I got to my parents' house Thursday night and the first thing my mom says to me (after the big bear hug, of course) is, "Marni, you have to try these pecan bars." She all but stuffed one into my mouth. It wasn't exactly hard to give in and try one, but it was noteworthy that she was so eager. I mean, I'd just stepped off a plane and all she could think about was feeding me this bar.
Her alacrity was justified. One bite, actually, one look at these bars, and I knew I'd be sleeping happy (and waking up and going to the gym - but it would be worth it).
Just when I thought there'd be no new baking revelations this Passover, my mom drops this on me. Kaboom! Kerpow! And now I am a changed woman. Forever. Can a Passover Pecan Bar do that to a person? Yes, and I can't wait for you to try this. In fact, I urge you to use your leftover Passover ingredients after Passover is over and make this to bring to a picnic, or a work party, or whatever. No one will know it has matzah meal in it, but if they ask what's in it, tell them the truth. It will shock them.
Unfortunately, because my mom had already made these by the time I arrived, I wasn't there to take step-by-step photos. So these few finished product photos will have to do. I think you'll survive!Ooey Gooey Pecan Bars for Passover
Adapted from a recipe by Marcy Goldman in A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking
1/2 cup matzah meal
1 cup matzah cake meal
1/2 cup ground toasted pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
Gooey Pecan Filling
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup Passover maple table syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Passover vanilla sugar (or Passover vanilla extract)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking pan. My mom used a 9x13-inch and highly recommends it! You can also use an 8x11 (smaller pan) and the bars will be taller, even gooier, and more like the pecan pie you're used to around Thanksgiving.
For the crust, in a food processor or large bowl, stir together the matzah meal, cake meal, pecans, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter and pulse in the food processor or use a pastry blender to cut the butter up into small morsels so that the crust mixture is crumbly. Add the egg yolk and stir to incorporate. Use your fingers to squish the mixture together and then press it into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You'll know the crust is done when the edges are beginning to brown, but are not too dark. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
For the filling, in a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Pour this filling onto the cooled crust and return to the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, then place in the fridge to chill further so that the filling sets. Cut into squares. A little goes a long way because these are so gooey and indulgent, so even bite-size pieces would work well.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen heavenly bars.