Thanksgiving Chef Recipe: Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars with Malted Whipped Cream

“I grew up eating a version of this chocolate pecan pie for almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was my dad’s pride and joy of the dessert table each year. I’ve updated it just a bit and turned it into a bar so that it can be made ahead. This version is great for plating up and taking to family gatherings or for giving as a little socially distanced gift for friends over the holidays. Quality dark chocolate is a must and the salty malted whip takes it over the top. Enjoy with a piping hot cup of black coffee or your favorite whisky.” – Executive Chef Jonathan Searle

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INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 12 oz butter, cold cubes

FILLING

  • 10 cups chopped pecans
  • 3 cups chocolate chips or chunks
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups corn syrup
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 oz butter, melted

MALTED CREAM

  • 1 qt heavy cream
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp malted milk powder
  • 1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F high fan. Combine all ingredients in Kitchen Aid and mix with paddle attachment until resembles sand-sized crumbs. Divide evenly into nonstick sprayed and parchment paper lined half sheet pans. Press firmly and evenly into pans with hand and bake 12-20 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes and prepare the filling.
  2. Combine all filling ingredients and mix until homogenous. Fill each pan evenly. Bake at 325F 20-25 minutes until completely set. Give it a gentle shake. If its got a firm jiggle its ready to go. If it’s a bit liquidy, add a few more minutes. Once set, remove from oven and let cool to room temp and then freeze until solid. You can hold at this point until you’re ready to portion. Just wrap in plastic if you’re not planning on serving for a few days. Once ready, remove from pan, remove parchment paper and portion with a sharp knife.
  3. To make the malted whipped cream, put all ingredients into Kitchen Aid; using the whip attachment set on medium and whisk until soft peaks form.
  4. To Serve: Place bars on a serving dish. Dollop whipped cream over each piece and liberally sprinkle with powdered sugar!