If you’re on a diet, stop reading this post right now. No, seriously, STOP because this will not make you happy.
If you’re like TRB, though, and regularly kickbox (or perform any other sort of rigorous exercise) just so you can sample the most wonderful sweet treats life has to offer, keep going because this post is going to make you *very* happy.
As regular readers know, TRB has lots of friends who are foodies. We often compare notes on things we’ve made, bring samples for each other to try and drool over recipes we find online. And, that’s how this masterpiece came to be. A fellow foodie pointed out a recipe for Chocolate Bourbon Bars featured on Ezra Pound Cake.
Thing is, Ezra’s recipe calls for bourbon, which TRB didn’t happen to have on hand. So, the “secret weapon” substitute ingredient here is Godiva Caramel Liqueur. (If you haven’t tried it yet, run – don’t walk – and buy some. Ignore this advice if you are under 21, though). Anyway, it’s seriously amazing stuff, with rich notes of buttery caramel against a smooth, sweet backdrop of alcohol. TRB couldn’t think of anything better than to pair it with chocolate and pecans. Now, you could leave well enough alone and not add chocolate to the top of these bars. But, hey, if you’re going to go for decadence, might as well do it right, no?
TRB isn’t normally one to toot her own horn, but these bars are simply outrageous – should be illegal – ohmygoodness gracious. You get the picture. Consider yourself warned: These bars are ridiculously rich and should not at all be part of your regular diet. But every once in a while, it’s okay to live a little. Don’t you think?
Boozy Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars
(Yield approx. 15 bars)
3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks; 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt (TRB uses Kosher salt)
3 oz. Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Godiva Caramel Liqueur
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves, chopped
1 bag Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper as well.
2. Prepare the crust: Beat the butter for about 1 minute. (You can do this with a stand mixer and paddle attachment or by hand). Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the flour and salt; mix until evenly incorporated but still crumbly. (It will resemble cookie dough). Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until it has darkened to a deep golden brown.
3. Prepare the filling: Place the chocolate and the butter into a bowl or measuring cup and melt in the microwave. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, light and dark brown sugars until blended. Stir in cooled chocolate, Godiva Caramel Liqueur, butter, vanilla, flour and salt. Stir in chopped pecans.
4. Pour the filling over the cooled crust, spreading evenly. Bake until set – 25-to-30 minutes.
5. As the bars cool in the pan, prepare the chocolate topping: Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with 2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Stir until smooth. Spread over top of bars. Chill the bars in the refrigerator to completely set before cutting into 3-inch squares.
Did you indulge in this recipe? Post a comment below.