Recipe #69 - Caramel Pecan Bars (a double batch)

You know me, never too early to start "testing" recipes for the Holiday Cookie Exchange!

3 sticks of butter
1 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
4 1/2 c. flour ( I did white whole wheat flour)

Caramel Guts
2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
2 sticks butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. heavy or whipping cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 c. toasted, chopped. pecans
6 oz. semisweet chockie, melted for the tops

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 13x9 pans or line with oiled foil.
Beat first 3 crust ingredients until creamy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour so it looks like fine crumbs.
Split the "crumbs" in half and pat evenly on to the bottoms of the pans. Bake until lightly browned 20 minutes or so, then remove and cool on wire racks. When cool, sprinkle the nuts evenly over the crust.
While the crusts are browning, heat everything but the chockie until you get to 248 or the firm ball stage. Pour caramel guts over the crust and nuts. Cool in the pans at least one hour. Melt the chockie and drizzle fabulously over the guts. Cover and refrigerate until cold and set (a couple of hours, but, I didn't check them, so maybe faster). Place on cutting board, defoil and cut into bars.

These are VERY sweet - the original recipe called for more sugar and honey, but I couldn't do it. Even with the decreased amounts, these were PLENTY big sweet. These may or may not be my cookie exchange bars... but I would make them again.

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