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Chunky Pecan Pie Bars.

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I can’t believe it’s the middle of October.
I can’t believe it’s the middle of October and I haven’t baked in weeks. Even after our annual trip to the apple orchards or being surprised with cans of pumpkin from my mom (come to think of it, combined with her slowly moving all the baking supplies from the pantry to the countertops, could be her not-so-subtle hint to get it together and make my pumpkin cookies before it’s Christmas).
This is where I say life got in the way, but honestly, I just got burnt out on baking. Especially since the last thing I made failed so miserably. And in my defense, life did happen… my dad was in the hospital for a week, I’ve been sick and generally lazy and tired, I’m still trying to convince someone, anyone, to employ me, we ran out of baking powder (and sugar… and flour.), Blogger was acting weird… you know. The usual stuff.
But I’m back. I made Brown-Eyed Baker’s chunky pecan pie bars for a recent get-together and they were a hit. I had a 300-pound bag of chocolate chips lurking in the cupboard so I used those instead of semisweet chunks. They turned out so rich and delicious that I had to cut them into bite-size pieces that mom swore tasted like fudge. Either way, they disappeared fast.

Chunky Pecan Pie Bars

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs
3/4 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F.  

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

For the crust, mix together the flour, butter, and brown sugar until crumbly. Press into the baking pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown.

For the filling, beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract with a wire whisk. Stir in the chunks and pecans. Pour evenly over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until set.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Source: Brown-Eyed Baker.

On average, two restaurants a week closed in the year to the end of March, including casual dining chains, as well as upmarket and independent establishments, according to the latest data from analysts CGA and corporate advisory firm AlixPartners. Graeme Smith, the managing director of AlixPartners, said he expected restaurant numbers to continue to drop throughout the year as large chains in particular slim down. There have already been high-profile closures by burger chain Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, the Prezzo Group and Sir Terence Conran’s Albion restaurants, but more large chains and independents are expected to suffer. “It’s easy to say this is a crisis in casual dining,” said Peter Martin at CGA. “This is a crisis happening for everyone.” Restaurants are suffering because the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has made ingredients more expensive while staff costs have risen, partly due to increases in the minimum wage. Economic uncertainty has stalled growth in the sector just as competition has increased after a surge in openings partly fuelled by private equity investment.

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