For generations, the pecan groves that sweep across the South have provided cooks with a wonderful ingredient to use in their holiday baking. If you are lucky enough to have a tree (or a generous friend with one), all you need is a nutcracker to reveal the treasure within.
Of course, pecan pie is one of the most beloved holiday dessert recipes. Some bakers enjoy the whole creative process of making a pie from scratch. Others like to take a few shortcuts to get an equally delicious finished product.
For purists, a homemade pecan pie is a testament to the way simple ingredients come together to create a classic. The filling is easy to stir up, but depends on good pecans to give it distinction. I personally think it’s the slightly salty flaky homemade crust that perfectly complements the sweet filling and makes the whole pie delicious.
A unique alternative to a homemade pie, is a bar that reflects the attributes of the pie, but is simple to make and easy to serve or share. You will be amazed at the crust a chocolate chip muffin mix makes for these Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Bars
Whether you love to bake from scratch or prefer to take shortcuts, the recipients of your efforts will always appreciate the time and care you took to bake something special for them.