Derby Day is just a few days away and I needed a great dessert for a crowd. Traditionally I serve pie with chocolate and pecans but I wanted a sweet that is more portable and easy to eat with your hands. So, why not make the pie as a bar. It has the same great flavor with smaller portions so it can serve more guests. Of course, they can always come back for seconds.
My mom’s pie had chocolate chips with pecans and a strong flavor of bourbon. You will find I used only a small amount of bourbon (1 tbsp). Of course, if you want more bourbon you can add up to 3 tbsp. Too much for my taste, but if that is your cup of tea or should I say bourbon, then go for it. I think it would also be scrumptious with dark rum.
Ingredients (Serves 16)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup ice cold water less 1 tbsp
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Cut the butter into quarters and then into cubes. Add the cold butter to the food processor. (Photo A) Pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs. With my food processor this was about 10 pulses.
Place the ice water in a measuring cup and remove 1 tbsp water and add 1 tbsp of vinegar. Your total measurement should be 1/2 cup. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the food processor and pulse 3 - 4 times. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup and pulse just until the mixture comes together. This took about 8 pulses with my food processor. (Photo B)
Turn the dough out and pat into a round disc shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes. (Photo C) This helps the butter become very cold again so you will have a flaky crust.
Roll the dough with a wooden rolling pin into a rectangle that is 15” by 11”. Carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin and place in the 1/4 sheet pan (13” x 9”). (Photo D) Trim the excess dough and crimp the edges the same as you would with a pie.
I made my crust but you could use a refrigerated pie crust. You will need to use the entire package. Place one crust on top of the other and roll into the rectangle and then follow the rest of the instructions.
Whisk together the eggs, corn syrup, butter, sugar, brown sugar, flour, vanilla and bourbon. Stir in the chopped pecans and melted chocolate. (Photo E)
Pour the chocolate mixture into the crust and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until set. (Photo F) Shield the crust edges with aluminum foil if it becomes to dark. I didn’t find this necessary for the bars, but I always needed to shield the crust when making a pie. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut with a sharp knife into 32 squares.
Now, go and enjoy the Kentucky Oaks and the Derby!