Pecan Pie Bars Two Ways

Serves 1 pie

ingredients


For press-in shortbread crust:
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bourbon fillings:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup light brown sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups toasted pecan halves
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

instructions


  1. Make press-in crust. Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with the sugars at medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer at low speed, beat in the flour and salt.
  2. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on the 2 long sides. Transfer the dough to the pan and press it over the bottom and 1 1/4 inches up the side all around. (You can cover the dough with plastic wrap and press with the bottom of a measuring cup.) Be sure the corners are not too thick. Use your fingers to press a “wall” into the center to divide the two flavors, then refrigerate until firm.
  3. Bake the crust for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Halfway through baking, use the back of a spoon to smooth the sides and corners of the crust, and use your fingers to reform the “wall” if it’s fallen a bit. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool before filling.
  4. Make the "master" filling. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the corn syrup and brown sugar, then whisk in the eggs until thoroughly blended. Whisk in the vanilla extract and salt.
  5. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of prebaked crust. Pour half of filling into one side of crust.
  6. To the remainder of the filling in the saucepan, add bourbon and cinnamon, and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the remaining filling into the other side of the crust and sprinkle chocolate chips over, then bake for about 35 minutes until the filling is set. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely. Cut into bars and serve.