Rich, sweet pastry bars with a pecan topping, Pecan Bars are an excellent addition to the tea table.
4 oz. plus
2 teaspoons butter
8 oz. sugar
6 oz. flour, sifted
4 teaspoons coffee essence
8 oz. pecans, coarsely chopped 3 egg whites
Preheat the oven to moderate 350 CF (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). With the 2 teaspoons of butter, grease a 7- by 11-inch baking tin.
In a small mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter with 2 ounces of the sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, a little at a time and beat well to blend. When all the flour has been incorporated, mix in the coffee essence. Turn the dough into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly with the back of a spoon or with your hands.
Place the tin in the oven and bake the dough for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, combine the pecans, the remaining sugar and the egg whites. Place the pan over low heat and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture until all the sugar has dissolved. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to moderate and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove the baking tin from the oven. Spread the pecan mixture over the pastry with a table knife. Return the baking tin to the oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.
Remove the tin from the oven and let the pastry cool. When the pastry is cool cut it into bars 3-inches long by 1-inch wide.