Yesterday I watched Ina Garten create a mouthwatering batch of Pecan Bars. I couldn't help thinking, "They look wonderful, but they're not as good as mine." I wouldn't turn one down if offered, but I'd wish for my simpler, more-to-the-point, delicious treats.
Ina's recipe calls for a shortbread dough -- mine is more like a piecrust. Then she uses heaps more pecans than my recipe does. Her caramel mixture is a bit different -- and she dips the completed cookie in chocolate. All delicious touches, but gilding the lily if you ask me.
So here's my version:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
Combine these ingredients and spread with your fingers into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake in a 350° oven for 12 minutes (until set but not browned).
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat eggs together, then add brown sugar and pecans. Sift the two tablespoons of flour with baking powder and salt. Add vanilla extract. Spread mixture over cooled crust and bake again for 25 minutes.
When cool, make a glaze of one cup powdered sugar thinned with about two tablespoons of lemon juice and spread over cake. Cut into bars.
My original recipe had dried sweetened cocoanut, but I've never used it. Ina's recipe included grated orange rind and grated lemon rind. Both would be excellent in this recipe, but I like it the way I make it. Sometimes I've made the glaze with water instead of lemon juice, but found that was a flat-out mistake. Otherwise, you can't hurt this recipe.