Caramel Pecan Bars

These deluxe bars are impressive and come together relatively quickly. I’m noticing a trend between awesome desserts and brown rice syrup. These bars would be an excellent offering at a holiday party. They are at their best alongside vanilla ice cream, but certainly aren’t lacking without it. If you own some coarse gourmet salt, that would be delicious sprinkled lightly on top. These are pretty decadent, so unless you’re headed to a party I recommend halving this recipe and using an 8×8″ pan instead.

Crust:
2 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
large pinch salt
3/4 C butter

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except butter. Then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or a fork, until the mix resembles small crumbs. Pour crumbs into a well-greased foil-lined 9×13″ and bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes, until firm and just slightly browned. Remove pan from oven and set aside…filling time!

Filling:
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 C nondairy milk
1 1/2 C brown sugar
2/3 C brown rice syrup
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 C coarsely chopped pecans

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and milk until foamy. Add in all else except pecan and mix well. Fold in the pecans and pour the mixture over the pre-baked crust. Use a spatula to spread it evenly. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the filling is rapidly bubbling. Let the entire pan cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight, to set. Slice the bars only when they are completely cooled by removing them in their foil lining, and cut with a heavy knife on a cutting board.

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