My Maple Pecan Shortbread Squares recipe was inspired by the much loved Lemon Squares. It has a pecan shortbread cookie and a yummy, gooey, maple layer with just a hint of orange that magically bakes into the middle of the shortbread. You have to use the real maple syrup for this recipe. There are no shortcuts or artificial ingredients. Measuring the nuts by weight is more accurate since 2 ounces of pecans will be a different dry measure if you’re using whole, chopped or ground nuts.
Spray a 13x9x2″ baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Place the flour, pecans, baking powder and salt in the bowl of your food processer and blend to get the pecans to a fine crumb.
Using the food processor to grind the nuts with the flour results in a finely textured dry mix as the flour will absorb some of the oils from the nuts and blend it them together.
Cream the butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl with a mixer set at medium speed.
Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture. Beat just until mixture is throughly combined.
Press the dough into the prepared pan as evenly as you can and bake for 10 minutes.
While the Shortbread is cooking prepare the filling.
In a large bowl combine the eggs and sugar and beat well. Add the maple syrup, orange juice and zest and continue beating. Add the flour and beat until fluffy.
Pour this mixture over the baked crust and return to the oven. Tilt your dish or use a spatula to get it even across the shortbread. Bake for 30 minutes until light brown and crusty.
Cool completely. Make 4 equally spaced cuts on the short direction and 6 equally spaced cuts on the long direction. This will be 24 squares approximately 2 inches each. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve.