Have you ever eaten a slice of pecan pie? It’s like eating a little slice of heaven, isn’t it? How about a pecan pie bar? Still, heaven. If you’re the type who loves baking and trying new recipes then I have just the recipe for you. The Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars. That’s right. The best. Ever.
What would a pecan pie bar be without the pecans? These delicious little nuts are a species of hickory native to Mexico and southcentral/southeastern regions of the United States. The word pecan is derived from an Algonquian word meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack it. It’s not surprising that the Algonquian knew about pecans. They’re a natural choice for pre-agricultural society, providing up to five times more calories per unit weight than wild game and as a wild forage, the fruits of the previous growing season are usually still edible when found on the ground. Before European settlement in North America, pecans were widely consumed and traded by Native Americans and only became known to Europeans in the 16th century when Spanish explorers came to what are now Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. The Spanish explorers called the pecan “nuez de la arruga”, which translates roughly to “wrinkle nut”, for their resemblance to wrinkles. Because of this late discovery, pecans are one of the most recently domesticated crops and commercial growing didn’t begin until the 1880's. Writings about the tree and the nut it bears goes back to the nation’s founders. Thomas Jefferson planted pecan trees in his nut orchard at his homestead, and passed on the seeds to George Washington which he then planted at Mount Vernon, his Virginia home. The U.S. now produces roughly 95% of the world’s pecans.
So, a big thank-you to the U.S. for domesticating and cultivating this wonderful little wrinkly nut (and a special shout-out to Alabama for inventing pecan pie some time between 1886 and 1940 – for, without it, we would not have a delicious recipe for pecan pie bars).
This pecan pie bar recipe has been lovingly created and generously shared by The Slow Roasted Italian, a blog packed full of food, travel and cocktail advice, written from the creative minds of Chad and Donna Elick. Chad and Donna claim that this recipe is for the best ever pecan pie bars, and that it is a favorite within their family. With love, from their kitchen to yours (and mine), we can all make these delicious bars. The recipe is simple and easy to follow. Pick up some heavy cream, unsalted butter and corn syrup the next time you’re at the grocer – you likely already have all of the other necessary ingredients to make the best pecan pie bars ever. The final step, before devouring these bars of course, is to wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool… if you can wait that long. These do need time to set, otherwise they’ll be too “ooey gooey” to eat without a big mess on your hands… but then, is that such a bad thing?