I adore pie, but sometimes I find a whole slice, even a sliver, can just be too much after a rich meal. That’s one of the reasons I love to experiment with squares; they offer a great alternative to larger portions of dessert while providing the same sweet finish. Squares are also a great option for those who feel intimidated at the thought of making pastry. This recipe features a nutty shortbread crust topped with a deliciously gooey layer; the bourbon in the filling adds a slightly unique but not overpowering flavour. They can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month.
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
- 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (can substitute with 2 teaspoons vanilla)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Make crust by combining flour, butter and sugar in a large bowl (a stand mixer is great for this, if you have one).
- Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Scrape down sides a few times as needed.
- Stir in 1/3 cup chopped pecans.
- Press crust mixture evenly onto bottom of parchment-lined 13×9-inch baking pan.
- Place in centre of preheated oven and bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven but don’t turn oven off.
- While crust is baking, make filling by combine corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, flour, salt and bourbon in a large bowl (can do this by hand or using a stand or electric mixer). Stir in pecans.
- Once crust has completed its partial baking, spread filling evenly over crust.
- Bake an additional 25 – 30 minutes or until filling is set (jiggle pan to check).
- Let cool on a wire rack and cut into squares.