German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

by Andie Mitchell on November 29, 2010

Well… it began with those toasted  pecans.

And then an innocent bubbling of ooey gooey caramel sauce.

And really, we could have stopped there. Called it a day.

But then there was silky dark chocolate.

And I sighed, deeply. Deeply.

And then there were flakes of coconut.

And again, we could have been just peachy at that very moment.

But then there was that one, chilly and lonesome round of flaky, all butter pie pastry.

And my heart smiled, winked, and whispered to my cholesterol, C’mon.

But then there was the way the very tops of these squares formed a whisper-thin crackle of a crisp. The way they shattered at the very hint of a bite, like brulee.

And there was that convenience thing, too. The fact that slicing them into squares just begs for an upturned, empty palm.

Oh…and there was sweetened whipped cream, too. Stiff white peaks on alert just in case my heart needed to be jolted back to beating.

And it did.

And it still does.

These squares are divine.

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

First, we’ll make the crust. Every time I make a recipe that requires me to use pie pastry, I double it and wrap the extra dough tightly in plastic wrap, followed by foil, then freeze it for a rainy day when I’ll need pie crust again (which, for me living in Seattle, happens quite frequently). This is so handy, since no one wants to make pie pastry every time they need it. You can also just use store-bought pie crust, but if you do, please use Pillsbury Just Unroll! dough from the refrigerated biscuit section of the grocery store. It’s by far the best of the pre-made varieties.

Ok, so first you should preheat the oven to 400°F. Now, roll your pie dough into a 1/4″ thickness and place it inside a 9″ square baking pan. You just want to cover the bottom, so feel free to fold it over, press it down, and place extra scraps into the corners. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Prick the dough with a fork a few times and bake for about 20 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden in color.

Pour a half cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the crust and allow them to melt. As they melt, spread them gently with a spatula.

While the crust bakes, you can make filling.

In a medium bowl, whisk one egg. Set aside.

Now, in a small pan, whisk the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat until the mixture melts and becomes silky smooth.

Slowly drizzle this caramel mixture into the bowl with the beaten egg, whisking constantly. This is what’s called “tempering” the egg. You add the hot mixture slowly, while stirring, so that the egg doesn’t begin cooking from the heat of it. The egg acts as a thickening agent here.

Stir in the coconut and pecans until well combined. Pour the whole mixture over the crust, spreading it into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the center seems set. Cool completely before slicing. As is the case with all pecan pies, they must must must cool to room temperature and sit for a while to solidify. Otherwise, you will be left with gooey caramel that doesn’t hold together. I chilled mine after they had cooled to make them even easier to slice neatly.

Garnish with whipped cream.

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

(recipe slightly adapted from Silvana Nardone)

makes 16-20

1  9″ pie crust- homemade or store-bought (recommended: Pillsbury)

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 egg

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 cups chopped pecan halves

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the pie dough to 1/4″ thick square; press firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9″ square baking pan. Prick the dough with a fork a few times to prevent the dough from bubbling while baking. Bake for 20 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden in color.

Pour chocolate chips over the hot crust, allow to melt, and spread gently with a spatula.

Make the filling: Whisk the egg in a bowl. Now, in a small pan set over medium heat, melt the butter, salt, brown sugar, and corn syrup until combined and silky. Slowly drizzle this mixture into the beaten egg, whisking constantly. Add the pecans and coconut and stir. Pour onto the crust and spread it evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center is set. Let the bars cool completely in their pan, set on top of a wire rack, before slicing. Garnish each square with whipped cream if desired.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Thomas November 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

I definitely need to make this. I don’t know of any problem a bar like this wouldn’t fix. I made something similar to it for Thanksgiving with a gluten-free crust, but without chocolate. What was I thinking no chocolate?

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Amy @ Second City Randomness November 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

Yep… after those cupcakes I made last week, I realized it’s going to be a holiday season with the theme of pecan pie.

I’m slightly obsessed… heaven…

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Shanna, like Banana November 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

WOW! Gorgeous, tasty, festive and, well, perfect!

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Julie @SavvyEats November 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

These look PERFECT and delicious. Now I want some! :)

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

I used to hate anything with nuts in it, and now I’m obsessed. Peans + chocolate? Bring it!! Even better that they have pie crust in them…because I love butter + carbs :)

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spabettie November 29, 2010 at 11:13 am

Jason loves german chocolate… I starred this to make during the holiday… they look perfect!! Thanks for sharing!

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Yum! You’ve married two of my favorite desserts…and thus are my personal hero :-)

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Jessica @ How Sweet November 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm

These look UNREAL!

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Mrs Fish November 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Oh dear, I’m drooling all over my computer, and now my dog is wondering “What the heck is wrong with her?”

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Can You Stay for Dinner November 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Haha! Thanks!

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ann November 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

These truly look fabulous. Now, I have to make these!

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thecompletecookbook November 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Another heavenly perfect recipe! Thank you. :-) Mandy

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Cindy November 30, 2010 at 7:26 am

My men are german chocolate anything addicts. I am going to save this for a night when they are ignoring me for Xbox and see who’s QUEEN.

hehehehehehehe

thank you for some more evil arsenal.

oxoxox

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bluemixer November 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Perfect! I’m so glad you posted this just in time! A work friend of mine has a birthday coming up, and I promised to make him something German-chocolate-esque. I found some great German-stuffed chocolate cookies, but unfortunately, they’re much too time consuming, and I’m limited on time. This would be perfect to make the night before, and as a bonus, I have 95% of these ingredients already in my pantry. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Can You Stay for Dinner November 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

So fantastic! Enjoy!!

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明明如月 November 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm

the glaze looks so sweet

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Frieda March 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

:D looks delicious but what is german about it :D

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