A chewy brown sugar filling sandwiched by crunchy pecans and a cookie base are perfect for your tray. If you want them more like butter tarts, swap the pecans for raisins or currants.
6 tbsp (90 ml) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 ml) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
1/3 cup (85 ml) golden syrup or corn syrup
2 large eggs
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, melted
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
1 cup (250 ml) pecan halves or pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl combine the butter, sugar, flour and salt, blending with a pastry cutter or fork. If using a food processor, pulse until well-combined and crumbly. Press into the bottom of a buttered or parchment-lined 8×8-inch pan and bake for 8–10 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges.
Using the same bowl (no need to wash it), combine the brown sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the syrup, eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in the pecans.
Pour over the base and return to the oven for 25–30 minutes, until golden and bubbly around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the middle. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Makes 16 squares.
Per square: 224 calories, 11 g fat (4.3 g saturated fat, 4.8 g monounsaturated fat, 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 38 mg cholesterol, 29.4 g carbohydrate, 2.3 g protein, 0.9 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, December 2014.