When I was in school, mornings didn’t exactly look they do on TV or in the movies. There was no family gathering around the table with tall glasses of orange juice and plates with eggs and waffles and bacon. In fact Dad was already at work pretty much every single morning I went to school, and Mom often was as well.
I slept until the last possible minute and then dreaded going to school and tried pretty much everything I could every single day to get to stay home. Definitely good times.
To think about eating a real breakfast was basically torture. But Mom insisted I eat something, anything at all, lest she be the bad mom sending her child to school on an empty stomach.
So we agreed I’d eat a cookie or two with an accompanying drink or two of water. I had a plethora of cookies at home to choose from and sometimes went in phases, including those that involved pecan sandies. They were crunchy but then almost melted in my mouth. They were flavorful but also bland enough to soothe a nervous stomach. They are the bright spot in the bad memory of those mornings.
One day I will make a pecan sandie to shine in the spotlight, but for now I present something that might be even better. Pecan pie bars with no ordinary crust, but one based on that classic pecan sandie.
The genius of these bars runs deep. Pecans in the crust and filling. Thick, crunchy yet melt in your mouth crust, topped with ooey gooey filling, studded with crunchy, caramelized pecans. Look at the different textures in these bars. They are a symphony of flavors and textures that will make this holiday season even more sweet.
A classic pecan bar taken to the next level with maple, a hint of coffee, and a pecan shortbread crust.
1 cup coconut oil, room temperature
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
2 ¼ cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ¼ cups tapioca starch, ¾ cup coconut flour)
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons espresso powder
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ cups pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 325 degrees F convection. Set aside an 8 inch square pan.
In a large bowl, cream together oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the flour, salt, and pecans until the dough comes together. Press the dough in an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Make the filling. In a large bowl – the same one will work! – stir together syrup, sugar, honey, vanilla, espresso, eggs, and olive oil until fully combined. Stir in the pecans. Pour over the baked crust and bake for an additional approximately 40 minutes.
Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Serve cold or thaw in the microwave about 45 seconds.
Recipe adapted from Bake or Break
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour