Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Decadent Pecan Squares Your Family Will Love

A Perfect Shortbread and Gooey Pecan Filling Square 

Pecan pie has long been a holiday favorite with my family.  It's one of those desserts I reserve only for the holidays because it is so rich and calorie intense.  In my opinion, it is decadence that makes a perfect holiday treat.  I've been looking for desserts lately that are easily served in smaller portions after noticing the family prefers bites of goodies rather than whole slices of pies or cakes. Wanting to keep the essence of pecan pie on our menu I thought a pecan square might make a great substitution.  After searching for recipes I settled on Ina Garten's pecan squares.  These pecan squares will be a tasty bite for any holiday table.

Pecan squares are perfect small bites for dessert.
Pecan Squares
When you first read this pecan square recipe you are apt to be horrified!  2-1/4 cups of butter, 3-3/4 cups of sugar, 2 cups of she kidding?  I nearly choked.  I thought long and hard about attempting this recipe. The list of ingredients conjures up visions of a heart attack waiting to happen and the recipe is expensive to make.  On the other hand, I was making these pecan squares for a holiday celebration and Ina Garten recipes rarely disappoint.
Decadent pecan squares.

Use the links below to connect to the pecan square recipe and video.

Pecan squares and truffles
Pecan Squares and Oreo Truffles
Get the Pecan Square recipe
View video of Ina Garten making the pecan squares

I followed the recipe exactly as written and my squares came out perfectly.  There was quite a bit of complaining in the comments.  Here are some tips to ensure your success.

Tips for Baking Pecan Squares

  • Plan to bake your squares at least a day in advance of serving. You'll want these squares to fully cool and set before cutting. Chilling overnight in the refrigerator is helpful.
  • Use a rimmed half-sheet pan.  Other size pans will not be right for this recipe.  The amount of pecan filling is generous.
  • Line your sheet pan completely with foil.  Grease the foil. Keep the foil nice and smooth.  I had a couple of spots where the foil stuck to the squares, so take your time with this.  The foil can be hard to get off.
  • Bake the squares on the center rack of your oven. Cover the bottom rack with foil in case the squares bubble over.  It will burn and make a mess that you'll have trouble cleaning up without the foil.  My filling did not make a mess.
  • Cut your squares into small servings, about 1-1/2" square or 1" x 2" rectangles.  Any larger is just too much.
  • Do drizzle with chocolate to make the squares extra special.
  • These squares freeze beautifully so feel free to make them now and serve them later.

Make the Chocolate Drizzle

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp Crisco shortening
Melt the chocolate and shortening together in a double boiler or your microwave. When using the microwave. Heat the chocolate and shortening for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring in between.  Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, drizzle the chocolate over the squares.  Allow to cool completely before serving.
Decadent pecan squares
Chocolate Topped Pecan Squares

Don't be afraid to make these pecan squares. They'll be a welcome addition to your dessert table for holidays or any special occasion throughout the year.

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  1. Yes please!! These sound like heaven and thanks for all the baking tips! I wonder if this recipe would work in a 9x13 dish with parchment instead of foil? Thanks Donna!

    1. Hi, Jenna. No, I wouldn't bake these in a 13x9" pan unless you cut the ingredients. You'll find these to be very generous squares. You'll have more than enough batter for the 13x9" pan if you follow the recipe as stated.

  2. Could you use non stick foil and not grease it? Also, what dimensions are in a 1/2 sheet pan?
    This sounnds really good - Im ansious to try. Thank you

    1. A half sheet pan is typically 18x13x1-1/2 inches in size. I have never used the non-stick foil product, so I don't know about using it in place of the greased, standard aluminum foil.

  3. Ooooh! I can taste these already!
    Rich and delicious 😋

  4. Looks so delicious! Thank you so much for joining the party at Dishing It & Digging It! Hope to see you back again this week :)


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