Pecan Pie Bars are an adorable mini version of a classic dessert. Presented with a decadent, sweet, pecan pie filling with crunchy pecans atop a buttery shortbread crust, these are the perfect addition to have on any holiday dessert table or cookie exchanges
If you love traditional pecan pie, you will love these delicious bars just as much! For even more pecan desserts check out this healthy pecan pie and pumpkin pecan bars. There is always room for pie and pumpkin!
These pecan pie bars look a little fancy and will definitely transform your dessert menu but they really are so easy to make. There is a lovely balance of sweet and salty, a crunchy yet smooth filling combined with a melt in your mouth shortbread base. It really is the perfect treat!
Pecan Pie Bars with Shortbread Crust
Mini desserts are always a favorite crowd-pleaser. It allows you to have a variety of handheld sweets and treats for your guests to grab and mingle with. Being able to prepare desserts ahead of time, and not having to prepare just before serving adds convenience to your holidays. It’s always nice being able to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your loved ones!
The brown sugar, cinnamon, and syrup along with the earthy nutty flavor results in all of the thanksgiving flavors everyone loves. Once cooled, they are much easier to cut into cute little squares for easy handling.
Package some up nicely to give as gifts to loved ones or neighbors. Make a double batch and freeze some for Christmas. Cozy up with a hot cup of tea and a pecan pie bar and satisfy any sweet craving!
How to Make these Bars
For the Crust
Preheat the oven and line an 8 or 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray with non-stick spray.
In a mixing bowl, add softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Beat together and low speed. If you have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, this works best. Otherwise, a hand mixer is just fine. To make life easier, make sure to take the butter out of the fridge about half an hour prior to this step so it can come to room temperature.
Add the all-purpose flour and beat on low speed until large clumps are formed. If you find the dough to be too dry, add a bit of cold water at a time until the large clumps form.
Place dough in the prepared pan and press dough down firmly to form a smooth crust for the bottom layer.
Bake until golden brown along the edges. Remove the crust from the oven and use a fork to poke holes. Allow cooling slightly.
For the Filling
Add corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together to combine well.
In a smaller separate bowl, add the chopped pecans and flour. Mix together. Then add this pecan mixture to the wet ingredients and stir them to combine.
Pour filling over the crust and bake until the filling is firm and no longer moves when the pan is gently shaken.
Remove from oven and cool bars completely. Place the cooled dish in the fridge for about an hour before slicing.
Tips and Variations
- For a flakier crust much like a pie (rather than a shortbread crust) use frozen cubed butter rather than softened butter.
- For thinner bars, use a slightly bigger sized dish. Spreading over a wider area will allow for thinner bars. Not to worry, you can make up for it with wider slices!
- Cutting slices is much easier once the bars have cooled completely. It will hold its shape as opposed to cutting when it’s still warm and falling apart.
- When adding your parchment paper to the dish, make sure to leave about an inch above the rim for easy removal.
- For an added nutty flavor, toast the pecans.
- Adding ¼ cup of chocolate chips along with the pecans in the filling would be a nice chocolatey addition.
- Substitute gluten-free one to one flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill.
- Substitute dark corn syrup if preferred.
These bars will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days and kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. They also freeze well, if you’ve made extra! Keep them in an airtight container or plastic storage bag, separated by parchment paper for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature
Baking this crust first ensures that it will be crispy golden brown and that the pecan filling doesn’t soak into the crust.
Pecan Pie Bars
For the Crust
- ½ cup butter softened (1 stick)
- ¼ cup brown sugar lightly packed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 2-3 tablespoons cold water if needed
For the Filling
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup flour
For the Crust
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line an 8” square baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray it with non-stick baking spray.
- In mixing bowl, add the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and beat together at a low speed. (a stand mixer with the paddle attachment works the best if possible)
- Add the flour and beat on low speed for 1-2 ,minutes or until large clumps are formed. (If the dough seems too dry, add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time until the large clumps form.)
- Place the dough in the parchment paper lined dish and press it down firmly to form the smooth crust.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until it starts turning a golden brown along the edges.
- Remove the crust from the oven and, using a fork, poke it about 10 times. Then set it aside to allow to cool slightly.
For the Filling
- In a large bowl, add the corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt and mix or whisk together until combined well.
- In a smaller, separate bowl, add the chopped pecans and flour and mix together.
- Add the pecans/flour mixture to the wet ingredients and gently stir them to combine.
- Pour the filling over the crust and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is firm and no longer moves when the pan is gently shaken.
- Remove from oven and cool bars completely.
- Place the cooled baking dish in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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