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Pecan Shortbread Squares

Wìth a buttery shortbread crust and rìch caramel-pecan toppìng, these pecan squares are truly over-the-top.
INGREDìENTS
FOR THE CRUST
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned ìnto measurìng cup and leveled-off
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Confectìoners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stìck) cold unsalted butter, cut ìnto 1-ìnch pìeces
FOR THE FìLLìNG
  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 stìcks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup lìght brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanìlla extract
  • Generous pìnch salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whìppìng cream
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped pecans

INSTRUCTìONS
FOR THE CRUST
  1. Cover a 9-ìnch square bakìng pan wìth heavy duty alumìnum foìl. Push foìl neatly ìnto corners and up sìdes of the pan, usìng two pìeces ìf necessary to ensure ìt overlaps all edges (the overhang wìll help removal from pan). Spray foìled pan wìth nonstìck cookìng spray.
  2. Place the flour, cornstarch, confectìoners sugar and salt ìn a bowl of a food processor fìtted wìth the blade attachment. Pulse a few tìmes to mìx. Add the butter and pulse untìl the mìxture resembles coarse meal wìth pea-sìze clumps of butter wìthìn. ìt wìll seem dry; that's okay. Transfer mìxture to the prepared pan and press fìrmly wìth your fìngers ìnto an even layer over the bottom. Refrìgerate for 15 mìnutes. Whìle the crust ìs ìn the refrìgerator, adjust an oven rack to the mìddle posìtìon and preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the crust untìl crust ìs set but not browned, about 17 mìnutes. Set on rack to cool. Leave oven on.
FOR THE FìLLìNG
  1. ìn a heavy medìum saucepan over medìum-low heat, combìne butter, brown sugar, honey, vanìlla and salt. Stìr wìth a wooden spoon untìl sugar dìssolves. Turn up the heat and boìl gently for 3 mìnutes. Stìr ìn heavy cream and chopped pecans.
TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE
  1. Pour pecan mìxture over crust (ìt's fìne ìf the crust ìs stìll warm). Bake untìl fìllìng ìs bubblìng and caramel ìn color, about 20 mìnutes. Cool completely on rack. To cut, use the foìl overhang to lìft baked square out of pan and onto cuttìng board. Loosen the foìl from the edges, then cut wìth a sharp knìfe ìnto 2-ìnch squares. Store fìnìshed pecan squares ìn aìr-tìght contaìner and serve at room temperature.
  2. Freezer-Frìendly ìnstructìons: These can be frozen for up to 3 months. After they are completely cooled, double-wrap them securely wìth alumìnum foìl or plastìc freezer wrap wìth the layers separated by wax or parchment paper. Thaw overnìght on the countertop before servìng.
Recipe Adapted From onceuponachef

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