Pecan-Chocolate Squares
  • Cooking Time: 41 to 44
  • Servings: 16
  • For the cookie base:
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 ounces finely grated bittersweet chocolate (a scant 1/2 cup)
  • For the pecan topping:
  • 10 ounces pecans (3 cups), toasted
  • 1/4 pound (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  1. Make the cookie base: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Put the butter in a food processor, along with the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is well combined (about 20 pulses).
  3. Scatter the dough into a 9x9-inch baking pan and press it evenly over the bottom. (Wipe out the processor bowl but don’t bother washing it.)
  4. Bake the base until firm and lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  5. When the cookie base comes out of the oven, sprinkle the grated chocolate evenly over the top. (Don’t turn off the oven.)
  6. Set the pan aside.
  7. Make the pecan topping: As the cookie base bakes, pulse the pecans in the food processor until coarsely chopped.
  8. In a medium-size heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the dark brown sugar, honey, cream, and salt.
  9. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pecans.
  10. Pour the pecan mixture over the chocolate-sprinkled cookie base, spreading evenly. Bake until much of the filling is bubbling (not just the edges), 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.
  11. When ready to serve, cut into 16 squares.
  12. Tightly covered, these bars will keep for about five days (though they never last that long).