I’ve spent the past few weeks going through everything in our house in a bit of a reverse fall-cleaning frenzy. It all began when we came home with the wedding presents and I realized we had absolutely nowhere to put them, and since we hadn’t gone through any of our things since we moved in over a year and a half ago, there was definitely a bunch of stuff in the cabinets that we weren’t using, wasn’t relevant, or that had broken. So, after weeks of elbow grease and finally locating an electronics recycling center in LA (which is a lot harder than one would imagine), the whole place has been reorganized and I can actually take things out of my kitchen cabinets now without fear of a half dozen spice jars that were precariously pushed towards the edge raining down on me. Flinching reflex be gone!
While going through the cabinets, I came across a little bottle of maple syrup I’d boughtwhile I was in VermontvisitingCareyand King Arthur Flour. I’d completely forgotten about it, and since I was in my “everything must go or be used!” mindset, I decided to put them to good use along with a butternut squash I had in the house and a box of Walkers pure butter shortbread cookies. Since the flavors were pretty fall-y, I decided to round it out by tossing some pecans on top after marinating them in the maple syrup. This was my first attempt in years at bar-making, and after making the whole house smell like autumn and inhaling the first three bars I tried, I felt I’d done good. So if you’re itching to get started on the fall season, I highly recommend giving these guys a try.
Also! Walkersshortbread is offering 25% off all purchases excluding sale items until Monday, September 23rd with the code ACFRUIT. So if you’re craving quality sweet crumbly shortbread, now’s the time to succumb.
Maple, Pecan and Butternut Shortbread Bars
- 1 and 1/2 cups pecan pieces
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup finely crushed Walkers pure butter shortbread cookies
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg whisked
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 3 eggs
- 1 and 3/4 cup butternut squash puree
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup cream
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To prepare the pecan topping, lightly toss together all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set them aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the crust, mix together the shortbread crumbs, powdered sugar, egg, flour, olive oil, and salt until combined. Add the water until the mixture juuuust starts to hold together, it's okay if it's still a bit crumbly. Form the dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until use.
- For the filling, blend together all ingredients until completely combined. Set aside. Take the crust dough and crumble it over a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Press it into the bottom of the pan to form an even crust. Pour the butternut filling into the pan over the crust and place the pan in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove it and sprinkle the pecan mixture evenly over the top. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 20-35 minutes, or until the butternut filling is set. Remove and allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving.