These Pecan Pie Bars are sweet, crunchy, gooey, loaded with pecans, an easy shortbread crust and perfect for a crowd! Just like pecan pie but better!
I’m a huge pecan pie fan. I mean HUGE. Whenever I go to a restaurant and pecan pie is on the menu, I always order it. However, sometimes it’s hard to find a really good pecan pie. I don’t like a soggy crust, or not super ooey-gooey, or the flavor is not there. Which is why, I now make my own Pecan Pie, or when I feel adventurous, I make a killer Bourbon Pecan Pie.
But here’s what I love about pecan pie bars. They’re the perfect pecan pie in handheld form. Think about it, no plates or forks to dirty, the only thing you’re dirtying are your fingers. But that’s ok, because these pecan pie bars are finger licking good.
HOW TO MAKE PECAN PIE BARS
THE PAN – I love using a 9×13 inch metal pan for these bars. The way I prep it is spray it with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper, but with the parchment paper hanging off the sides to make it easy to lift out bars.
THE CRUST – The perfect crust for a pecan pie bar is a shortbread crust. It’s super easy to make, no food processor or mixer necessary, just a pastry cutter or two forks is all you need. A good shortbread has only 3 ingredients; flour, butter and sugar. Nothing else fancy is required. All you do is combine all the ingredients, add a bit of salt to bring out the flavors and use a pastry cutter to blend in the butter. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the baking pan and bake it for 20 minutes.
THE FILLING – The filling is a classic with a bit of lemon zest thrown in there and trust me, you won’t want to skip the lemon zest. It’s quite subtle but makes a huge difference. Flour, brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs and lots of pecans is the core of the filling, a classic that doesn’t require other twists besides the lemon zest. A pinch of salt is what brings each of these elements together. Mix it all together and pour it over the pre-baked crust, then bake it again for about 40 to 50 minutes. Let this cool completely before cutting into it.
CAN I FREEZE PECAN PIE BARS
Absolutely! These pecan pie bars freeze great! I find it easier to let them cool completely first, cut them into squares then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and finally place them in a freezer bag before freezing. This way you can wrap them individually, a few or all together.
The day before you want to serve them, take them out of the freezer and thaw them out completely in the refrigerator.
CRAVING MORE PECAN RECIPES? TRY THESE:
- Pecan Pie
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars
- Chocolate Pecan Pie Cookies
- Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Brown Sugar Coated Pecans
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Pecan Pie Bars
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup butter unsalted, cold
- 1/2 cup sugar granulated
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray then line it with parchment paper, but with the parchment paper hanging off the sides to make it easy to lift out bars.
- Add all the crust ingredients to a large bowl and using a pastry cutter or two forks, blend everything together until it resembles a dry coarse meal. Alternatively, you could use a food processor.
- Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared baking dish and press it down evenly into the bottom.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake it for about 20 minutes, until the curst is set and dry on top, but it hasn't yet browned. Let the crust cool completely before adding the filling.
- In a large bowl add the flour, brown sugar, salt and whisk everything together. This will ensure there will be no lumps.
- Add the lemon zest and whisk. Add the corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, and whisk everything together until well combined.
- Fold in the chopped pecans. Let the mixture rest while the crust bakes and cools. During this time the pecan mixture will slightly thicken.
- Pour the pecan filling over the prepared crust and use a spatula to spread the pecans evenly, if needed.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is set. To check if the filling is set, shake the pan and if the center is not wobbly then it's done.
- Cool completely at room temperature, then place the pan in the fridge for several hours or overnight before cutting them.
- The next day, use the parchment paper to gently lift the bars from the pan, then cut into squares using a sharp serrated knife. I cut it into 24 pieces, but you can cut it into 12 if you wish for larger squares.
- All-purpose flour can be substituted with pastry flour or cake flour.
- Corn syrup can be substituted with honey or maple syrup.
- Store the bars into an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.