N.C. State Fair Recipe: ‘Hidden Treasures’ Pecan Bars

by | Oct 20, 2016


This week the N.C. Pecan Association held a recipe contest at the N.C. State Fair. Carol Brown of Mebane placed first and earned $125 for her “Hidden Treasures” Pecan Bars. Contestants could enter any breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, dinner or dessert-type recipes, as long as they contained at least one cup of pecans.

Lindsay Key of Trinity earned $75 and second place for her pecan cheese cake and Cherie Michaud of Chapel Hill earned $50 and third place for her Nana and Roux’s Butter Pecan Pound Cake. A list of all winning recipes for the 2016 N.C. State Fair is online at www.ncstatefair.org/2016/Competitions/SpecialCooking.htm.

The N.C. State Fair runs through Sunday, Oct. 23. Following is the winning recipe.

ncsf16_logo_cmyk“Hidden Treasures” Pecan Bars

 Shortbread Layer

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup pecans chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix flour and brown sugar together. Then add the butter and pecans. Spread onto prepared baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Cool slightly or about 10 minutes.

Cheesecake Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream together cream cheese, butter, sugar and flour until well combined. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Pour on cooled shortbread layer and bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Pecan Layer

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1 ½ cups toasted pecans
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and melted butter. Add eggs and beat until well incorporated. Add pecans, dark and white chocolate chips, brandy and salt. Pour over cooled cheesecake layer and bake for 35-40 minutes until center is set and pecan layer is a rich brown color. Optional: drizzle with ¼ cup melted white chocolate chips.