Nov 20, 2019

The Best Pecan Pie Bars

Best EVER Pecan Pie Bars recipe! Buttery shortbread crust. Ooey gooey, caramel-y pecan pie filling. Easy, make-ahead recipe. Finger licking goodness in every bite! These pecan pie bar cookies will be your go-to easy dessert recipe for sure!A stack of three Pecan Pie Bars ready to eat.

PECAN PIE BARS

Growing up I never would have eaten pecans, let alone pecan pie. I was a finicky kid and had no idea what I was missing! One year, our daughter, Madison, wanted a pecan pie, and the kid in me came out - I wasn't going to make a pecan pie nor eat it... NO WAY!

In true Madison fashion, she made it herself. I still wasn't going to eat it... but then Don and Madison LOVED IT! I mean they were all about pecan pie! They kept eating it and raving about it. What the heck was I missing?? Were they just messing with me? Curiosity got the best of me. I couldn't NOT eat that pecan pie, so I tried it and liked it! Hey, Mikey!! (Who remembers that?)

Turns out I like pecans after all. Don't get me started on how good this Butter Pecan Cream Cheese Dip is, and have you tried my Easy Caramel Pecan Cake? So good!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I've been dreaming of that pecan pie, but Madison is ALL the way on the other side of the country and I'm no pie maker. So what's a pecan pie craving girl to do?
Plate of the best pecan pie bars on a table ready to eat
Make Pecan Pie Bar Cookies of course! Easy peasy! I like these pecan pie bars MUCH BETTER than in pie form.

Pecan Pie Bars are SO much easier to make (have I mentioned I am pie crust challenged?), and the shortbread crust is so delicate and buttery it just melts in your mouth. Shortbread pairs perfectly with the pecan and caramel topping like they were made for each other. You won't miss the pie crust and that is the truth!

READER REVIEWS

Patricia on Pinterest says: "I've made these for the past four or five years! Each of my friends request their own batches for Thanksgiving! They're so spoiled! LOL!! They freeze well and the crust corners are great chopped up and mixed into vanilla ice cream. Great alternative to a Pecan Pie!"

Lisa agrees: "Just like it says, this is so much better than a pie"

Joni says: "The shortbread crust is PERFECTION!"
Pecan Pie Bars squares on a cutting board with a hand reaching in to pick one up

HOW TO MAKE PECAN PIE BARS

Pecan Pie Bars are very easy to make. For this recipe, the size of the pan is very important! The inside dimensions of the pan needs to be 10" x 15". If you can't find a pan that size, no worries, I've done it for you. Scroll down to my recipe card and you'll find a link to the perfect sized jelly roll pan for this recipe.

SHORTBREAD CRUST

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10" x 15" Jellyroll Pan and line with parchment paper being sure to have parchment hanging over all sides of the pan.
  2. In the bowl of your Food Processor combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With the Food Processor running, feed 1 cup cold, diced butter through the tube until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    How to measure flour for pecan pie barsMeasuring dry ingredients into food processor to make shortbread crust for pecan pie barsAdding chilled butter to food processor to make shortbread crust for pecan pie barsA view inside the food processor showing coarse crumbs for pecan pie bars shortbread crust
  3. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan, and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
    Using a measuring cup to press the shortbread crust into the jelly rollpan for pecan pie bars recipe

PECAN PIE FILLING

  1. In a mixing bowl add 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
    Mixing wet ingredients for pecan pie bars recipe
  2. Mix using a stand or hand mixer until smooth, then fold in 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans.
    Folding in chopped pecans for pecan pie bars recipe
  3. Spread the filling evenly over the baked shortbread crust.
    Spreading the pecan pie filling over the shortbread crust to make pecan pie bars
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes in preheated oven. When done, the filling will be set nicely - no jiggles!
    Pecan pie bars recipe fresh out of the oven and cooling
  5. Cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes for easier slicing. Enjoy!
Stack of 3 ooey gooey pecan pie bars ready to eat

HELPFUL TIPS & FAQ'S FOR MAKING PECAN PIE BARS


WHY USE UNSALTED BUTTER?

I use unsalted butter in cooking and baking almost exclusively mainly because it allows me to control the amount of salt I add to the food. Different butters have different salt levels, so by using unsalted butter it gives me the control over how much salt is added to my recipe.

Secondly, salt is a preservative, so salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted butter. In my mind, unsalted butter is fresher than salted butter.

HOW TO CHOP PECANS

Pecans are easy to chop using a sharp knife like this one. For this recipe a rough chop is fine, but if you'd like the pecans to be smaller continue chopping by using a rocking motion with the knife to chop the pecans to your desired size. Check out this YouTube video for a visual demonstration.

You can also purchase the pecans already chopped. For maximum flavor, I recommend buying the freshest and best quality pecans you can find.

