Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Praline Butter Bars


About a month ago, I blogged about some extraordinary bars that my friend Steph brought me one day. They were called Praline Butter Bars and she bought them at Whole Foods. One of the first things she said to me after I took my first bite was... we've got to learn how to make these!

I was fairly sure that I could do the top layers no problem.. it was the crust that I was nervous about. It was SUPER buttery and moist. I came across a recipe for Caramel Butter Bars on a blog. The recipe was written by Jill O'Connor and is in her book: Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth. I decided it was now time to attempt to copycat the Praline Butter Bars using this crust and the filling and topping from Paula Deens Low Country Bars.

I decided to put all this together this weekend and see if I could get close to the original Praline Butter Bars. And I was very pleasantly surprised when this first experiment pretty much nailed the recipe. The only difference is the filling and topping are reversed. In the original Praline Butter Bars... the white is the filling and its thicker, while the praline part is a thinner topping. But, I don't really mind it being reversed.

The picture was taken with the bar sitting out at room temperature for awhile. Normally the white topping is firmer.

These were great and I don't really think I'm going to need to experiment anymore with them.

Praline Butter Bars

For the crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour

For the filling:
12 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup coconut, optional
2 cups graham cracker crumbs

For the topping:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp milk

Spray a 13x9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

To prepare the crust:
Preheat oven to 325.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using an electric mixer mix at medium speed and beat together till creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture adn beat on low speed until smooth and soft.

Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan and slide into the oven for 20-25 minutes. Until dough is soft, but lightly puffed. It doesn't need to change color. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To prepare the filling:
Measure your nuts, graham cracker crumbs and coconut (if using) and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat and add sugar. Beat the egg with the milk together in a prep bowl and then pour into the dissolved sugar and butter mixture. Stirring constantly (to keep the eggs from scrambling), turn the heat up a little and stir until mixture comes to a bowl. Remove from heat and add the graham cracker, nuts, and coconut. Stir to combine and pour and spread over the crust.

To prepare the topping:
Beat all ingredients together and spread over the filling.

Chill the bars and allow them to set up before cutting into squares.

Recipe adapted from Jill O'Connor Caramel Butter Bars and Paula Deen's Low Country Bars.

13 comments:

bakeorbreak said...

They sound delicious! I wish I could bake more with coconut. Quinn just won't eat it!

Amy said...

I made this batch without coconut, because the praline butter bars I had didn't have any coconut in them. But, coconut would definitely make them a lot tastier (I'm a coconut fanatic, though).

Stephanie said...

Woo hoo!!! You are a baking goddess!

I knew you would be able to figure this out, and they taste JUST LIKE the originals. Yum...I'm totally making these this weekend for Justyn's birthday!

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo wow yum what a decadent and tasty looking bar!! The combination of coconuts, graham crackers and pecans sounds deadly. How awesome that you were able to recreate something you found in a store. There are still some recipes I'm trying to recreate at home.

ebjohn said...

Amy,
Imagine my surprise to read about your attempts to duplicate the Pralines & Cream Butterbars purchased at Whole Foods Mkt - as I own Upper Crust Crumbs Dessert Co. which makes the Butterbars! I consider it a compliment that you've tried to recreate our BB's - I enjoy your blog.
Patti

Diane said...

Thank you! I just bought those today and Whole Foods and immediately came to the net to find a recipe! \o/

Can't wait to try yours!

Diane said...

Patti, If you're reading this, they are HEAVENLY!!! I will definitely buy them again!! I love baking, so I hope to try this recipe soon. (But your bars didn't have coconut in them, did they?)

Anyway, you know the saying...Life is short, eat dessert first? Well, my hubby was working late tonight, so I had dessert first. :))) My dilemma: do I save the last bar for him or eat it and throw the container away before he gets home? ;)

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I searched for a recipe to make the Praline and cream butter bars after leaving Whole Foods and eating 2 bars in a mere 2 minutes. I used your recipe and brought these decadent delights to Grandmas for Thanksgiving. They were a HIT and actually was the first dessert off the table that was finished! They taste EXACTLY like the bars from Whole Foods!

Sheryl said...

I just want to say that I searched for a recipe to make the Praline and cream butter bars after leaving Whole Foods and eating 2 bars in a mere 2 minutes. I used your recipe and brought these decadent delights to Grandmas for Thanksgiving. They were a HIT and actually was the first dessert off the table that was finished! They taste EXACTLY like the bars from Whole Foods!

Anonymous said...

I am so excited that you posted this recipe. I just had those bars from Whole Foods-can't wait to try this!!!!
Karen

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to try this recipe! Our Whole Foods first stopped carrying the Mocha Butter Bars (MY FAVORITE!) and then discontinued all of them! They are the most delicious treats I have ever had and I have been hoping to find a recipe to hold me over until I can find them elsewhere :) These look amazing!

Anonymous said...

I just tried the Whole Food Butter bars this past weekend! I came to the computer hoping I could find a recipe that might be similar. I CANNOT believe that you have posted this recipe!!!! I am so excited to make these! Thank you!

Pat Van Landingham said...

I had the recipe for the cafe mocha bars but lost it. I have searched for a long time because I have to drive to Birmingham to buy them from Whole Foods. Do you possible have this recipe too?