Pecan Pie Bars are easy mini pecan pies to go! Pecan squares with a gooey pecan filling with chopped pecans on a buttery shortbread crust.
PECAN PIE BARS
What holiday would be complete without a rich, gooey pecan pie? You may have even attempted baking it once or twice for the holidays. It’s not a difficult pie recipe to master, but it can be a bit tricky the first few times. These pie bars are here to change that!
The hardest part of pecan pie is making sure it’s cooked and sets, so there isn’t a runny river when you cut into it. These easy Pecan Bars take all the guess work and stress out of pecan pie, giving you perfect pie filling every time! The filling is thinner than a traditional pie, so it bakes and sets much quicker.
The crust for Pecan Pie Bars is more like a shortbread cookie unlike a regular pie crust. It is slightly crumbly, and the filling soaks in slightly for a melt-in-your-mouth bite. You want to make sure to pre-bake the shortbread so it stays firm under the filling.
The filling on Pecan Bars is soft at room temperature so to make cutting these bars easier, chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. After you cut the bars, store them on the counter so they stay gooey and chewy.
Pecan Pie Bars have all the flavors you love in an iconic Thanksgiving pecan pie but with less fuss. With just a handful of ingredients and an hour of time, you have a perfect make-ahead holiday dessert. Since they cut better chilled, store in the refrigerator uncut overnight and slice right before serving.
Just like pecan pie, these Pecan Bars taste delicious with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or a dollop of Whipped Cream. A drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce would take your dessert to the next level. Warm the bars slightly before serving for dessert or just leave them on the counter for a sweet snack all week long.
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VARIATIONS ON PECAN PIE BARS
- Chocolate: Add even more chocolate to Pecan Bars with milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips. Try adding English toffee bits also. These specialty baking chips can be found in most grocery stores and add an extra sweet crunch to every bite. You can also top the cooked bars with Chocolate Ganache.
- Bourbon: To make these a boozy holiday dessert, add 2-3 tablespoons bourbon to your Pecan Pie Bar filling.
- Maple Syrup: Maple and pecan are delicious together, so replace the vanilla extract with 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup!
- Nuts: You can use any nuts instead of pecans. To chop easier, just pulse in a food processor a few times. Bring out more flavor in the nuts by toasting in a skillet before chopping.
- Brown Butter: Give your shortbread a nutty buttery flavor by browning the butter before making the dough. To brown butter, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling or whisking. Once the butter foams, turns golden brown and gets a nutty aroma, remove from heat.
- Gluten Free: Easily make these gluten-free Pecan Pie Bars by swapping almond flour, coconut flour, or other gluten-free flour at a one-to-one ratio.
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HOW TO STORE PECAN PIE BARS
- Serve: You can keep Pecan Pie Bars at room temperature for up to 4 days. Cover and keep in a cool, dry place.
- Store: Keep these Pecan Pie Bars fresh longer and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Warm in the microwave or bring to room temperature to serve.
- Freeze: Freeze cut bars in a freezer safe bag with parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in the oven at 300 degrees to serve.
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10" x 15" baking pan.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, ½ cup sugar and salt. Mix in small cubes of the 1 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press dough firmly onto the bottom of baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, corn syrup, 1 ½ cups sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla extract. Fold in the chopped pecans.
- When the crust comes out of the oven, pour filling evenly over crust, then put back into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
- Allow bars to cool before cutting.