Martha's Pecan Bars
- Yield: Makes about 3 dozen
Photography: Bryan Gardner
For the Crust
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the pan
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with melted butter. Line with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on all sides. Butter parchment; set aside.
Make crust: Place butter and brown sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in salt. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until dough begins to come together in large clumps.
Press dough about 1/4-inch thick into prepared pan. Pierce the dough with a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
Make filling: Place ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; pour filling into the cooled crust.
Bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a paring knife around edges of the pan and invert onto cooling rack. Invert again onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-by-3-inch bars. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.