This dessert was honestly a derivative out of sheer panic. See we were invited to a party that was dressy and where we really didn’t know anyone but the hosts. Now we (okay me) were on the fence about going as up to the morning of the party work had been an absolute nightmare. Mandatory overtime (which is fine) but that meant unusually long days then add on top TKW stuff, sleep was at a bare minimum and come Saturday afternoon I was completely run down. I wanted nothing more than to wash my face, pull my hair up in a pony tail, put on my Princess jammies (yes I have these) and go full on zombie-mode – meaning just be dead to the world. I didn’t want to think, cook or heck, I didn’t even want to wear pants to be honest. LOL
yes, there’s a but *sigh* Mr. Fantabulous really wanted to go. Fortunately I had gone to Kohl’s the week before (thank you 30% off code) and bought some new clothes but unfortunately I had nothing made to take to the party. I can’t go empty handed. No really, I can’t. I would feel so guilty, especially the first time being at someone’s house you know. So I went to the kitchen in a state of panic looking for something to make that wasn’t anything non-fancy. LOL I mean you want to impress – my thought process is if they love my food, they’ll invite us back. Right? LOL So I went through cupboards, cookbooks, freezers and it wasn’t until I saw 2 single pecan pies I had wrapped up did it dawn on me to make pecan pie bars. Now normally bar cookies aren’t that fancy but these were not your ordinary bar cookies. My chocolate pecan bars are extremely rich and decadent. We’re talking when you cut these, cut them no bigger than say 1″x1″. They are THAT rich. It’s like that most amazing truffle that is just a few bites. Anything more and it’s too much but just a few bites and it’s sheer perfection. Well that’s these!
So I rolled up my Princess jammies and got to making these. God only knows where I got the energy to make these let alone stand but I didn’t want to disappoint my hubby. Now if I said that I really didn’t want to go he would totally understood. And I would have even said for him to go alone but I still would have had to make these. I would never EVER let him go alone either. What’s funny is while I was in the middle of making these he came out and said “Why aren’t you in bed? You look exhausted?” I looked up at him, cocoa on my face and chocolate on my hand and said “Um, these are for the party tonight. I can stop making these and you can just grab something from the grocery store to take if you wish.” The like of *GASP* was priceless on his face to which he said “Can I help you then?” LOL My baby took pity on me. Gotta love it.
In the end I’m glad we went to the party. I met some really cool people which seemed to perk up my energy. Or it could have been the fact that there was so much food I was too busy sampling everything. LOL Like most Pittsburgh gatherings there is a main food table and a dessert table where often the dessert table is bigger than the food one. This one they were pretty equal in size. So I made some room and set mine down.
Now it’s funny when a new food arrives to a party. You could be beyond stuffed but as soon as you see something new *magically* you have more room in your tummy to try. LOL We all do it. I mean heck, why do you think buffet-style restaurants are just so successful?! Within minutes people were coming up and sampling it. Since I didn’t know these people I made a little card that I stuck in one of them that stood up saying what they were. Plus I do my very best to be sensitive to those with food allergies and considering these were chocked full of nuts I didn’t want anyone taking any chances.
Then I swear as soon as someone tasted one, the word spread like gossip in Hollywood and I swear every person at the party was at the dessert table taking these bars. I just stood there quietly and watched, partly because I am actually really shy when I know virtually no one (yeah I know, who’d have thought that!) and also, I wanted to get unbiased reactions. Everyone starting raving over them asking who brought them. I, then, introduced myself and started talking about the bars and rather quickly my shyness went away. I was talking about food so I was in a comfort zone I guess you could say.
So if you’re looking for a really rich and decadent dessert, then definitely go with these bars. They are definitely a crowd pleaser!Print
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cold and cut into small pieces
- 2–3 Tbl heavy cream
Chocolate Pecan Layer
- 1 3/4 cups pecans, whole
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pie Filling Layer
- 8 Tbl butter (1 stick), unsalted
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack in the middle.
- Line a 9×9” glass baking dish with parchment paper and then spray. Make sure to leave a 1” overhang to help lift out.
- In the bowl of a food processor, make the crust by pulsing the flour, cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and salt.
- Add the butter and run the processor for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the cream and process until the dough comes together. It will be like a slightly wet shortbread dough. If the dough is not wet add a Tbl or so more cream. You want it to be wet and sandy but will hold a shape when you compress it.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place into the pan.
- Use the back of a measuring cup to press the dough down in. You want it compressed and compact.
- Next add the pecans on top of the crust.
- On top of that sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly.
- Next make the pie filling by placing the butter, sugar, cream, vanilla bean paste and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
- Whisk until smooth and melted. It should be creamy.
- Pour the pie filling over the top of the pecans and chocolate.
- Bake 25 minutes and then place on a cooling rack for at least an hour.
- When the pan is cool to the touch, place uncovered in the fridge for1-3 hours or until chilled.
- Remove from the fridge and cut into 1×1” pieces.