Pecan Caramel Cookie Bars with Bourbon

Fall is here in full swing!

I don't think anything says "fall" better than caramel, apples, toasted pecans, and pumpkin spice.  I have featured recipes with these ingredients - and there are certainly more to come!

These Pecan Caramel Bars are a variation on my Caramel Apple Cookie Bars.  I made these as a quick substitute for a bourbon pecan pie (which I hope to make soon too).

This recipe makes one smaller tart, a touch smaller than the Caramel Apple Cookie Bars.  I used a standard bread pan as the mold.

They're incredibly fast to make and will wow your holiday guests!

Ingredients:
Adapted from Ditch the Wheat

1 c. almond flour/meal
2 T. coconut oil, softened
2 T. pure maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cinnamon
1 bourbon or other type of alcohol

1 c. whole pecans

For the caramel:
Adapted from Against All Grain

1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1 T. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum
1/2 c. almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 T. bourbon

Directions, for the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 4x8 oven-safe loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the 6 crust ingredients.  Once mixed, press the dough down and flatten it evenly in the prepared pan.  Bake it for 15 minutes.

For the caramel:
Bring the maple syrup to a low boil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally to ensure even browning.

Remove from heat and carefully whisk in the shortening, milk, and salt. Return to heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes. As you remove it from the heat, add your splash of bourbon while continuing to whisk the caramel.  Cool for 10-15 minutes

If the caramel hardens too much, put it back on the stove under low heat. It will soften up.

Spread the caramel over the cookie crust.  Line your pecans over the caramel, before it hardens completely. 

And you're done!

Cut the tart into bite-sized bars and enjoy!

Cheers,
-Aileen