1 cup pecans
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup dark or light corn syrup
1 tablespoon cream (can use half-and-half, or a light or heavy cream)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 tablespoon rum or bourbon)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square baking pan with foil. Then butter the foil, or spray with a non stick cooking spray.
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then coarsely chop.
Shortbread Crust: Place the butter in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), and beat until smooth. Add the brown sugar and beat until combined. Add the flour and salt and beat until you have coarse crumbs (not a solid ball of dough). Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 13-15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
Pecan Filling: In a large bowl, whisk or beat the eggs until foamy. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, flour, salt, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Pour over the baked crust and then sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the filling has set. Let cool in the pan and then cut into squares (bars). Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen.
Makes about 25 Pecan Squares (Bars).