These rich and gooey legendary pecan pie bars are the ultimate holiday dessert. Easy pecan bars are perfect for feeding a crowd!
A buttery crust, plenty of brown sugar caramel filling and tons of crunchy pecans…how can you go wrong? If you’re a pecan pie lover, these easy pecan bars are for you.
Most of the time I am not a huge pie fan, I’m more of a cake lover. That being said, pecan pie is my weakness, I can never turn it down. These legendary pecan pie bars have all the same great flavors of pecan pie in a hand held form. It’s a buttery crust topped with the BEST pecan caramel, and these pecan bars also happen to be super easy to make. If you’re a pecan pie lover, you must add these bars to your holiday menu!
This pecan pie bar recipe is from The Simple Kitchen: Quick and Easy Recipes Bursting With Flavor by Chad and Donna Elick. Chad and Donna run the crazy popular blog The Slow Roasted Italian. I’ve been following their blog ever since I was a brand new blogger and was so honored when Donna sent me a copy of their book to review. This new cookbook is a must-have, it’s loaded with quick and easy dinner recipes, delectable desserts, simple side dishes, and more. Every recipe I’ve tried has been a hit (and kid approved!). Donna’s not exaggerating when she calls these pecan pie bars legendary, they are truly the best I’ve had.
How to make pecan pie bars
This recipe starts with a crust that’s a lot like shortbread. The crust gets patted into a pan and baked until golden brown. It takes a little time to work the crust into the pan, I found that using an offset spatula coated with cooking spray really helped with the process. The topping is a mixture of chopped pecans, brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. The mixture goes on top of the crust and the whole thing is baked to gooey, sticky delicious perfection. I chilled my bars to make them easier to slice, they’re great straight from the fridge or you can bring them to room temperature after you cut them.
These pecan squares will most definitely become part of my regular dessert rotation. This recipe feed a crowd which makes it perfect for a party or even a cookie exchange.
I own about 60 cookbooks, and I can truly say that The Simple Kitchen is a keeper. Be sure to pick up your copy soon, or buy a few to give as holiday gifts!
More fabulous holiday desserts
- Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
- Pumpkin Spice Cakes
- Caramel Apple Dip
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Meringue Pie
Pecan Pie Bars
- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature, divided use
- 2 cups light brown sugar packed, divided use
- 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste divided use (can substitute vanilla extract)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound raw pecans chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper for easy bar removal.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream 1 cup of the butter and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the vanilla bean paste and mix until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until the flour and butter have come together.
- Scoop the dough into the pan. Use your fingertips to press the dough evenly into the pan. It may fight you at first. Stick with it and it will come together.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until crust is lightly browned around the edges. All the crust to cool in the refrigerator or freezer while you prepare the filling, but leave the oven on.
- In a 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining 1 cup of butter, the remaining 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and the corn syrup. Stir until well blended.
- Bring to a boil and stir frequently for 3 minutes. The mixture will get light and airy. Remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream and the remaining tablespoon of vanilla bean paste. Stir until combined.
- Add the pecans and stir until they are completely coated.
- Remove the shortbread crust from the refrigerator or freezer and pour the topping over the crust, using a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the pecan topping is set (it will move slowly when you jiggle the pan).
- Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares.