These simple pecan pie bars taste just like pecan pie with a tender shortbread crust, and they are easy and quick to make. They are perfect for a crowd, and taste out of this world!
I’ve fallen in love with pecan pie bars the moment I tried it. It’s a great snack to have around whenever I’m craving a piece of pecan pie. It’s simple and tasty and perfect for a crowd. You can cut the bars big (for yourself) or smaller if you need to feed more people.
Pecan pie filling and shortbread crust
These easy pecan bars are made of a simple shortbread crust that gets its delicious flavor from a combination of butter, sugar, and flour. The filling is gooey, creamy, caramel-y and loaded with pecans.
How to make pecan bars
Start with making the crust. If you’re a beginner and don’t feel comfortable using a pastry cutter or a food processor to make the crust, you can melt the butter, and just mix the crust ingredients together in a bowl until evenly combined and crumbly pieces are formed. Press the crust crumbs into the pan to form an even layer and bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. The crust shouldn’t be fully baked at this point. Baking the crust before adding the filling will prevent a soggy crust. Let the crust cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before adding the filling.
Making the filling is easy. Start by heating butter, maple, and sugar in a saucepan just until the sugar dissolves. The mixture will boil. Then, you’ll need to let the mixture cool until lukewarm before adding the eggs. Once cooled, add the rest of the ingredients except for the pecans, and mix until smooth. Stir in the pecans then spread that deliciousness over the crust. Bake until the filling appears set.
More pecan goodies to try:
Pecan pie bars are a tasty snack to make for a crowd or whenever you're craving a good old pecan pie but need a shortcut. The bars are made with a tender shortbread crust and a rich, caramel-y filling. If you have it, use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar for the crust (not the filling), which gives melt-in-your-mouth texture to the crust. Substitute 100g granulated sugar with 100g powdered sugar (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons).
- 1 and 3/4 cups (250 g/8.8 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100 g/3.5 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks/230 g) cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/115g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100 g) dark or light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (150 g) pure maple syrup
- Pinch salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups (300 g) pecan halves, coarsely chopped and preferably toasted
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides for lifting the bars out of the pan after baking. Set aside.
Make the crust: process flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. Add butter and vanilla extract and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Alternatively, you can crumble all the ingredients together in a bowl using a pastry cutter. Press crumbs firmly into prepared baking pan to form a crust. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before adding the pecan filling.
Make the filling: Heat butter, sugar, and maple syrup together in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until the mixture is boiling and sugar dissolves. Let mixture cool slightly, then whisk in salt, eggs, and vanilla. Add pecans and mix. Pour filling evenly over the crust.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until filling is set. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving so that the filling can set. Lift bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and cut into squares. Store bars in the fridge for up to 1 week.