So rich! So delicious! If you’re a fan of butter pecan ice cream and pecan turtles, you’ll probably love these easy to make praline bars.
This is another holiday treat from my childhood. I love the crispy shortbread crust topped with a layer of toffee and pecans. The chocolate on top is a bonus! They’re loaded with butter and are incredibly rich tasting. A single batch makes roughly 3 dozen pieces.
The Spanish love nuts. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts are the most common. Pecans are a rarity and apart from the ones used to make my praline bars, I’ve only come across them one other time. This batch came from the United States and I spent some time picking the nut meats. I needed about a cup and a half for the bars. I’ve frozen the rest to use in other recipes.
Pecans have a distinct flavor that stands up to the sugar and butter used to make the praline bars. If you can’t find them in your area, walnuts would be a good substitute.
There’s a little story behind this batch of praline bars. As mentioned, these were a holiday treat when I was a child. Somehow my mother’s recipe was lost after she died and in the years since I’ve tried quite a few recipes. For whatever reason, they just weren’t quite the same. Mom’s had a distinct shortbread crust with more of a toffee like rather than a caramel layer. She kept them in a cookie tin in the fridge and they lasted well into the New Year.
This recipe, from Food dot com, comes the closest to duplicating the praline bars of my memory. My finished batch has a thicker crust as I don’t have the 13 x 9 inch baking dish required, but no one complained. In fact, I still have a few bars tucked away in the fridge for midnight snacking.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 cup butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 - 2 large handfuls chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Measure the crust ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. It will have a sandy texture.
- Press the crust into the bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking dish and arrange the pecans on top. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and brown sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Let the butter melt and start to boil. Stir constantly for 2 - 3 minutes. Carefully pour over the crust and spread with a heat proof spatula.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over top and let them melt before spreading them out.
- Cut into small pieces.
I increased the amount of caramel as the original amount didn’t cover my bars. A couple of the commenters on food dot com mentioned baking the crust for 10 minutes before adding the caramel layer. I didn’t bother and while my bars were a little crumbly, I attributed it to not using the right size baking dish. Storing the in the fridge seems to help. Plus, they’re really good cold…
I may have to use walnuts, but I’ll experiment to figure out the best amount of crust for the baking dish I used. Finally, I used more pecans and chocolate chips than called for. What can I say? I like them.Praline Bars so good you won't want to share...but you should because everyone will love them!Click To Tweet