Sunday, October 18, 2020

Butter pecan turtle bars

October 10, 2020


This is a rerun of a recipe that I first baked in 2006, but didn't record in full here. Butter pecan turtle bars were a household favourite for several years before eventually fading from our recipe rotation. We revived them this month when our pandemic-times weekly online Quiz Club marked its six-month anniversary with a chocolate theme. 

It looks like the source website has had a transformation from Southern Food to The Spruce Eats in that time, and to their credit they've effectively set up URL redirection and updated their photos. The recipe remains pretty simple: blend a biscuit base in a food processor and press it into a dish, spread over pecans, caramel and bake, then layer on chocolate chips while it's still warm. We've not yet made this slice vegan or gluten-free, but the necessary substitutes are clear and seem likely to produce a good result. 

The biscuit base was more powdery than I remembered, but it melded into a cohesive, crisp layer during its bake. The combination of pecans and caramel was even better then I remembered - gooey in that first quiz-time slice, and chewy-fudgy when properly set later in the week. I liked this slice best when paired with a glass of milk, and I've vowed not to leave it unbaked for so many years again.

Butter pecan turtle bars
(slightly adapted from a recipe on The Spruce Eats)

2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups pecans
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a medium-large tray with baking paper.

Place all the base ingredients in a food processor, and blend until well mixed. (For me, the mixture was still very powdery - it turned out OK!) Turn the mixture out into the tray, and use the back of a dessert spoon to spread it out evenly and press it down firmly. Spread the pecans out across the base.

Melt the butter for the topping in a small saucepan, and add the brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until bubbling. Allow this caramel to boil for a minute, then take it off the heat and pour it across the pecans. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the caramel is bubbling and the base edges are light brown. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the slice as soon as it comes out of the oven. Allow the slice to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.


  1. I can see why it was a regular - it looks like a fancy version of chocolate caramel slice! And anything with chocolate and caramel sounds good to me