These Pecan Pie Bars are everything you love about pecan pie, in convenient handheld form! Chopped pecans are folded into a rich brown sugar mixture, then spread onto a layer of buttery shortbread crust. Bake a batch and watch them disappear!
When it comes to Thanksgiving pies, it seems like you’re either on Team Pumpkin or Team Apple, but I’d like to make a case for Team Pecan—or, specifically, Pecan Pie Bars. These bars are nutty, caramel-y, and buttery, and they’re also destined to be a hit at your next holiday get-together.
Pecan Pie Bar Recipe
The thing with pecan pie is that even if you love it, it can be a bit much. These Pecan Pie Bars take care of that! They’re the perfect bite of pecan pie, with all the richness and nuttiness you love, but just enough to satisfy your craving.
Best of all, since these pecan pie bars can be cut into small pieces, you can totally have one of these and a slice of pumpkin or apple pie. Heck, you might even have room for a scoop of ice cream too!
For the crust:
- All-purpose flour
- Butter – The butter needs to be softened, so take it out about an hour before you’re going to start the recipe.
- Chopped pecans
For the filling:
- Brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Dark corn syrup
- Eggs – Here’s how to crack an egg perfectly every time.
- Vanilla extract
- Coarsely chopped pecans
- Nuts – If you want to make a mixed nut bar, you can chop a variety of nuts and use those in place of the pecans.
- Dark corn syrup – You can mix three parts light corn syrup to one part molasses as a substitute for dark corn syrup.
How to Make Pecan Pie Bars
Preheat your oven to 350°F and take out a 9×13-inch baking pan. There’s no need to grease it!
2. Make the Shortbread Crust
Combine the flour, butter, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Fold in the pecans.
3. Bake the Crust
Press the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the baking pan, then bake for 18-22 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown.
4. Make the Pecan Filling
Combine the brown sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla, and stir well. Fold in the chopped pecans. Spread this mixture over the crust.
5. Bake the Bars
Bake pecan pie bars for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set and a knife inserted an inch from the edge comes out clean.
6. Cool and Serve
Cool the bars completely, then pop them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut into bars, then serve.
Hint: Although you don’t need to grease the pan, you can line it with parchment paper, then lift the bars out once they’ve chilled in the refrigerator. Place them on a cutting board and cut them with a chef’s knife for clean, even pieces.
- Gluten-free – Use your favorite gluten-free baking blend in place of all-purpose flour.
- Dairy-free – If you have a sensitivity to dairy, you can swap the butter for a plant-based butter. (Note that this doesn’t make the recipe vegan, since it still has eggs.)
- Chocolate chip – Fold chocolate chips into the filling for Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars!
How do you keep a pecan pie from being runny?
The flour in this recipe will help these Pecan Pie Bars set up. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure the bars are completely done before you remove them from the oven and chill them before serving.
Is light or dark Karo syrup better for pecan pie?
While you can use light syrup, dark corn syrup adds so much more flavor. I highly recommend it! If you don’t have it on hand, you can use light corn syrup and molasses.
Should you warm up pecan pie bars?
No pecan pie bars, like pecan pie, are best served chilled or at room temperature!
Don’t rush your pecan pie bars! They really do need to chill before you serve them. This lets them set properly so they don’t fall apart when you cut them.
If you’re looking for more….try these recipes next!
Pecan Pie Bars
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, butter and sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup pecans.
- Press crust mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or until edges are very light golden brown.
- Combine brown sugar, 6 tablespoons flour, and salt in large bowl; whisk until mixed. Add corn syrup, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans. Spread evenly over hot, partially baked crust.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set and knife inserted 1-inch from edge comes out clean.
- Cool completely. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Cut into bars.