These pecan pie bars have caramelized topping on a shortbread crust, for the perfect nut bar. Make this easy pie recipe in under an hour!
These taste just like your favorite Thanksgiving pecan pie, but in an easy-to-snack form. In fact, this is our most requested treat for holiday gift baskets!
In general, dessert bars are a great option for gifting. It’s easy to make a big batch and wrap them up in cute little packages.
Or, serve them on a dessert platter for a gathering of family or friends.
Recipes like Pecan Pie Bars
Easy Lemon Bars are always a favorite for the dessert table and make a lighter option to cut through the heaviness of a full holiday meal.
For something that’s a little less gooey, try Salted Caramel Pecan Toffee Bars. They come together quickly and you only need 7 ingredients!
Tips For Making Pecan Pie Bars
- Making The Crust: The dough will be very sticky, so it helps to sprinkle both the dough and your hands lightly with flour when pressing it into the pan. Also, if you line the pan with parchment first, you can lift the bars right out when you’re done baking and cut them on a cutting board.
- Easy Prep: Either buy chopped pecans or pulse them a few times in a food processor to make quick work of them. Pulse just until roughly chopped, otherwise you’ll end up with nut powder instead.
- Cutting Even Slices: Let the bars cool completely before cutting them and use a sharp knife to get clean edges. I like to refrigerate the pan overnight so they firm up really well.
- Adjust The Recipe: It’s so easy to make half or quarter batches if you don’t need as many or just want a few for yourself. Just use a smaller pan and see the recipe card below for the correct ingredient measurements
Recipe Notes + FAQ
Can pecan bars be frozen?
They sure can! Transfer them to a gallon size freezer bag with sheets of parchment between each layer. Keep in the freezer for up to 6 months and thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter.
How will I know when they’re done?
The bars are ready when you get just a little movement in the middle when you jostle the pan. They will continue to set up as they cool as well. If there’s still a lot of jiggling all over, bake for a little longer.
Can I substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup?
While I haven’t tried it myself, it should work just fine. This is a great option for those needing a low sugar option, and it will add some extra fall flavor!
How can I make these dessert bars dairy free?
Sure! Use a plant based butter that comes in stick form, not a tub. Earth Balance and Country Crock are great options.
There are one or two dairy free whipping creams available, but they can be hard to find. In that case, full fat coconut milk that comes in a can should do the trick.
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Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars + Video
- 1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, 5 sticks, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pecan Pie Topping
- 1 pound unsalted butter, 4 sticks
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 3 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 pounds pecans, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
- Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18×12 by 2-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the edge like you would a pie crust . It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
- For the topping, combine the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans.
- Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published January 2013, updated and republished October 2020
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