Nancy’s Caramel Pecan Squares

Jerri and I both like to read and we value libraries, but she is more generous of her time than I am. That’s why she has been active on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Friday Memorial Library for the past twenty years or so. I just show up for the annual meeting to listen to the speaker and enjoy the snacks.

One time many years ago Nancy, who was an officer of the group, brought two plates piled high with some tasty dessert bars loaded with pecans and caramel. Those bars were a big hit, and we asked for the recipe. She emailed it to us, and here it is.

INGREDIENTS:

1 yellow Pillsbury Plus cake mix or equivalent
1/4 cup butter
4 cups pecan halves
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup whipping cream

PROCEDURE:

Preheat the oven to 350º.  

Put the cake mix into a large bowl.  Use a pastry blender to cut in a quarter cup of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Line a ten by fifteen-inch jelly roll pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Make a bottom crust by pressing the cake mix evenly into the bottom of the pan and top it with the pecan halves.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugars, butter and honey.  Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil for three minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the whipping cream until it is well blended.  

Pour the mixture evenly over the pecans.  Bake for seventeen to twenty-two minutes or until the entire surface is bubbly.

Cool completely and cut into bars.

NAN’S NOTES: “Be sure to line the pan with wide heavy duty foil so that you have at least a two inch overhang.  This prevents spillovers, and makes cutting and removal of the bars easier. I have used half and half instead of whipping cream.  Seems to work just fine.”

MY NOTE: These bars are very rich. One and a half-inch squares are big enough. You can always take two.