These Pecan Pie Chocolate Brownie Bourbon Bars are a homemade version of one of the best things I ate on my honeymoon! And possibly ever…
When we were in Brooklyn, I made a special trip (on the bus) to Baked in Red Hook just to try their delicious cakes! The journey was a little fraught with difficulty, including waiting on the wrong side of the street for the bus for about twenty minutes, and then getting on a bus that was going the wrong way (amazingly, this one wasn’t my fault – the driver didn’t realise the destination information was incorrect – I realised what was happening and a brooklynite actually thanked me and said she had no idea what was happening!).
But! I got there in the end, and the trip to Baked was oh so worth it! I sampled a Chocolate Cloud cookie, a Chocolate Caramel Shortbread and a Bourbon Pecan Pie Chocolate Bar. Oh my goodness, it was immense. Thick, tall, chewy enough to give your jaw a workout, but soo satisfying. Crunchy pecans, rich chocolate on a shortbread base, and that bourbon kick. I knew I had to recreate it at home.
I found a recipe for pecan pie bars online, but the other chocolate component they had was a thin layer of melted chocolate. I wanted something dense, chocolatey and really indulgent, so I made that into a layer of chocolate brownie! So instead of a simple layer of melted chocolate on top of the shortbread base, I added a layer of bourbon-spiked chocolate brownie batter before topping that with the bourbon-spiked butter pecan mixture. The resulting bars are dense, rich, and chocolatey with a crisp, delicious base, topped with gooey brownie and then a crunch rich pecan layer that becomes almost caramel like in the oven. Oh, and the bourbon? It gives you that alchoholic warmth that comes through after you get the sugary, nuttyness.
Although there are three steps to making these bars, don’t be put off – although, like chocolate caramel shortbread, they’ll come together over the best part of an evening, the time that you’ll actually need to be actively involved is short. And the results? They’re so impressive and oh so worth it!
If you’re ever in Brooklyn, you HAVE to try one of these (and everything else from Baked). You can even get it as a full size chocolate pecan bourbon pie!
- 280g / 2 cups plain flour
- 90g / 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 170g / a stick and a half unsalted butter
- 150g butter
- 150g dark chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 200g light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 110g plain flour
- pinch salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3 tbsp bourbon
- 6 tbsp butter
- large pinch salt
- 200g pecans, toasted and barely chopped
- Let's make the base! Preheat your oven to 160C/gas mark 4/350F and prepare a 9 inch by 9 inch brownie pan by greasing it with butter or baking spray.
- Warm your butter in a medium sized mixing bowl until it's very soft, but not melted. Sift in the icing sugar and mix until the sugar is dissolved into the butter. Add the flour until you have a crumbly dough and tip it out into your pan. Spread it out into a thin layer with the back of a spoon, spatula or your fingers and then pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it's turning golden brown. Leave to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the brownie layer! In a large non-stick saucepan, or the microwave, gently melt the butter and chocolate together until liquid. Make sure the mixture isn't too hot (warm/tepid is fine) and then crack in the eggs and beat together with the brown sugar and the vanilla bean paste. Add the flour, stirring gently until incorporated, and then start adding the bourbon to taste... and taste... and taste! Yum! Pour the brownie mix onto the cooled base layer and set aside.
- To make the pecan pie layer, warm the butter in a large bowl in the microwave until it's almost melted, and then stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs. Stir in the pecans and salt, and then add bourbon to taste. Spread gently over the brownie layer, and then bake the whole thing for another 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool overnight before cutting into squares (or triangles)!.