Pecan Pie Bars

As much as I love pumpkin, I think I might love pecan pie even more at Thanksgiving.  I know that’s probably un-American and that the pilgrims are looking down on me with disgust, but I love, love, love good pecan pie.  When I host Thanksgiving, I usually make sure that there’s a pecan pie right alongside the pumpkin on the dessert table.  This year, these pecan pie bars will be there instead!  I made up a batch of these to take to a party over the weekend and they were such a hit, and so easy, that I think Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to make them for a second time in one week.

Plus, as we all know, a 9×13 pan is bigger than a pie plate.  Possible leftovers!  Score!!!

I started by making a quick shortbread crust.

I used my pastry blender to cut some cold butter into a mixture of sugar, flour and salt.  Keeping the butter as cold as possible and cutting it in will yield a tender, flaky crust.  Once the mixture looked like fine crumbs, I poured it into a greased 9×13 pan.

Then, I put a piece of waxed paper over the crumb mixture and pressed it firmly into the pan.  It went into the oven for about 20 minutes, just until it began to brown up.

While the crust was in the oven, I chopped up 2 1/2 cups of pecans.  This may sound crazy, but these were the prettiest, freshest, fattest pecans I’ve ever seen.  Next time a young volleyball player asks you if you’d like to buy some pecans to help support her team, take her up on it.  (Thanks, Gabbi!)

Once the pecans were chopped, I melted down some butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan.  As that was cooking, I beat up a few eggs.  Once the sugar concoction was blended together and boiling, I added just a bit of it to the beaten eggs.  This helped to bring the eggs up to temperature, so that they wouldn’t scramble as I added them to the hot sugar.

Once the eggs were all mixed in, the pecans followed, along with some vanilla.

(That’s some good smellin’ stuff, right there.)

Next, I poured the pecan mixture over my hot crust.  Then, back into the oven it went.

After 35 minutes, I removed a beautiful 9×13 inch pecan “pie” from the oven.  It took everything I had not to dive in right away.  In fact, I made these the day before I was going to take them to the party, so I had to wait a full day!  So unfair, but it was worth it in the end.

The bars were a hit and I discovered another easy twist for the Thanksgiving table this year.  The crust was buttery and perfectly flaky and the filling was toasty-t0-die-for tasty.  I can’t wait to whip up another batch on Wednesday!  I’m drooling already.

PECAN PIE BARS

Adapted from Southern Living 

Pecan Pie Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2½ cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in ¾ cup butter thoroughly, until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Press mixture into a greased 9x13 inch pan, using a piece of waxed paper to press mixture firmly into pan. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  2. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup and ½ cup butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir ¼ of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs. Add this to the remaining hot sugar mixture. Once combined, add the pecans and vanilla. Pour the filling over the hot crust.
  4. Bake at 350* for 34-35 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container. Can be made ahead.
  5. ENJOY!

12 thoughts on “Pecan Pie Bars

  1. I made these Pecan Pie Bars and they were delicious! I used my food processor to blend the shortbread dough since I didn’t have a pastry blender. The recipe was really easy to make and it was a great twist on the classic pecan pie. The flavor was a little lighter than the typical pecan pie since it used light corn syrup instead of the dark I normally use when making a pie. The edges of these bars were to die for and I fought over the corner pieces with my guests! Thanks for the great new recipe it is going in my binder! 🙂

    • The edge pieces are my favorites, too! I have one of those brownie pans that makes nothing but edge pieces. I’m wondering how these bars would bake up in that pan? Hmmm…might have to try it. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for the feedback!

  2. I made these bars twice in the last week and both times they were a hit! I can’t seem to keep from cooking some of the eggs though even when I mix 1/4 of the hot sugar in first. So I ended up straining the sugar/egg mixture before adding the pecans. It still turned out great but any suggestions you have would be welcome.

    • That happened to me last time I made them! I would suggest having the eggs sit out for a bit, so they are at room temperature instead of really cold from the fridge, when you add the hot liquid. Maybe the temperature difference was too great?

  3. I made these last night, to give to my boo. I’ve never had pecan pie before, so I’m not sure if it’s normal for it to be as sweet as these bars came out. I took one bite of a very small bar, and that’s about all I could handle. Hopefully, this will go over better with the one who has actually eaten pecan pie before and likes it. I, too, had trouble with adding the eggs. I let the eggs sit out, so they wouldn’t be as cold when added to the hot mixture. The eggs ended up cooking and I had to strain the mixture, which was a pain and time consuming.

    • I’m sorry the bars didn’t turn out to your liking. As far as the sweetness, pecan pie is on the sweeter side and I definitely know some people who do not like it because of that. Egg wise, that’s a bummer. 🙁 If you do try making them again, maybe let the eggs sit out, but also make sure that you’re whisking in the eggs gradually, but quickly, not giving them much time to hang out in the hot liquid and cook. Thanks for trying them!

  4. Pingback: Pecan Bars « ice cream meets bowl

  5. Christine, I started making these about two years ago when I found them on your blog. They are a family favorite and now a Thanksgiving tradition! They are so well liked that the kids and husband fight over them! I usually have to hide one for myself! I m here today to pass on the link to your blog to someone who I made them for and decided I should leave a comment about how much we love them!!!! Thank you for posting the recipe 🙂 I hope the weather in Georgia gets cooler for you. It snowed here in Washington today!! Happy Holidays!

    • Hi Michelle! Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m so glad your family and friends have enjoyed them so much. I’ve been meaning to make them again for ages! It’s a little cooler today in Georgia…but not quite “wintery” yet. I’m going to guess that a White Christmas isn’t in my near future. 😉

  6. Another wonderful recipe! These were super successful at a church reception the other night- thanks for the suggestion to take them. Once the ladies of the Altar Guild starting asking for the recipe, I knew I had a hit on my hands! I didn’t have any trouble with my eggs- I put them in a water bath to be on the safe side. My crust took way longer than 20 minutes to lightly brown- closer to 35, actually. The first batch I made, I only pressed the crust into the bottom of the pan and I thought that’s why it took so long. The second time, I pressed it into and up the sides, but it still took 30 minutes. I’m not sure what the difference was- but who cares? I just kept an eye on it and learned to start my butter/sugar mixture later and it turned out perfectly!

  7. I am super late to the post but I made it. I have been buying pecan pie bars at our local farmer’s market. I am addicted but they are a bit costly so I decided to find a recipe. These were delicious and close enough to what I’ve been eating that I’ll be making them again. I do not have a mixer (my hand mixer died and has not been replaced. Yet.) so I had to use my fork, whisk and hands to mix the crust. It turned out beautifully. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed them! They are good, aren’t they? Every time I make them, I think about how I should make them more often! I’m glad they helped take care of your Farmers Market craving!

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