While we liked the taste of the bourbon the best here, dark rum works too. A 9-inch square pan can be used instead of the 8-inch pan. You may need to reduce the baking time by a few minutes.
Pecan Bars with California Figs
Servings 16 bars
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup pecans toasted, chopped coarse
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces and chilled
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 tbsp bourbon or dark rum
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped fine
- 1 3/4 cups pecans toasted and chopped coarse
For the crust:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 16-inch pieces of foil or parchment paper lengthwise to measure 8 inches wide. Fit 1 sheet in bottom of greased pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan (overhang will help in removal of baked bars). Fit second sheet in pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
- Process the flour, brown sugar, pecans, salt, and baking powder in food processor until it resembles coarse cornmeal, about five pulses. Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, about eight pulses.
- Sprinkle the mixture in the prepared pan and press firmly into an even crust using your fingers. Bake until the crust starts to brown, 20 to 24 minutes.
For the filling:
- As soon as the crust finish baking, whisk the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt together until just combined. Whisk in the egg until incorporated. Stir in figs, then pour into the hot crust. Sprinkle the pecans over the top and gently press onto filling. Bake until the top is brown and cracks start to form across the surface, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely on wire rack, about 2 hours, before removing the bars from the pan using the foil and cutting into squares.
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