- Yields: 16
- Preparation: 55 minutes (+ 15 minutes freezing time)
- ½ cup (125mL) GAY LEA - Bakers Gold, at room tempurature
- 1/3 cup (75mL) brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup (75mL) granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp (1mL) salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ¾ cups (425mL) all purpose flour, sifted
Maple Bourbon Pecan Caramel:
- ¾ cup (175mL) GAY LEA - Bakers Gold
- 1 cup (250mL) brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup (125mL) maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60mL) corn syrup
- ½ tsp (2mL) sea salt
- 3 ½ cups (875mL) whole pecans
- ¼ cup (60mL) 35% whipping cream
- ¼ cup (60mL) bourbon
- Shortbread Pastry: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 9-inch (23 cm) square baking pan with enough parchment paper to overhang edges.
- Using electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and egg yolk; stir in flour in 2 additions until just combined. Press pastry into bottom of prepared pan. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes or until well chilled.
- Cover pastry with sheet of parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until firm and set. Let cool completely.
- Maple Bourbon Pecan Caramel: In heavy-bottom saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup and sea salt. Cook, stirring, until butter is melted, sugar is dissolved, and mixture starts to boil.
- Cook, without stirring, for 4 to 6 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 250°F (120°C) for firm ball stage or until small amount of mixture is added to dish of cold water and it forms a pliable ball of caramel (ball will hold its shape but will flatten slightly when squeezed firmly).
- Remove from heat; stir in pecans, cream and bourbon. Pour over shortbread pastry.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until topping is bubbling, thickened and just set. Let cool completely.
- Using parchment paper as handles, transfer to cutting board. Cut into bars.
- Alternatively, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) squares.
- Sprinkle tops with flaked sea salt if desired.