Bourbon pecan chocolate bars

What you will need:
For The Pecan Shortbread Crust:
7 oz (1 1/3 cups) pecans
12 oz (1 ½ cup) butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) sugar
10 ½ oz (2 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt

For The Chocolate Bourbon Filling:
12 oz (2 1/3 cups) 62%  semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz (1/2 cup) sugar
8 oz (1 cup) heavy cream
8 oz (1 cup) milk
3 eggs
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons good-quality bourbon

For The Candied Pecans:
16 oz (2 cups) water
16 oz (2 cups) sugar
8 oz (2 cups) pecans
vegetable oil, for frying

For The Milk Chocolate Ganache:
6 oz (1 ¼ cups) 41% extra rich milk chocolate, finely chopped
6 oz (3/4 cup) heavy cream

For The Bourbon Glaze:
5 oz (3/4 cup) good-quality bourbon
1 ¾ oz (1/4 cup) sugar

Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Bars:
chocolate bourbon filling
one 13” x 9” x 2” tray of baked pecan shortbread crust
candied pecans
milk chocolate ganache, room temperature
bourbon glaze, room temperature

Steps to yummy goodness:
For The Pecan Shortbread Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and cover one 13”x 9”x 2” rectangular baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Place pecans into a food processor and grind until pecans are finely crushed. Set aside for later use.
3. In the bowl of a stand-mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed with a paddle attachment until butter is light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and continue mixing until vanilla is well incorporated.
4. Meanwhile, mix all-purpose flour, salt, and ground pecans in a bowl. Stir to combine.
5. Change speed on mixer to low. Add all dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture until all ingredients come together. Turn mixer off.
6. Pour pecan shortbread cookie dough into prepared 13”x 9”x 2” baking pan and smoothen surface with a spatula until smooth. Bake for about 20-22 minutes until surface becomes light golden brown. Allow crust to cool off completely in baking pan and set aside for later use.

Note: Crust will be soft when you remove it from the oven, but it will firm up once it cools down.

For The Chocolate Bourbon Filling:
1. Place finely chopped 62% semisweet chocolate and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Heat heavy cream and milk over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Pour simmered heavy cream and milk over chocolate and sugar. Stir mixture from the center until everything is well combined. Allow mixture to cool down to room temperature.
3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla extract, and bourbon and add to chocolate filling. Set aside for later use.

For The Candied Pecans:
1. Place a piece of parchment paper or a silpat over a 10” x 15” sheet tray.
2. Combine water, sugar, and pecans in a large pan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid has the consistency of thick syrup and it reaches 225 degrees F on a candied thermometer. Stir occasionally and remove from heat once pecans are ready.
3. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy, high-sided pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 325 degrees F. Using a large slotted spoon or a kitchen spider, drain pecans from syrup and drop them gently into frying oil. Fry pecans for about 2-3 minutes, or until small frying bubbles disappear. Transfer pecans onto prepared sheet tray with slotted spoon or kitchen spider. Repeat frying procedure if necessary until all pecans have been fried. Allow pecans to cool to room temperature and set them aside for later use.

For The Milk Chocolate Ganache:
1. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, put finely chopped 41% extra rich milk chocolate in a large bowl and pour simmered heavy cream over it. Allow cream and chocolate to rest for about a minute so that chocolate softens and melts.
3. Stir mixture gently from the center until everything is well combined.
4. Set milk chocolate-heavy cream mixture aside and allow it to cool completely to room temperature.

For The Bourbon Glaze:
1. Add bourbon and sugar to a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low once it comes to a simmer.
2. At this point, stir occasionally to maintain a gentle simmer all throughout the cooking time. Continue cooking bourbon until it has the consistency of syrup, its volume has reduced by 2/3-3/4, and it reaches 220 degrees F on a candied thermometer. Remove from heat and cool slightly before use.

For The Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Bars:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Pass chocolate bourbon filling through a sieve and into prepared baking tray that is lined with pecan shortbread crust on the bottom. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until filling jiggles in the center when tapped. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, roughly chop pecans and set them aside for later use.
3. Pour milk chocolate ganache over baked chocolate bourbon filling and spread it into a thin layer with a spatula so that ganache covers the entire surface of the baked chocolate bourbon filling.
4. Sprinkle and spread roughly chopped pecans over milk chocolate ganache. Drizzle bourbon glaze all over the surface. Cut into 2” x 2” squares.

.: Side Note :.

Cover tray tightly in plastic wrap for 3-4 days. Freeze for about 2 weeks.

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