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Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan pie is probably not the first dessert that comes to mind in the summertime.  But it’s my hubby’s all-time favorite, so for Father’s Day this year?  Pecan Pie Bars.  And let me tell you, they taste just as good coming up on the Fourth of July as they do around Thanksgiving.

Pecan Pie Bars  |  {Five Heart Home}

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of pecan pie, but I find these pecan bars quite irresistible.  They are sweet but not cloyingly so and buttery but not heavy.  The crust resembles pecan shortbread and the filling has the perfect ratio of gooey syrup to toasty nuts.

Pecan Pie Bars  |  {Five Heart Home}

The recipe I adapted this from includes instructions for roughly chopping the pecans.  However, early on in my relationship with my pecan pie expert future husband, I learned that a proper pecan pie (or bar) has nuts chopped so finely that they practically form a veneer that cracks when you cut into it.  That’s the way his sweet Nanny used to make her pies, so I know it’s right.

Pecan Pie Bars  |  {Five Heart Home}

If you’re a fan of pecan pie, these bars are a must-try.  And if you’re not…well, they just might change your mind.

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars

These toasty bars are reminiscent of pecan pie but with an effortless pecan shortbread-like crust instead of a fussy pastry.

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • For the filling:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Cut two pieces of parchment paper or foil to the width of the pan but long enough for overhang, approximately 9- by 16-inches. Place one sheet into the bottom of the pan, pressing it into the corners (the cooking spray should help it stick and stay in place). Lay the second sheet perpendicular to the first sheet, press down in the same manner, and then spray the sheets again with cooking spray.
  3. For the crust:
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, place the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal. Add cold butter cubes and pulse until mixture resembles sand. Evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
  5. For the filling:
  6. Prepare the filling while the crust is baking. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt, and egg until well incorporated. Stir in the pecans.
  7. Pour the filling over the hot crust. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until the top is brown and starting to crack.
  8. Place pan on a cooling rack for one hour before using foil or parchment paper "handles" to remove bars to a cutting board. Cut into small squares and serve.

Notes

To toast whole pecans, bake at 350°F for 7 to 10 minutes or until slightly darker and fragrant (check frequently towards the end!). If you ever toast chopped pecans, keep in mind that they will cook faster and require less time.

If you don't have a food processor to prepare the crust, you can cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives. Alternatively, you can grate a hunk of frozen butter on the largest holes of a box grater before working it into the flour mixture.

If you like a boozy cookie, you may add 1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum to the filling mixture.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.fivehearthome.com/2013/06/21/pecan-pie-bars/

 Adapted from Baking Illustrated.

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Comments

  1. These look delicious! Pinned! Definitely want to try them soon.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for pinning them, Rachel! Let me know what you think when you try them! They never last long at our house…primarily because my hubby is a pecan pie fiend. 😉

  2. Hi! This recipe looks great! Have you ever put chocolate chips into the filling? Chips and a dash of bourbon would make this akin to Derby Pie, but with a yummier crust. Thanks!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi, Kate! I have not tried these with chocolate chips, but I see no reason why you couldn’t (and the same goes for the bourbon!). I think your suggestions would make for great additions…I’ve never had Derby Pie, but it sounds delicious! Enjoy, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Oh, I just love this recipe! Made some yesterday with chocolate chips. The crust is a tasty base and compliments the filling, and your suggestion of chopping the nuts finely – I toasted them and put them in the food processor – made the top crunchy and almost like a toffee. Today I made more, but with walnuts – doubled the recipe, and added 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips. Thank you! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yum, Kate…I’m so glad they turned out tasty with chocolate chips (though I never doubted that they would)! 😉 And I will have to try them with walnuts sometime! Living in Texas, I always have pecans on hand, so sometimes I forget how much I enjoy other types of nuts when I remember to branch out. Thanks so much for letting me know how they turned out! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well! 🙂

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