As a kid I loathed any dessert made with nuts especially pecans! Every couple of years, our neighbor's pecan trees drop a prolific amount of these southern natives. Note, do not use regular lard for this recipe. Leaf lard is particularly the internal fat found around the organs; it provides a clean taste (not porky) and is the original to vegetable shortening and an excellent substitute for butter! It gives these cookie bars an added crispy edge.
Yields 9 servings
Pre-heat oven to 400
3 cups, whole pecans
1 TBL of Patience Farm Leaf Lard
Sprinkle of salt
On cookie sheet (with edges) spread pecans evenly, speckle lard throughout and sprinkle salt. Roast in oven for 10 minutes until nicely browned.
Dump pecans into a medium mixing bowl and set aside to cool while you make the caramel sauce.
6 TBL, Leaf Lard
1 C white sugar
1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
Add sugar to heavy bottomed sauce pan, medium heat. Allow sugar to melt. After a few minutes the sugar will begin to brown, look for a light amber color. Remove from heat and carefully add lard. Stir to melt.
Over low heat add the cream, whisk continuously. The mixture will foam but just keep whisking and remove from heat if it looks like it will boil over.
Foam will subside and slowly turn into a glossy sauce. I like to pull the sauce at 320. If you do not have a thermometer, use a spoon and drop a little bit of the sauce on a cool surface to check for consistency.
Carefully dump caramel sauce over pecans. Add salt and ground cinnamon to taste!
Set aside. You will pour this mixture out on the cookie bars next. c
6 TBL Patience Farm Leaf Lard
2/3 C brown sugar
2/3 C white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 - 3 C flour (or 300g), fresh whole grain is a great option here
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pre-heat oven to 350
Whip together Leaf Lard, Brown Sugar and White Sugar until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time until well blended. Add vanilla. In separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, powder and soda. Add dry ingredients to leaf lard mix until just blended.
Pat out into 9x9 pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Pull cookie bars and carefully pour the pecan/caramel mixture over the top. Place in oven for additional 5-10 minutes until bubbling.
Set aside and allow caramel to cool before slicing.
Excellent served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!