HOW TO MEASURE FLOUR

There is a right way and a wrong way to measure flour. Because we use measuring cups instead of a scale, we need to be careful when measuring flour or we might measure way more than the recipe calls for, like 20 to 30% more! That's a big difference and can completely ruin a recipe. For best results, follow these steps:

  • Use a spoon to fluff up the flour before scooping. This ensures the flour is light & fluffy and not packed down.
  • Use spoon to scoop flour into measuring cup.
  • Use a straight edged such as a knife or, like I did in my photo above, the bottom of another measuring cup to level the flour. Check out this helpful video to see how to properly measure flour.

HOW DO YOU CUT PECAN PIE BARS?

Cool the pecan pie bars completely before cutting. Before cutting, I recommend chilling the bars in the fridge for 30 minutes to make them less sticky for easier slicing. Use a sharp knife and press down on to bars to cut into squares. If you prefer, trim the edge pieces first. Reserve the edge pieces to crumble into vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat. This recipe yields (35) 2 inch pecan pie bars.

HOW TO STORE PECAN PIE BARS?

Store pecan pie bars in an airtight container. If layering, be sure to place a piece of parchment paper between layers to avoid sticking. Pecan pie bars will keep in the refrigerator up to a week. These bars are delicious chilled or at room temperature. Whichever you prefer.

CAN I FREEZE PECAN PIE BARS?

YES! To freeze, slice and store in an airtight container, using parchment paper between layers, and freeze up to 6 months! These bars are so good, I have to hide them in the freezer to make sure they don't get gobbled up before Thanksgiving!

VARIATION - CHOCOLATE DIPPED PECAN PIE BARS

Dip the pecan pie bars in melted chocolate for the chocolate lovers in your life. I like to have some milk and white chocolate dipped pecan pie bars to serve alongside the plain bars for variety. It makes a nice presentation too!






Pecan Pie Bars
Desserts, Holidays
American
Yield: 35 bars
Author:

Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Best EVER Pecan Pie Bars recipe! Buttery shortbread crust. Ooey gooey, caramel-y pecan pie filling. Easy, make-ahead recipe. Finger licking goodness in every bite! These pecan pie bar cookies will be your go-to, easy dessert recipe for sure!
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 50 M

ingredients:

Shortbread Crust
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled (2 sticks)
Pecan Pie Filling
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans

instructions:

How to cook Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Shortbread Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10" x 15" Jellyroll Pan (see notes 1 & 2) and line with parchment paper being sure to have parchment hanging over all sides of the pan.
  2. In the bowl of your Food Processor combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With the Food Processor running, feed 1 cup cold, diced butter through the tube. Once all the butter is processed with the flour mixture it will resemble coarse crumbs. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan, and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. (see note 3)
Pecan Pie Bars
  1. In a mixing bowl add 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  2. Beat using a stand or hand mixer until smooth, then fold in 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans.
  3. Spread the filling evenly over the baked shortbread crust (see note 4).
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes in preheated oven. When done, the filling will be set nicely - no jiggles!
  5. Cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes for easier slicing. Enjoy!

NOTES:

1. It's very important to use the right size baking sheet for this recipe. It must be 10" x 15" inside dimensions. Too big and the bars will be overdone, thin, and crispy. If the pan is too small you will make a mess in your oven and the bars will take forever to cook.
2. Greasing the pan with butter or cooking spray first allows the parchment to stick making it easier to press the shortbread crust down into the pan. Do not butter the top of the parchment.
3. If you don't have a Food Processor, no worries, you can cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or using 2 butter knives. Keep cutting until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. The filling will be right up to the top of the shortbread crust. If you are worried it will spill over in the oven, place the pan on a larger sheet pan lined with foil to make clean up a breeze. I've never had a problem with spills using a 10"x15" jelly roll pan.
Calories
242.31
Fat (grams)
12.53
Sat. Fat (grams)
4.57
Carbs (grams)
31.97
Fiber (grams)
1.04
Net carbs
30.94
Sugar (grams)
23.01
Protein (grams)
2.60
Sodium (milligrams)
78.79
Cholesterol (grams)
37.82
Nutrition label disclaimer: Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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34 comments:

  1. Hi Marion,
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    Site Manager

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Senka, thank you for your kind words and for sharing your site with me! I look forward to checking it out soon! ~Marion

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  2. Marion, every time when I saw related pecan pastries, it make me drool and jealous. Pecan is so nice yet it is extremely expensive in Asia. Make me want to spend some money to get hold of pecan and make this. Cheers and have a nice day! from DBB and pin.

