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Beer & Bacon Pecan Bars

 

 

Clearly, I’m ready for fall. And in Los Angeles, that just means that Dodgers games are starting to end and I get to wear a light sweater. If I feel like it. Oh, and fall produce. If I haven’t mentioned to you before my favorite part of living in Southern California, its this: Farmers Markets.

This Golden State that I live in grows half of all the produce grown in the United States (that’s a lot) and we get to have Farmers Markets nearly every day of the year. And although mid-rant I realize that this post doesn’t even contain any produce, it does contain those fabulous flavors of fall. With bacon. And beer. And fall farmers markets are my favorite. No matter what day of the week, somewhere in Los Angeles there is a Farmers Market in which I can unnecessarily bundle up and walk from stall to stall with a cup of coffee buying local vegetables in the "chilly" mid 60 degree weather.

Pecan pie will always remind me of fall and for nearly a year I’ve wondered what it would be like to add bacon. And of course, beer.

Turns out, these are the best damn pecan pie bars I’ve ever had.

 

Beer & Bacon Pecan Bars

Ingredients

    For The Crust:
  • 1 stick plus 2 tbs (10 tbs) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs water
  • For the Filling
  • 1 cup stout
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups chopped pecan
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a food processor add the flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and salt, pulse to combine. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the food processor. Process until butter is incorporated into the flour mixture. Add the water and process to combine. Add additional water, 1 tsp at a time if there is flour that still hasn't been dampened.
  3. line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper (this will make it easier to remove from the pan) and dump the shortbread into the pan. Press into the bottom of the baking pan in one even layer.
  4. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes of until a light golden brown. Allow to cool before adding the filling or the crust and filling will mesh together.
  5. In a pot over medium high heat, add the stout, cook until reduced by half. Add the butter and stir until melted, remove from heat. Add the sugar, pecans, cream, corn syrup and stir until melted. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the eggs and stir until combined.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust, sprinkle with cooked bacon and bake at 350 until the filling no longer jiggles when you gently shake the pan, about 25-30 minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-bacon-pecan-bars/

 

 

 

 

 

Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Bars with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Crust

Peanut butter was named one of the Top 5 Foods That Should Have A Place Your Diet by CNN.

Whoever wrote that probably wouldn’t have wanted you to mix it with butter and sugar, but regardless of the increased amount of calories and fat, you can still feel good about giving yourself a healthy dose of antioxidants. And eating a Super Food that has protein and fiber,  lowers cholesterol and your risk of heat disease.

Because, like I told you at the beginning of the year, I’m trying to seek a balance in my life. If I am going to have a fabulously delicious dessert, I also want it to have some good stuff in it too.

I have also decided to cut food dyes out of my diet all together by the end of the year. Because, unlike peanut butter, they have zero benefits, lots of risks and are known carcinogens. I’ll write more about that later once I’ve figured out how to conconct an all natural red food dye.

I don’t want to be perfect, I just want to find a balance in my life. Peanut butter caramel bars are a great balance, giving you a dose of healthy goodness with an incredible dessert. But don’t misunderstand me, this is in no way a diet food. They are high in calories and a treat that you should enjoy every once in a while, but at least you have the peace of mind that there are also health benefits.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread:

For the shortbread crust:

¾ cup Brown Sugar

1 sticks of Butter

½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp Salt

2 cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 ½ cups Dark Chocolate Chips

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup heavy cream

¼ cup Creamy Peanut Butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1 stick of butter

½ tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp course sea salt

Line the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to go up and over the edges of the pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat on high until well combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder, stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until mixed well with the butter mixture, scraping the bottom of the bowl occasionally. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Press the shortbread into the bottom of the baking dish in one even layer. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges have turned a golden brown and have started to look dry. Allow to chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

In a pot over medium high heat, add the peanut butter and the cream. Stir continuously until the peanut butter has melted and is well combined with the cream. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and set aside.

In a separate pot over medium high heat, combine the sugar, & corn syrup. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to boil, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 230 degrees, about 5 minutes. While the caramel is cooking, do not stir, but swirl the pan every 30 seconds to redistribute the caramel sauce evenly. Once 230 degrees is reached, add the butter, stirring to allow it to distribute and melt, then remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter cream, adding slowly as it will bubble up furiously.

Pour the caramel over the shortbread and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until set. Sprinkle the top with the sea salt. Remove from pan using the parchment paper and cut into squares. 

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