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Pecan Bars bring you the flavor of pecan pie in an easy-to-eat bar! These bars have a buttery shortbread crust topped with a sweet pecan filling.
These Pecan Bars are perfect to feed a crowd at all of your fall gatherings. If you’re looking for other dessert bar recipes to make for the holidays, try these No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars or Cranberry Bliss Bars.
Table of Contents
Why We Love Pecan Bars
Pecan bars are a must make this holiday season and here’s why:
- They have all the warm flavors of fall.
- Freezer friendly!
- Perfect to make ahead for your next party.
Ingredients For Pecan Bars
These Pecan Shortbread Bars are made with simple, easy-to-find ingredients!
- All-Purpose Flour
- White Granulated Sugar
- Butter – I like to use unsalted, but if you use salted you can omit the salt in the crust. You’ll want your butter to be cold so you can cut it into the dry ingredients to make the shortbread crust.
- Eggs – Both whole eggs and egg yolks are used for the filling.
- Dark Corn Syrup
- Vanilla Extract
- Light Brown Sugar
- Pecans – You’ll use chopped pecans for the filling. You can buy them pre-chopped, or roughly chop them yourself with a sharp knife.
How To Make Pecan Shortbread Bars
These bars let you have the flavor of pecan pie in an easier-to-make and easier-to-eat way.
Prep – Start by preheating the oven and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. I also recommend spraying the sides with nonstick cooking spray.
Make the Crust – Whisk together the crust dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) in a large bowl then cut in the cold butter. You can use a dough blender or a fork to do this. Cut in the butter until it looks like fine crumbs. Press the crust mixture into the lined baking pan in an even layer.
Bake Crust – Bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Make the Filling – While the crust is baking, make the filling by whisking together the wet ingredients (eggs, egg yolks, corn syrup, vanilla) in a medium bowl. Next stir in the brown sugar then the flour and salt. Finally, fold in the pecans and set aside.
Bake Bars – Pour the filling into the baked crust and bake again until the center is set and not jiggly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can freeze them! The bars can be frozen before or after cutting. If you leave them uncut, tightly wrap the pan in plastic wrap. If you cut them into bars, you can place the bars in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Yes, the crust does need to be pre-baked before topping with the filling. The pecan pie filling is wet and without pre-baking, the shortbread would be soggy.
How To Serve
Slice and Serve – It’s best to let the bars cool for at least an hour before slicing and serving.
For an extra special holiday presentation, serve the pecan pie bars on a platter on their own or with other dessert bars and cookies. You can also use a fine mesh sieve to dust the bars with powdered sugar for a festive look.
They would also make a great gift for neighbors and teachers. Arrange the bars on a plate and add a few whole pecans for presentation, then wrap with plastic wrap or cellophane and tie with a big bow.
Find all the sides you could possibly want for the perfect Thanksgiving menu!
- Add some spice – Stir a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or nutmeg into the flour for the shortbread.
- Add some chocolate – Stir some chocolate chunks into the pecan mixture.
- Swap the pecans – Instead of pecans, use cashew, or walnuts, or do half and half.
- Cool Completely – Before trying to cut the bars, make sure to let them cool for at least an hour. The cool time helps the pecan filling set so you can cut clean bars.
- Parchment and Grease – Even if your baking pan is nonstick, it’s very important to use both parchment paper and nonstick spray. The pecan pie filling can be sticky and the parchment paper makes it easier to lift the bars out of the pan to slice.
Storage and Freezing
Storage – Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freezing – The bars can be frozen, cut or uncut, for up to 3 months. I recommend thawing overnight in the fridge before bringing to room temperature.
More Dessert Bars You’ll Love
- Banana Bars Recipe
- Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars
- Spiced Gingerbread Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Magic Layer Brownie Bars
For the crust:
- 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter cold
For the filling:
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ¼ cup dark corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or imitation vanilla flavor
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ then line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray the sides with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl then cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or a fork until a fine grain starts to form.
- Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan in an even layer then bake for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk the eggs and egg yolks, corn syrup and vanilla together in a medium size bowl then stir in the brown sugar.
- Stir in the flour and salt then fold in the pecans before letting it rest until the crust is cooked.
- When ready, pour the filling onto the crust then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.
- Let the bars cool for at least one hour before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
I make these every year for the holidays and they are always a hit! I needed a gluten free version this year for a party so I made them with Bobs Red Mill 1:1 GF flour blend. They tasted just as amazing. This is forever a favorite!
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