Butterscotch Bars with Brown Sugar Meringue Topping
|Pecan pieces||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Flour||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Baking powder||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Cold butter||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), cut into dice|
|Brown sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
1. Place the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch by 13-inch by 2-inch pan with foil, shiny side up, and coat with vegetable spray. Line a 14-inch by 16-inch baking sheet with foil.
2. To make the bars: Place pecan pieces on baking sheet. Toast in oven 7 to 10 minutes, stirring a few times or even browning. Do not allow pecan pieces to burn. Cool to room temperature.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add butter. Process until butter is the size of small peas. Add egg yolks and vanilla and pulse three or four times until the mixture has the consistency of sandy clumps.
4. Pat mixture into pan and level off by pressing with a small offset spatula. Press pecans into mixture.
5. To make topping: Place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until whites hold a peak when the whisk is lifted. Add brown sugar and beat at highest speed about 4 minutes. Spread meringue over pecan layer. Bake 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into bars comes out clean. The meringue will crack slightly, but this will not significantly affect the appearance. Let cool on rack completely and cut into squares. Store between sheets of wax paper in a covered tin.