It is time to try a few new different fall desserts.  You know Thanksgiving is around the corner and i wanted to try something new, I came across these Pecan Shortbread Squares and they are fantastic.  If you’re a fan of Pecan Pie you will love these.  The bottom is a buttery shortbread crust and the top is a rich caramel-pecan topping.  This would be a great alternative to Pecan Pie but it also just a delicious every day treat.

The other great thing is that these are very easy to make, i always enjoy easy.

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Pecan Shortbread Squares

Yield: 16 2-inch squares

Prep Time: 40

Cook Time: 20

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Crust
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Filling
12 tbsp (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of Salt
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
3 cups coarsely chopped pecans (or 1 cup of different nuts, pecans, walnuts and peanuts)

Directions:

To make the crust adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a 9-inch square baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Push foil neatly into corners and up sides of the pan, using two pieces if necessary to ensure it overlaps all edges (the overhang will help removal from pan). Spray foiled pan with nonstick cooking spray or use butter.

Place the flour, corn starch, confectioners sugar and salt in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size clumps of butter within. Dump mixture into prepared pan and press firmly with your fingers or a measuring cup into an even layer over the bottom. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake until crust is set but not browned, about 20 minutes. Set on rack to cool. Leave oven on.

To make the filling use a heavy medium saucepan and over medium-low heat, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil gently for 3 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and chopped pecans.

To assemble pour pecan mixture over crust (it's fine if crust is still warm). Bake until filling is bubbling and caramel in color, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on rack. To cut, use the foil overhang to lift baked square out of pan and onto cutting board. Loosen the foil from the edges, then cut with a sharp knife into 2-inch squares. Store finished pecan squares in air-tight container and serve at room temperature.

Adapted from:  Once Upon a Chef

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