Calling all pecan pie lovers! These Easy Pecan Pie Bars have all the flavor of a traditional pecan pie, but it a convenient take-on-the-go bar form.
Pecan pie is a classic dessert that is typically enjoyed after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. But why limit yourself to the holiday season? These delicious pecan pie bars are one of my family’s favorite recipes to enjoy all year round.
Buttery pecans atop an easy shortbread crust make this pecan bar recipe the perfect dessert for any occasion. And because it’s made with simple ingredients, it’s an easy recipe for the huge pecan pie fan in your life.
Pecan Pie Bars Ingredients
Table of Contents
- All purpose flour – We use flour for both the crust and the filling. The flour helps hold everything together.
- Fine Sea Salt – Sea salt gives a clean salty flavor.
- Unsalted butter – So that we can control the amount of salt going in, we use unsalted butter here. We don’t want too much salty flavor. Make sure it is cold, as this will be used to form the buttery crust.
- Vegetable shortening – This buttery shortbread crust also uses shortening. It has a higher melting point, so it makes rolling out the crust much easier.
- Pecans – You can either buy these already chopped, or chop them into small pieces yourself. Your pecan pie bars will taste fine either way.
- Light brown sugar – If dark brown sugar is all you have on hand, that’s fine. Just be aware the molasses flavor will be much bolder.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg – The warm flavors of these spices is the best way to bring these bars all together.
- Dark corn syrup – Corn syrup not only is used for a sweetener, but also as a way to provide a smooth texture for the filling.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla adds another flavor dimension to these bars. It balances out the bold flavors of the pecans and dark corn syrup.
- Eggs – Eggs help to hold these easy pecan pie bars together. Any time you see eggs in a recipe, assume they are large eggs.
How to Make Pecan Pie Bars
- Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt together. Sifting them together evenly distributes the flavors.
- Cut in butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, a food processor or a fork, cut in the butter and shortening until it looks like coarse crumbs. Then sprinkle the water into the crumb mixture using a fork until it starts to hold together.
- Refrigerate dough. Shape this dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- Prepare pan. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper (you can use a few drops of water underneath the parchment paper to hold it in place,) and preheat the oven.
- Roll out dough. Roll the pecan pie bars dough out on a floured surface. Line the bottom of the pan with the dough then prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Add back to the refrigerator until the oven is heated. The dough thickness doesn’t need to be perfect and smooth.
- Bake. Bake the crust, remove and set aside. Then turn down the oven temperature.
- Make the filling. In a medium saucepan heat the brown sugar, dark corn syrup, butter, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl beat the eggs and add a large tablespoon of the corn syrup mix stirring constantly so that the eggs don’t set, this called tempering. Remove from the heat and stir it all back together.
- Prepare bars. Add chopped pecans to the bottom of the bottom of the baked crust. Fill the crust with the sugar and egg mixture, the pecans will rise to the top.
- Bake. Bake until the edges are nice and browned.
- Slice. Wait until it cools to slice.
Freezing and Storage
Once the pecan pie bars have cooled and been cut, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
You can also freeze them. Just make sure they are wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container.
If you feel like your pecan pie bars recipe needs to be firmer, you can either use more eggs, or more pecans. You could also use flour or cornstarch. I like to add a few tablespoons of flour.
You can enjoy these dessert bars either hot or cold. I personally like it to be hot with a scoop of ice cream, I like vanilla ice cream best. You can eat it cooled, like a brownie, too.
You can also make these as a round pie. When I make a regular pie I don’t use the flour in the pecan pie filling, as I’m not so worried about it holding together so much. Otherwise, it’s basically the same.
More bar recipes:
Pecan Pie Bars
Pecan Pie Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3-5 tablespoons ice cold water
Pecan Pie Filling:
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup dark corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups pecans , chopped
Pecan Pie Crust:
- Whisk or sift together the flour and salt. Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter or grating in cold butter and shortening until it looks like coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle the water into the dough mixture using a fork until it starts to hold together.
- Shape this dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper (you can use a few drops of water underneath the parchment paper to hold it in place). Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface until 1/8” thick. Line the dish with the dough then genoursly prick the bottom of the dough with a fork.
- Add back to the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to chill.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes, remove and set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Pecan Pie Filling:
- In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar, dark corn syrup, butter, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.
- Temper in the eggs by beating the eggs and adding a large tablespoon (ish) of the sugar corn syrup mix while whisking. Whisk consistently so the eggs don't cook.
- Return the egg mixture to the saucepan, continuing to whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the pie crust. Pour the sugar over the pecans.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
- Remove and allow to cool before serving.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.