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Chocolate Pecan Crumble Bars

We we see the word 'turtle' in a recipe title, we inevitably are struck with the urge to bake whatever said recipe is for. See Turtle Tart.

So, after a week of raisins, when we saw the Heartland Turtle Bars recipe in the fabulous Baked Explorations, we were ON IT.

I mean, really. Has anyone ever steered you wrong when it comes to chocolate chips and pecans? 'No' is the answer you are looking for. Especially not the boys from Baked.

Now, this particular recipe in the cookbook did not have an accompanying photograph. Which, we have to say, is sometimes annoying. Of course there are places you don't necessarily want to see explanatory photos because it suggests a certain quality or ambiance that is less than desirable. See Hunan Garden in Lexington, Virgina. Or, might we also reference most sushi restaurants on 8th Avenue in New York City. The exception here OF COURSE is Walker Brother's Pancake House in Illinois which is DELICIOUS but does oddly have photos on the laminated menu. But, we digress. In a cookbook, we generally like to see pictures. They are reassuring. They are often pretty.

You can imagine our surprise then, when as we re-read the recipe and undertook to make these bars, we realized that they were turning less turtle-y and more crumble-y. 

WAIT. It's not that we are complaining, but we were just not expecting a crumble. We were expecting a gooey, oozy caramel bar with pecans and melty chocolate bits. Perhaps on a crust though we know turtles can be crustless. 

You know, it's like when you pick a chocolate out of a mixed box expecting it to be filled with milk chocolate ganache but then it's actually filled with coffee flavored liqueur and you're all 'YUM! Not thinking this was a coffee one but I'll take it. And, in fact, forget the ganache where are more of those coffee ones...'

Yeah. So, um, that's what these bars are like. 

Chocolate Pecan Crumble Bars
Makes 32-ish bars
Adapted from Baked Explorations

Print Recipe

For the Oatmeal Base & Crumble Top:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (though, whoops, we used light brown sugar)
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 hefty cup lightly toasted pecans, roughly chopped
1 1/2 generous cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Caramel Sauce Layer:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch glass or lightly colored metal baking dish. Rip off a piece of parchment paper and lay perpendicular in the bottom of the pan with several inches hanging over the long sides of the pan. Butter this parchment as well. This just makes the whole thing easier to remove.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and brown sugar. Stir in the oats. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter, stirring until combined and when the mixture is chunky. Like a crumble, duh. Lightly press about 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven to cool on a wire rack for a bit, leaving the oven on. Sprinkle the chopped pecans and chocolate chips over the somewhat-cooled crust.

Meanwhile, make the caramel filling. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter and light brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to boil for one minute, stirring constantly. After 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in the cream and the vanilla. Immediately pour the caramel evenly over the pecans and chocolate chips, taking care to cover as much of it as you can. The caramel is rather thin and instantly soaks into the crumb base so try to spread or pour as evenly as possible. If not, no biggie. The whole thing bakes together and tastes divine at the end anyway. Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top and bake for 10-12 minutes further or until the top is golden brown. 

Allow the bars to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then refrigerate for about an hour. Cut the bars into squares and serve.

These bars will keep, covered tightly, at room temperature, for about 3 days.

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  • Response
    Response: ninjaessays
    This recipe is looking great with the chocolate pecan which is my favorite one I love eating them. I was very much interested and impressed by this recipe and want to try baking this one in my kitchen. The ingredients are very common ones which we normally use them in kitchens’ ...

Reader Comments (12)

This may not be what you expected, but it looks amazing!

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at Keep It Sweet

I admit that I like pictures with recipes so I know what I'm getting although I am often very ashamed at my messy (yet always delicious) creations! Whether these squares were what you originally expected or not, they look scrumptious!!

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea @ Vegvacious

All I can say is YUM! They look great!

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLimeCake

these look awesome! like fruit crumb cakes, but even better :)

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrandi

Is it strange that when I read your posts, I always feel like I'm reading something that's a cross between snarky gossip mag and Gourmet magazine? Love it! And love your recipes. Something about them always seems fresh and inspired.

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMadison M

These look super tasty.

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

What a perfect way to celebrate National Pecan Day! (It really is... who knew?)

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

I could definitely go for a few of these for breakfast, haha! Wonderful, decadent and delicious recipe, girls!

Yum yum yum! I think these bars look fantastic - and I'm actually more of a crumbly girl than a turtle girl anyway. Your flag tea towel kinda cracks me up too (at least I think that's a towel - if that is a table, way funnier).

March 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie@Cozydelicious

I'm not a huge pecan fan but I would eat these!

these look like seven layer bars... only way better!!

March 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwhat katie's baking

ok, all I can say is OM Good Golly! These are so tasty. Make these today. I had left over toffee pieces from another BEB recipe so I sprinkled some of those on top of the choc chips. Heaven!!!! Thanks girls!!!!

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSee Nikki Cook

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