Pecan Squares

October 30, 2018

Rich nuts smothered in thick, sweet syrup, nestled atop a buttery shortbread–does this sound like the impossible dream in healthy cooking? Not anymore. My take on this rich, special-occasion dessert employs the nuts, rich syrup, and buttery crust, but it’s made from whole-grain flour and healthy fats.

Makes about 5 dozen


3 cups whole wheat pastry or sprouted whole wheat flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¾ cup Suzanne’s Specialties brown rice syrup

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking pan

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pecan Topping

1½ cups Suzanne’s Specialties brown rice syrup

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup unsweetened almond, soy or other non-dairy milk

4 cups coarsely minced pecans

Make the crust: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the brown rice syrup, oil, and vanilla to make a stiff dough. Press the dough into a lightly oiled 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the crust for 12 minutes, or until golden. Set aside, leaving the oven on.

Make the topping: Combine the rice syrup and oil in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture foams lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in the milk. Stir in the pecans.

Spread the filling evenly over crust. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is bubbling and starting to firm up. Cool completely so the filling sets and cut into 1½- inch squares. These will keep, in a tightly sealed container, for about 5 days.