Maple, Pecan & Butternut Squash Shortbread Bars

Ingredients

Pecan Topping
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pecan pieces
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Shortbread Crust
  • 1 cup finely crushed Walkers pure butter shortbread cookies
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons water

Butternut Filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 3/4 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

To prepare the pecan topping, lightly toss together all the ingredients in a small bowl and set them aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make the crust:  Mix together the shortbread crumbs, powdered sugar, egg, flour, olive oil, and salt until combined.  Add the water until the mixture just starts to hold together; it's okay if it's still a bit crumbly.  Form the dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the butternut filling:  Blend together all ingredients until completely combined.  Set aside.

Press the crust dough into the bottom of a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan to form an even crust.  Pour the butternut filling into the pan over the crust and place the pan in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove it and sprinkle the pecan mixture evenly over the top.  Place the pan back in the oven and for another 20 - 35 minutes, or until the butternut filling is set.  Remove and allow to cool for one hour before slicing and serving.

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