Maple & Pecan Bars

Maple & Pecan Bars C

I can’t enough of the flavour of maple syrup, sweet and rich and just plain tasty. I can’t do maple and bacon though – no, no, no. Maple and pecan however, now we’re talking. These bars are great for packed lunches, picnic lunches and ‘snacks-before-lunch’es because they are easy to make, not very fragile and keep well too. Try adding 30g chopped pecans to the shortbread topping (at the stage before pressing into a ball) for even more nuttiness!

Maple & Pecan Bars

Makes 12 bars

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Ingredients

for the shortbread

  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 25g chopped pecans (optional)

for the filling

  • 200g pecans
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 100g maple syrup
  • 50g unsalted butter

Method
Make the shortbread: preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4, grease a 20cm square tin and line with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl (or a food processor), combine the flour with the sugar then rub in the butter so the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip 350g of the mixture into the prepared tin spread evenly then press down firmly; gently prick all over with a fork. Mix the chopped pecans into the remaining shortbread mixture (if using), then press together into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill.

Make the filling: place the pecans, sugar, maple syrup and butter in a food processor and blend until even. Carefully spread the mixture evenly over the prepared shortbread base using the back of a metal spoon. Crumble the pecan shortbread mixture over the filling and carefully press down.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes until the shortbread is golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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