Pecan Pie Bars That Are Better Than Pecan Pie


Perfectly nutty and slightly gooey Pecan Pie Bars are a fast and fun twist on the classic Thanksgiving dessert. With 15 servings, this recipe feeds a crowd and comes together in no time–making it perfect for the holidays!


2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (291g)
½ cup light brown sugar (100g)
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
¾ teaspoon table salt
1 cup unsalted butter, very cold and cubed (226g)
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Pecan Pie Bar Topping
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (57g)
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (200g) (I prefer to use a blend of light and dark brown sugar)
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature preferred, lightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoons table salt
2 ½ cups chopped pecans (250g)

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00:00 Introduction
00:24 Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper or foil, using enough so that the excess hangs over the sides (you’re effectively making a sling that you’ll use to remove the bars after baking and cooling).
00:29 Combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the basin of a food processor and briefly pulse until combined.
01:28 Scatter butter over the top of the mixture and pulse again until just combined and small butter pieces are still remaining.
02:23 Add heavy cream and pulse again until dough is still sandy/just beginning to cling together but will stick together if pressed between your thumb and forefinger (this is about 25-30 1-second pulses for me).
03:17 Pour crumbly mixture into prepared baking pan and use your hands or the back of a spoon to evenly flatten into the pan.
04:17 Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake until the crust is just beginning to turn light golden brown, about 25 minutes. While crust is baking, prepare your pecan pie bar topping.
Pecan Pie Bar Topping
04:26 Melt butter and set aside so it has some time to cool.
04:45 In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and flour and whisk until well-combined and lump free.
05:12 Add eggs, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt and stir until completely combined and then drizzle in melted butter and stir to combine.
06:13 Stir in chopped pecans.
06:25 Once crust has finished baking, pour pecan pie filling over warm crust (use a spatula to evenly distribute the filling/nuts if needed). Return to oven and bake on 350F (175C) for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set and the center does not jiggle when the pan is jostled.
07:12 Allow to cool for 4-6 hours or overnight before cutting and serving.

Preparing without a food processor
Note that while the crust for pecan pie bars can be prepared without a food processor (using a grater or pastry cutter or rubbing the butter into the mixture), it will be very, very difficult to work together. This is a dry dough that really benefits from the power of a food processor, so use yours if you have it!
Corn syrup
I prefer to use light corn syrup, dark corn syrup will work but I find it makes the bars richer in a way that I found to be overpowering. I do not know of a substitute that will work as well as corn syrup; maple syrup and honey tend to make the filling too loose/runny.
I tried this recipe toasting the pecans first and without toasting the pecans and did not find a significant difference and the extra step to be unnecessary. However, you can feel free to toast the pecans first!
After cooling/cutting, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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