Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Bars

I’m going to post a few of my family’s favorites, especially for my friend, Mary Ann. These are never fail, because I don’t cook anything difficult. Here’s one I adapted from The Joy of Cooking cookbook. We’ve gotten such an abundant crop of pecans this year! These bars are like mini-pecan pies, but much easier to make.

CurtissAnn’s Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Bars
You will need:
1/2 cup butter, or butter    substitute
1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour    mixture **
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum    (optional, but helpful)
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 whole egg
4 egg whites
2 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 12 baking dish, or approximate size.

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter or butter substitute
1/4 cup of the sugar

Beat in:
1 whole egg and vanilla

Gluten-free flour and salt. Add to butter mixture in three parts, mixing well each time. Use spatula or hands and pat and smooth into greased baking dish. Bake about 15 minutes, remove from oven.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, beat 4 egg whites until frothy.
Mix in:
Finely chopped pecans
1 cup sugar

Cook this mixture over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir often to keep from burning. Increase heat slightly and begin stirring constantly until mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. You’ll be able to tell that it changes. It happens all of a sudden. Remove from heat and spread mixture evenly over the baked pastry.

Return pan to the oven and bake another 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into bars.
** Any gluten-free mixture is fine. My mixture is loosely: 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup sorghum flour, 3/4 cup tapioca starch, 3/4 cup arrowroot starch.

A pecan bar (or two) and cup of tea in the afternoon is just the thing!