Maple Pecan Bars are the perfect crunchy and buttery treat that just melts in your mouth! Made with brown sugar, maple, butter, and topped with pecans.
These Maple Pecan Bars are the perfect Sweet Treat with a similarly sweet, caramel-like flavor to a perfect Pecan Pie. But, you don’t have to worry about a crust or anything. Just pour the pecan and maple syrup mixture into the 8×8 baking pan and pop it in the oven.
MAPLE PECAN BARS
Maple Pecan Bars are the perfect addition to any dessert table. It has the perfect balance with the buttery maple syrup mixture and crackly pecan layer for a chewy and crunchy bar recipe that’s absolutely irresistible. The deep rich maple syrup and brown sugar flavor make it a delicious fall dessert or wonderful holiday party treat.
This sweet pecan mixture is inspired by a classic pecan pie. But, this recipe makes it into easy pecan pie bites, that you can slice into squares and share. The amazing dessert is easy to transport in its square baking dish so you can take it along to bake sales, parties, and potlucks for everyone to enjoy.
For an even more decadent dessert, try drizzling a Chocolate Ganache Topping over the Maple Pecan Bars. The rich chocolatey taste of the chocolate ganache topping will pair perfectly with the complex sweet and smoky flavors of maple, brown sugar, and pecan. You could also serve Maple Bars with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream for the perfect dessert bowl.
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TIPS FOR MAKING MAPLE PECAN BARS
- Prep time: Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and spray a square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. If you don’t have cooking spray, you can also line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Pecan maple syrup mixture: Put softened butter in the microwave for a few seconds to melt it. Then pour the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and eggs into a large bowl. Whisk the butter mixture together until well combined in a gooey texture similar to a traditional pecan pie filling. Then add in the flour and baking powder. Then stir until just combined, there’s not need to overmix. Stir in ½ cup pecan halves to finish the batter.
- Cook time: Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and use a knife or offset rubber spatula to spread it into a flat layer. Sprinkle the remaining pecan halves on top. Pop the dish in the oven for a 30 minute bake time until the bars are a dark golden color with a buttery and crisp texture. Let the dish completely cool before slicing them into pecan pie bites.
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VARIATIONS ON MAPLE PECAN BARS
- Wheat flour: If you want to make the recipe a little more healthy, try using wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. It will add some extra nutrients to the recipe without changing the overall flavor too much.
- Mini maple pecan pies: Instead of baking it in one pan, you can make mini Maple Pecan Pies by baking the maple and pecan batter in muffin tins. Line the muffin tins with paper liners and pour the batter into about ¾ full. If you want to add a crust, you can press a graham cracker mixture into the base of each cupcake liner and pour the pecan and maple over the crust.
- Vanilla: To add some vanilla flavoring to the recipe mix in a splash of vanilla or add in vanilla bean paste.
- Toppings and mix-ins: For an easy and beautiful topping, try adding some flaky salt over the top. The flaky salt will add a little bit of salty flavor to the sweetness and sparkle on top. You could also add cinnamon, toffee toppings, chocolate almonds, chocolate shavings, or walnuts.
- Crust: If you want to make a simple buttery crust for this recipe, you can make an easy graham cracker pie crust. To make the crust, add 1 ½ cups graham crackers to your food processor. Then pulse in the food processor until they’re in coarse crumbs. Pour the coarse crumbs into a mixing bowl with ⅓ cup sugar, and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Mix it all together into a crumbly dough. Then press the crumbly dough into the base of the pan for a smooth crust.
- Creamy chocolate hazelnut topping: for a deliciously creamy chocolate hazelnut topping, you can just spread Nutella over the top of the bars before serving. Or, to make your own, toast 1 cup hazelnuts in a 375-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Then remove the skin, and transfer it to a food processor. Pulse into a paste. Then add 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate wafers to a heavy saucepan to melt over low heat. Mix the hazelnuts, melted semisweet chocolate, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar together.
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HOW TO STORE MAPLE PECAN BARS
- Serve: If you have leftover bars after your holiday gathering, they’ll stay good at room temperature for up to 3 days. Let them cool after the cook time, and then put the bars in an airtight container lined with a paper towel or cover them in aluminum foil.
- Store: Maple Pecan Bars will also stay good in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Freeze: You can also put the bars in an airtight container with a sheet of parchment paper between each layer to freeze them for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar , packed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup pecans , chopped (divided)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking dish with baking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, and eggs until well combined.
- Add in flour and baking powder until just combined.
- Stir in half the pecans.
- Pour into baking dish and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle remaining pecans over the batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool completely before slicing.