Runner Recipes: Pecan Pie Bars

I love wine, and I love dessert. I have a bumper sticker on my car that says "Will run for wine" and my post-race go-to treat is a donut - so suffice it to say, I believe that enjoying life's finer things is a-ok, even for pro runners. As long as you're indulging in moderation, I think it's just fine to have a beer and dessert to celebrate a hard effort, a birthday, or a holiday.

As such, my kitchen is full of baked goods this time of year. For Thanksgiving, I made my husband's favorite dessert and one of my mom's best recipes: Pecan Pie Bars. Why bars, and not pie? Well, I didn't register for pie tins when we got married, and I have plenty of large Pyrexs. Also, you can cut bars into smaller pieces than pie, thus making room on your Thanksgiving dessert plate for pieces of pumpkin and apple pie ;-)

 My mom's famous Pecan Pie Bars, perfect for any holiday gathering

My mom's famous Pecan Pie Bars, perfect for any holiday gathering

Without further ado, here's the recipe for my mom's Pecan Pie Bars. Note that I didn't make any substitutes to try to "healthify" these - when indulging in dessert, you may as well enjoy the full-fat version, none of this non-fat nonsense. Enjoy these Pecan Pie Bars at your next holiday gathering or to celebrate running a new PR!

Ingredients:

Crust:
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups light or dark corn syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups of pecan bits

 Plenty of butter makes the crust taste like a shortbread cookie

Plenty of butter makes the crust taste like a shortbread cookie

Crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 15 x 10 inch glass Pyrex pan. Mix the flour, butter, sugar, and salt at medium speed until the mixture resembles a fine crumble. Pour into greased pan and press firmly into pan to form a crust. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown.

 Getting ready to press the crust

Getting ready to press the crust

 Crust pressed firmly into the Pyrex pan

Crust pressed firmly into the Pyrex pan

Filling: While the crust is baking, beat eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in the pecan bits. Once crust is done baking, pour filling immediately over hot crust; spread evenly. Bake another 25-30 minutes, or until filling is firm around the edges and no longer jiggles at the center. Let cool completely, for 1-2 hours. Then cut into bars, serve, & enjoy!

 Some of the ingredients for the filling

Some of the ingredients for the filling

 Mixing the pecans with the eggs, corn syrup, vanilla, sugar, and butter.

Mixing the pecans with the eggs, corn syrup, vanilla, sugar, and butter.

 Before: the pecan filling poured on top of the baked crust

Before: the pecan filling poured on top of the baked crust

 After: golden brown pecan pie bars, post-baking. Just needs to cool, then serve!

After: golden brown pecan pie bars, post-baking. Just needs to cool, then serve!

 The finished product: Pecan Pie Bars!

The finished product: Pecan Pie Bars!