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    1. Oh Ken, I hope you can get a hold of some and maybe treat yourself for a special occasion! Thanks for stopping by and for pinning! Have a great night ~Marion

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  3. I think I'm going to make these for Thanksgiving. Are you freezing yours for Thanksgiving day? I'd love to get some of my baking done ahead of time, and wonder if these will freeze well. What do you think Marion? Your photos are great by the way!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kim, Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words on my photos - that put a big smile on my face! This made a big batch, so I definitely put them in the freezer. I'm hoping they last for Thanksgiving, but I have a feeling I might need to hide them. I was curious to see how well they would thaw and took one out today. It held up nicely and was delicious. I stored them in a glass container with parchment paper between the layers and a tightly fitting lid. I hope that helps ~Marion

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  4. Replies
    1. thanks for stopping by, Beckie! I hope you like 'em! Have a great night ~Marion

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  5. I am definitely going to try this recipe, and I've already put down the size pan to find. Thanks for your beautiful blog. I also read the one about Melanoma. Well done! And I'm glad that is in the past! OK. Now I'm off to read your other blogs. I love that new one where your recipes will be featured by Mytaste! That's a nice compliment!

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    Replies
    1. Marianne, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate your kind words so much! You are most welcome, and I am so glad the melanoma is behind us too! I pray it stays that way :). Definitely try to get the right sized pan for this one. It does make a difference - too small and it will make a mess!! and if you go with a smaller but deeper pan to avoid the mess, you'll have to cook it much longer and the sugars might end up burning. Thanks again! Have a great night ~Marion

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  6. Hi Marion, These look super yummy! I am pinning them. Can't wait to try them. Theresa @DearCreatives

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Theresa! I hope you enjoy them! Have a great Sunday ~Marion

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  7. Wow, this looks amazing! What a smart idea to make them into bars instead of just the regular ol' pie. My dad loves pecan pie, and I bet he would love it if I whipped this up for him. Thanks so much for sharing! I can't wait to try!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I hope you and your dad love 'em!!

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  8. I love pecan pie and these just look amazing! Although I'm afraid to make them because I know I would eat them all!

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    Replies
    1. HA! That's the problem I had!! They are addicting!! Thanks for stopping by Julie! Have a great week!

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  9. So glad your daughter introduced you to the joys of pecan pie..So you could share your pecan pie bar recipe =)

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    Replies
    1. Me too! I can't believe I was missing out all these years ;)

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  10. These look delicious - I do love pecans and this is a yummy way to enjoy them :)

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  11. I love, love, love pecan pie but I'm not much of a pie maker. I think I can handle these. They look fantastic! Nice pics.

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  12. Love that you turned this classic pie into cookie bars!

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  13. Love pecan pie bars because you can keep nibbling and nibbling and it still isn't like having a whole slice! Well. At least no one is counting!

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    Replies
    1. Ain't that the truth?! I'm certainly not counting haha

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  14. I had a few issues making these. Part of the problem is I think I didn't have a big enough food processor. Mine is a nine cup, and the shortbread part never turned into coarse crumbs. I added a little cold water, and then just mushed it into the pan and baked it. Taste wise, it was fine. Then for the filling, again, food processor too small, so it started spilling all over the counter and dripping onto the floor (my dog was thrilled!). I still stirred in the pecans, and poured it onto the shortbread, but even with all the spillage, there was WAY too much. I baked it, and it didn't become firm till almost an hour of baking. It was still delicious. I just have to figure out what to cut back on to make less filling.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry for the issues, but glad they were still delicious! I'm traveling right now, but I believe my food processor is 9 cups. For the crust you may just need to scrape down the sides a bit and process some more to get to the coarse crumbs. For the filling you can use a mixer. I'm kind of lazy and don't like to dirty the mixer, so I just go toss it in the food processor. I've never had a problem with spillage, but my machine might be bigger (i just don't remember & not home to check). I'm surprised it took nearly an hour to bake! Did you maybe use a smaller pan? That's the only thing I can think of that would make it take that long. I hope these suggestions help for the next time. Thanks for letting me know. Have a super week! ~Marion

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  15. Ooh, I pinned this. Never made a pecan pie because I have been too intimidated by even the thought of it but it is my favorite pie. This recipe I will try! Thank you!

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  16. Marion These pecan bars look so Delish! I can't wait to make them. The problem I have is that I am not an experienced baker and I don't have a food processor. Can I use a mixer and a bowl for the recipe? I really would love your advice.

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    Replies
    1. You can use a mixer. For the shortbread crust I recommend using a pastry cutter or two knives, but it is totally doable without a food processor. I hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by ~Marion

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  17. I’m making this tonight but ran out of corn syrup and had to use an alternative method and miss read the pan size and used a sheet pan. Hope they still turn out!

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    Replies
    1. I hope they turned out! Using a larger pan would just mean thinner bars and a shorter cook time, but they should still taste the same. I haven’t tried these with homemade corn syrup. It should work but they might not keep as long due to the homemade syrup as they might harden too much if the sugar crystallizes. I’d love to hear how it worked for you, Stef. Have a super week!!

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  18. I am thinking this is one of the best recipes I've come across and the pictures are fabulous! I am always looking for pecan items to bake because our friends own orchards, and, pecans...well, they are my favorite nut! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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