When I first got my hands on this cookbook "The Gourmet Cookie Book - The single best recipe from each year 1941-2009", I scoured the pages and flagged about 20 recipes, including: chocolate coconut squares, pecan tassies, mocha toffee bars, strawberry tart cookies, cranberry turtle bars, dutch caramel cashew cookies,
greek butter cookies, linzer bars, and mini black and white cookies just to name a few - there are so many good ones! Guess what I found from the year 1981? Cloudt's Pecan Treats!! They looked like pecan pie bars but are more like a candy, the author describes them this way: "The enormously rich and nutty squares will remind you of a French nut tart, but they require a fraction of the effort." Needless to say this was the first recipe I tried from this delicious book!
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 2 Tblsp lightly beaten egg
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup lyles golden syrup
1/4 cup half and half
3/3/4 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375. Cream together 1/ 1/2 sticks butter with sugar and salt until light and fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs and blend. Add the flour and mix just until blended. Press this mixture evenly into a 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inch sheet pan. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 15-20 mins, until golden, let cool.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, remaining butter, syrup, and half and half and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring. Stir in pecans and let the mixture cool. Spread this pecan mixture evenly over the shortbread base and bake on middle rack for 15 minutes, or until top is bubbly. Let cool, then cut into 2 inch squares.
Recipe adapted from "The Gourmet Cookie Book"
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