February 22, 2010

Recipe: Pecan Squares

These decadent bars are like pecan pie, but better. Here's why I find them superior (for full disclosure, you might like pie and bars an equal amount):

1. Thick crust. And not just any crust -- shortbread crust.
2. A cohesive top layer that mixes pecan pieces with just enough sweet, gooeyness. This replaces an overabundance of gooey junk that so stubbornly divides the layers of pecan pie.
3. Toffee flavor. That's right, you mix almond brickle bits, which are pretty much small toffee pieces, in the gooey layer, and it complements the pecan taste perfectly.
4. Straightforward bake time. 40 minutes and it's done. Generally no guesswork regarding if it's set is required.
5. Portability. Bars are just so easy to cut up, package in containers, travel, and pick up with your fingers. They might be a little bit sticky but not too much so.

These bars have made regular appearances at family gatherings since my dad got the recipe from a lady at his church several years ago, and the oos and ahs I got at the party where I last served them reminded me of just how tasty they are.

Pecan Squares

2 cups flour

½ cup powdered sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 sticks butter

14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

7.5 oz. almond brickle chips

1 cup chopped pecans

Combine first 3 ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press mixture into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool and cut into squares. 


  1. I love pecan pie...these look much easier!

  2. Hi Madoline! First of all, I love your blog; you have so many great cooking ideas, and I'm always inspired after reading a post. I made the Pecan Squares for my guy the other night, and they were a huge, huge, huge hit (not to mention, super easy!). Keep up the good work. Hope all is well down South.

  3. Madoline,

    I made these for Thanksgiving because I couldn't bear to make another pie crust and was desperately seeking an alternative, and people loved them! Thank you!



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