8 December 2017

Maple, Bacon and Pecan Shortbread Bars... and elevating your holiday baking

Louisa @Living_Lou

 

Louisa Clements is a professional recipe developer, writer, photographer and food enthusiast behind the Canadian food blog Living Lou. She is passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and creates simple, fresh and flavourful recipes to inspire others. 

Living Lou was chosen as Hill & Knowlton's top ten food blogs to follow as well as Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Blog of the month. Louisa has appeared on national television and written for multiple media outlets including  Chatelaine.comCityline.caTheKit.ca and The College Prepster and creates recipe for a number of Canadian brands. 

Website: livinglou.com // Instagram: @Livinglou //
Twitter: @living_lou

Baking during the holidays is one of my favourite traditions. I’ve been making a huge platter of holiday treats for as long as I can remember. It can be quite stressful to bake hundreds of cookies every year, but it’s worth it because it makes my friends and family so happy.

I always make about four or five varieties of cookies, including the staples (sugar cookies and ginger molasses cookies), but I always like to add one or two new types each year. I look to create recipes that will surprise and delight my friends and family, and I know that this combination of bacon, pecans and maple will do just that.  

The idea came from a maple, walnut cookie recipe that I’ve been making for years; this combination is so delicious and I knew that adding bacon would only elevate it even more. I tested it as a cookie the first time, before deciding to turn it into a shortbread bar. Shortbread bars are one of the most simple and delicious desserts to make, which means that this is one of those low-stress baked goods you know will work perfectly every single time.

The bacon gets cooked first, then ¼ cup of the crumbled cooked bacon gets mixed into the batter and the remaining bacon gets sprinkled on top, that way there is a little bacon in every single bite. It adds savoury, salty notes to this dessert. 

You could also swap out the maple glaze and drizzle the shortbread with melted milk chocolate--bacon and chocolate is another classic flavour pairing! 

Maple, Bacon and Pecan Shortbread Bars

Yield: 16 squares
Prep time: 20 minutes 
Cook time: 30-35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For shortbread bars:

  • 5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped, divide
  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

For glaze:

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. 
  2. Cream butter, icing sugar and maple syrup together with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Lightly mix in flour and pecans. 
  3. Add ¼ cup of chopped bacon (reserving the rest for sprinkling at the end), and mix with hands until dough begins to clump together. 
  4. Pour dough into prepared pan and pack down using hands. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool, about an hour. 
  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze; whisk icing sugar with maple syrup. 
  6. Once shortbread bars are cool, remove from baking pan, drizzle with maple glaze and sprinkle with remaining bacon. Cut into 16 equal squares. 

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