,10 to 12 minutes. Set the pan aside but leave the oven on whilemaking the topping.
To make the topping: combine the butterand brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boilover medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute (mixturemay look curdled). Pour the hot butter mixture over the pecanson the crust.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until thetopping is dark and bubbling vigorously. Remove the pan fromthe oven and scatter the chocolate chips or chopped chocolateevenly over the top. (Or melt and drizzle the chocolate decorativelyover the bars after they have cooled.) Cool the bars in the panon a rack. Run a slim knife along the unlined sides of the pan.Lift the ends of the foil liner and transfer to a cutting board.Use a long sharp knife to cut into 24 bars. May be stored, airtight,for at least 1 week.
Makes 24 bars.
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