FTC: This post was kindly sponsored by Happy Egg; however, as always, all opinions ere my own.
Many readers write to me regarding the perfect dessert to serve at a dinner party, at a meeting, or to take to someone’s house. My philosophy on cooking is that food should be both delicious and easy – and in the dessert realm, that means one thing: my homemade Kentucky Derby Bars! Your neighbor, your family, and the neighborhood food critic will be impressed by these; I’m excited to share them with you today!
With one bite of a Kentucky Derby Bar, you’ll be transported to Churchill Downs and have a Mint Julep in hand. You’ll probably hear “My Old Kentucky Home” playing through your head, your accent will be a little thicker, and you might write your MeeMaw about them. In all seriousness, this is a signature flavor profile here in Kentucky and it’s easy to see why we are famous for it after trying it.
When constructing the perfect dish, it comes down to one thing: choosing the right ingredients. As someone with farming roots, that means that I want ingredients that are produced with care, love, and the highest of standards. For all of my baking needs, there’s no other choice than Happy Egg, which I purchase from my local Kroger.
Happy Egg Free Range Eggs™ are the key ingredient to many of my desserts. Desserts innately make people happy; thus, why wouldn’t I use eggs that come from happy hens?! By choosing Happy Egg Free Range Eggs™, you are choosing a product of the highest quality, taste, and trust level.
The large brown, Grade A eggs come from hens that roam free on over 8 acres of pasture and enjoy a nutrient-rich, vegetarian diet; did you know that most eggs found in the supermarket are from hens that never go outside?
As someone that is actively invested in both the agriculture and culinary industries, I try to be overly cognizant of what I put into my body – and I implore that you do the same. That said, with full confidence, I assert this: Happy Eggs are both good for the hen (humanely produced) and good for you!
My Kentucky Derby Bars require a bipartite recipe: the first part is making a delicious, homemade graham cracker crust that is so simple that you could do it with your eyes closed! Secondly, and most importantly: the delicious topping. Buckle up, y’all — it’s good.
Kentucky Derby Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
3 c. crushed honey graham crackers
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar (white)
1 Happy Egg Free Range Egg White
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. pecans, chopped
1 c. brown sugar, tightly packed
1 c. light corn syrup
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Liberally grease/spray a 13×9 baking pan.
- In mixing bowl, combine honey graham cracker crumbs, a Happy Egg White, melted butter, vanilla extract, and sugar. Stir/mix until well-combined. Press crumb mixture into the greased baking pan, making sure that it is evenly distributed.
- Bake crust for 10 minutes, allowing it to completely cool before adding the topping.
- In a second mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and corn syrup and stir until well-mixed. From there, add 3 Happy Eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, cornstarch, and kosher salt. Stir thoroughly.
- Add chopped pecans and semi-sweet chocolate chips, folding them into the filling.
- Evenly spread over the cooled graham cracker crust and cook for approximately 38 – 40 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
As we get ready for the fastest two minutes in sports – Kentucky Derby season – be sure to include these on your menu. However, here’s a little tip: they’re good year-round, y’all.
As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.
Y’all come back now, ya hear?