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Best Recipes, Desserts

Julienne's graham cracker chewy bars

Julienne's graham cracker chewy bars
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Now that we're squarely in 2010, we can look back on 2009 and the hundreds of recipes published in the Food section and call it the year of meltingly delicious caramelized onions, or the year we fell in love with ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time | Makes 24 bars

Crust

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and flour until moist and well-blended. Press the mixture firmly and evenly over the bottom of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

Topping and assembly

  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 prepared crust
  • Powdered sugar, if desired

Step 1While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs to blend. Whisk in the graham cracker crumbs, vanilla, salt and baking powder until well-blended. Stir in the pecans.

Step 2Spread the mixture over the baked crust and return to the 350-degree oven until the filling is light-golden on top and jiggles slightly when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Step 3Sprinkle a light coating of sifted powdered sugar over the pan if desired, and cut into 24 bars. The bars can be made 1 day in advance. Wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature.

Note: Adapted from "Celebrating With Julienne" by Susan Campoy. Campoy writes, "I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite books, 'Nantucket Open-House Cookbook,' by Sarah Leah Chase. I love watching people's expressions when they bite into these bars for the first time. The textures and flavors -- rich toffee, a chewy center and a crunchy bottom -- make everyone smile. The secret is not to over-bake the crust. Serve them at room temperature, so the flavors meld together.".

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