These pecan pie bars are the perfect dessert. A shortbread base covered with a gooey pecan pie filling – they’re so easy to make and everyone loves them!
I have an amazing dessert for you to add to your holiday baking list this year. If you’re not already finished your baking, that is.
These pecan pie bars are fantastic.
And that’s coming from someone that typically skips the desserts that involve nuts. Or sweet custardy type fillings of any kind.
But I loved these pecan pie bars.
I’m kind of thinking that maybe I do like sweet dessert treats involving nuts after all, and just didn’t know it until now.
These pecan bars are so easy to make, and everyone will love them. Or at least everyone here did. They were gone in record time, and I’ve already had multiple requests for another batch before Christmas.
Pretty sure that is going to happen.
What is a pecan pie made of?
Pecan pie is typically made with a filling of butter, sugar, and eggs. It’s basically a custard filling with pecans on top.
For pecan pie bars, the filling isn’t as thick as it would be in a pie, and you use a shortbread base instead of pie crust.
These bars remind me a bit of butter tart squares actually, with the shortbread base and the sweet topping. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite between them though – they’re both delicious!
Can you freeze pecan pie bars?
Yes, you can freeze pecan pie bars. I freeze a lot of baking, and I find that most of it freezes very well.
You will want to let the pecan pie bars cool completely, for at least an hour, before slicing them into bars. Once they’re cool, lift the bars out of the pan with the foil liner.
You can then slice them into bars and freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature before serving them.
How to make Pecan Pie Bars:
- The crust for these bars is a shortbread crust. The easiest way to make it is in a food processor. When it’s ready to go into the baking dish, it will look like crumbs, not dough. Don’t be alarmed, that’s what a shortbread crust should look like. Simply pour the crumbly mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it firmly over the bottom of the pan with your hands.
- You will want to pour the hot filling onto a hot crust for these bars. So plan on making the filling while the crust is in the oven. It should take about the same amount of time, probably a little less for the filling, but it will be fine if it sits for a few minutes while you wait for the crust to finish baking.
- You don’t need to brown the butter before using it in the filling, but it is better if you do. It doesn’t take that much extra time, and adds an extra layer of flavour to the bars, so try to brown it if you can!
Here are some more great bar desserts for you to try:
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 8 pieces
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted at 350F for 5 minutes
- Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil, and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, powdered sugar, corn starch, and salt for the crust. Pulse a couple of times to mix everything.
- Add the butter to the food processor and pulse until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press this crumb mixture into the prepared pan, pressing it down firmly to cover the bottom and up the sides of the pan (about 1/2” up the sides).
- Chill the crust for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the chilled crust for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisking constantly, continue cooking the butter until small brown bits start to appear on the bottom of the pan, then remove the butter immediately from the heat and let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk the brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vanilla into the cooled, melted butter until smooth.
- Add the egg and whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the toasted pecans.
- Once the crust is finished baking, remove it from the oven and pour the filling onto the warm crust, spreading it evenly across the crust.
- Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 22-25 minutes, until the filling is browned and bubbling.
- Let the bars cool for one hour before lifting them out with the foil liner and slicing them into bars.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 133mg Carbohydrates: 17g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 14g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g