Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars
From the kitchen of Dylan Dam, Associate Attorney
Did you know that Associate Attorney Dylan Dam is an accomplished cook? "I love to bake, thanks to growing up in a 4-H household and plenty of time watching The Great British Baking Show," he explained, "and fall is the perfect time for it."
Though Dylan found this recipe just last year, he could tell right away that it would become a mainstay in his fall baking repertoire. "Pecan pie has always been a favorite of mine, and these are an easy twist on that classic," he said.
Show up to Thanksgiving dinner with these tasty treats in hand and watch yourself elevated to favorite relative status!
Brown Butter Crust
1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pecan Pie Topping
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with parchment paper leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out. Set aside.
For the crust: Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5 to 8 minutes, the butter will begin browning – you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat immediately and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir the brown butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour until evenly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
For the topping: Combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. As it is boiling, carefully spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture into a glass measuring cup. Slowly drizzle it into the beaten eggs. Stir frequently to keep it moving so the eggs do not scramble. Once the 1/2 cup mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pot. The trick is to always be stirring/whisking to avoid scrambling the eggs. Remove from heat, stir in the pecans, and pour evenly over the crust.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. If the top is getting too brown as it bakes, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven, set on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Cover and store leftover bars at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.