The Perfect Derby Party Recipe

Phyllis Uncategorized 17 Comments

With the Kentucky Derby only a few weeks away, I thought I’d share this fun recipe for Derby Bars with you.

These sweet squares, featured in Paula Deen’s Southern Desserts 2016, are full of chocolate, pecans, and a little bourbon. You’ll find similar desserts served all over Kentucky, especially in pie form.

Whether you’re looking for cool, no-bake treats that are ready in minutes, juicy fruit cobblers, home-style pies, fluffy cakes, rich brownies, or something in between, Paula Deen’s Southern Desserts 2016 has you covered. From the most casual weeknight supper to Sunday dinners and birthday celebrations, you’ll find a dessert just right for any occasion.

Derby Bars
Write a review
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 cup butter, cut into tablespoons
  5. 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  6. 1 cup dark corn syrup
  7. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  8. 4 large eggs
  9. 2 tablespoons bourbon
  10. 2 cups chopped pecans
  11. 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, letting excess extend over sides of pan; spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Press mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. In same large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and next 4 ingredients until combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate, and pour over prepared crust.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Let cool completely. Using excess foil as handles, remove from pan before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
The Ribbon in My Journal - Phyllis Hoffman DePiano

What are your favorite Southern desserts?

A picture of the cover of Southern Lady's March/April issue

Comments 17

  1. The derby bars were great. Although had one problem the foil stuck to the bottom. I THINK I left them too lo g in the pan.

  2. I just made these for a Derby fundraiser. They came out beautifully! I followed recipe/ instructions to the letter. Naturally while cutting these gorgeous bars I HAD to taste! Hope I’m getting a cold bc, I couldn’t decern much flavor: chocolate, boubon, pecans, nada. It has to be my faulty taste buds. I’ll keep tasting

  3. These sounds terrific: one note, though. Traditional Derby Pie ( copyrighted by Kern’s Kitchens in Louisville) are always made with chopped walnuts, not pecans. I prefer pecans, but Derby purists would never serve bars or pies made with pecans for a Derby event!

    1. Good for Audrey. Really John do you actually think that people who don’t drink alcohol are not “classy”? Shame on you.

  4. I’m Canadian, but I have fallen in love with the whole Kentucky Derby tradition. My husband makes my favourite pecan bourbon squares for me and I decorate the family room, make a derby themed meal and just for fun, pick a horse to win.(I’ve been pretty lucky a couple of times!!)

    1. Hi Audrey! You can omit the bourbon and add a healthy dose of good quality vanilla. I’d add one tablespoon. The other tablespoon of liquid would not be missed.

  5. Thanks for this great southern recipe!
    I love Mississippi Mud- love chocolate, pecans, & melted marshmallows with chocolate icing!!

  6. Your Derby Bars sound terrific, Phyllis! We are big Derby fans and this year we will be glued to the T.V. trying to catch a glimpse of our son who is celebrating his Bachelor party there before his May 21st wedding. He lives near Philadelphia, but he and 14 of his friends are driving/flying to Louisville to celebrate in a big way. As a former southern Indiana girl whose family all loved the Derby, watching it always brings back great memories! I subscribe to three of your magazines and love them all! Thank you for so many hours of great entertainment!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *