These Pecan Pie Bars have a buttery shortbread crust and a caramel-y pecan filling. They are a deliciously decadent treat that are perfect for the holidays and a favorite with everyone who tries them!

Deliciously Decadent Pecan Pie Bars

I have a confession. I’ve never really been a huge fan of pecan pie. In theory, I liked it. I love pie… I love pecans… I love caramel. So what’s not to love? But essentially, it’s just too much. Too rich, too sweet, the crust to nut ratio is wrong.. so I’ve pretty much ignored it.

Enter Pecan Pie Bars. The first time I saw one of these humble little bars I thought “ehh.. not so much a fan of pecan pie..”. BUT. I tried it. And oh my goodness.. it was everything I loved about the elements of pecan pie, but in a much smaller, more balanced, and epically more delicious package. The ratio of crust to filling is about 50/50 which is necessary for balancing out the richness of the filling. The buttery shortbread crust is simply *chef’s kiss*. The pecans are coated in a simple caramel mixture that gives just the right amount of chew without giving your jaw a workout. And topping them off with a sprinkle of sea salt gives a delicious balance of flavor that makes these pecan pie bars into a treat that you don’t want to be left alone with. Trust me.

They make the perfect addition to goodie plates or holiday dessert spreads, and everyone I’ve given them to has asked for the recipe. So let’s just get baking, shall we?

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make These Pecan Pie Bars:

  • Butter
  • Pecans
  • Flour
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Eggs
  • Heavy Cream
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sea Salt
Ingredients needed to make homemade pecan pie bars with shortbread crust.

How to Make Pecan Pie Bars:

  1. Make the shortbread crust. In a food processor, pulse the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter and vanilla, and continue pulsing until the mixture starts to come together and small balls start to form.
  2. Press into pan. Press the crust mixture evenly into a 9×13″ pan that has been lined with foil or parchment paper and lightly greased with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bake crust. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges and the center is set. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Make the filling. In a large sauce pan, combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Temper the eggs. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and give them a quick whisk to combine. Slowly pour a couple tablespoons of the caramel mixture into the eggs, whisking continually. Add a bit more of the caramel mixture, and give it another good whisk. Pour the egg mixture into the caramel mixture and give it a good stir.
  6. Add pecans. Add the vanilla extract and pecans to the mixture and pour over the crust.
  7. Bake. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top isn’t too jiggly and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  8. Cool. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Enjoy!

Tips & Suggestions

Can I use other nuts in this Pecan Pie Bar recipe?

Yes! If you don’t have or don’t want to use pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts make tasty substitutions. Although I haven’t tried it, I have read that rolled oats make a good substitute if you are dealing with a nut allergy.

How should I store leftover pecan pie bars?

For best texture, store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. For longer storage, you can store in the fridge for 5 days. Or, freeze individually wrapped bars in plastic wrap, throw them in a resealable bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Flavor Variations

Before serving, I like to sprinkle the top of the bars with some flaked sea salt. It’s delicious, and helps cut through the buttery sweetness.

For chocolate pecan pie bars, stir 1 cup of chocolate chips into the filling mixture before pouring over the crust and baking.

A slab of pecan pie bars, out of the pan and cut into squares.
A stack of pecan pie bars sprinkled with flaked salt and stacked on a small serving plate with a red linen in the background.

More Delicious Holiday Treat Recipes:

Pecan Pie Bars (No Corn Syrup!)

These Pecan Pie Bars have a buttery shortbread crust and a caramel-y pecan filling. They are a deliciously decadent treat that are perfect for the holidays and a favorite with everyone who tries them!

Prep Time1 hour

Cook Time2 hours

Total Time3 hours

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Servings: 36 bars

Calories: 188kcal

For the Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving some over hanging on the ends to make it easier to lift the bars out once they are done baking. Lightly spray the parchment or foil with cooking spray.

  • In a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt just until combined. Add the cold butter and vanilla, and pulse until the mixture starts to come together with some small round balls starting to form. It will take a few minutes of pulsing.

  • Transfer the mixture to your pan and press the crust evenly in the bottom of the pan with your fingers. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges of the crust are lightly brown and the center is set. Set aside.

For the Filling:

  • In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and cream. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat and simmer on medium low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • This step is tempering the eggs so that they don’t scramble in your caramel mixture. In a small bowl, beat the eggs together with a fork. Add a tablespoon at a time of the caramel mixture to the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue adding caramel and whisking until the eggs have completely combined with the caramel. Pour back into your saucepan.

  • Add vanilla and chopped pecans and stir to combine.

  • Pour the pecan filling onto your crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes. You will know its done when the top isn’t jiggly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. If the top is getting too brown as it bakes, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven, set on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

  • Once the bars have cooled, lift the parchment or foil from the pan and place on a cutting board. Slice into 36 bars. Enjoy!

Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

www.superhealthykids.com

Natalie Monson

I’m a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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