I told y'all that I would be spending this weekend practicing (or test-driving as Lauren says) some Thanksgiving recipes.  As a true fan of Thanksgiving, I'm ashamed to admit that pie is the weak point in my baking repertoire.  Our Thanksgiving guests are made up of some of the most critical pie taste testers that you'll find outside of the State Fair and every year is a challenge to try and conquer their tastebuds.

For pie, I simply have no patience for the process - mixing with ice cold water, making sure the butter isn't too warm, trying with all my might to roll out frozen crust dough into a thin yet sturdy base.  I can never flop the unbaked crust onto the tin perfectly, nor can I crimp the edges so it looks pretty.  For those of you who are more like me, I found the below recipe for Pecan Pie Bars which I'm guaranteeing are going to be made at my house for Thanksgiving.  No crazy pie crust to bake.  No corn syrup (which means no sticky mess afterward) and best of all, pick your own serving size.  This recipe is certainly not as sweet and you could probably reduce the sugar more if you prefer a more savory crust.

So far the score for Rooth vs. Test-Drive Thanksgiving is 1-0.

Pecan Pie Bars

Adapted from Lindsay Moe's recipe

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pecan topping:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans (I bought the pre-chopped kind, to eliminate more prep time)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides.

For the crust, cream together butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until well incorporated and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.
Press the crumb mixture evenly into the foil lined pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, and heavy cream over medium heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a bubble, then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans.

Remove the pan from the oven and immediately pour the filling over the top, spreading it out to cover the entire surface.

Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the pan (try to resist, it's worth it). The bars will firm up a bit as they cool, do not over bake.  Use the foil to lift the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Remove the foil, cut into bars, and serve.