- By Addie Broyles American-Statesman Staff
Is your Thanksgiving menu set yet? With all due respect: We hope not!
On Sunday, we’ll publish our annual Thanksgiving food section, including more than a dozen recipes and suggestions for making your holiday meal a memorable one. I’m sharing some ideas for an Austin history-inspired dinner as well as half a dozen side dishes you could bring to a potluck-style Thanksgiving. We’ll have stories from freelancers Graham Cumberbatch, Shefaly Ravula and Maggie Perkins about their favorite holiday memories and dishes, too.
If you’re ready to get a head start in your planning, here’s a twist on a holiday favorite, pecan pie.
This pecan pie-inspired dessert would be an easy baking project ahead of Thanksgiving. Even if someone else brings pecan pie, you’ll be munching on these bars all weekend long. For an extra layer of indulgence, drizzle the bars with about 1/3 cup of caramel topping. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt.
— Addie Broyles
For the crust:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the topping:
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup unblanched or blanched whole almonds
1 cup pecan halves
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, beat 3/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the almond extract with electric mixer on medium-low speed until blended. On low speed, beat in flour until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of ungreased 13-inch-by-9-inch pan. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, cook 1 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, the honey and corn syrup over medium-high heat 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Boil 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
Sprinkle walnuts, almonds and pecans over partially baked crust. Pour brown sugar mixture over nuts. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until top is bubbly. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 1 hour. Cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Makes 36 bars.
— From “Betty Crocker Sheet Pan Desserts: Delicious Treats You Can Make with a Sheet, 13x9 or Jelly Roll Pan” by General Mills (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.99)