Pecan Bars

Pecan pie in a bite-sized bar is perfect to serve as a holiday dessert.  These pecan pie bars have a tender shortbread crust and all the flavor of pecan pie.  The filling contains some of the classic ingredients from a pecan pie.

The Pecan Bars are great any time of the year but are especially good for Christmas desserts.  Dipping one end in chocolate makes for a tasty and beautiful presentation.

I have made these bars several times in the past.  Always, before I used Ina Garten’s recipe from her cookbook The Barefoot Contessa.

The recipe in this post is still adapted from Ina’s cookbook but it has been halved by food blogger  The halved version uses less butter and pecans.  The original recipe uses 9 sticks of butter and 2 pounds of chopped pecans.

If you are looking for a new dessert for this Christmas, I recommend these bars.

Pecan Bars

  • Difficulty: easy
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For the Crust:

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose-flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Topping:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 lb pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray the bottom and sides of a 13×9-inch baking pan with baking spray.  Line the pan with aluminum foil leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out.  Lightly spray with baking spray and then set aside.

For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.  Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan.

The dough will be sticky, so you can use a piece of plastic wrap (or plastic baggie) around your fingers to help prevent the dough from sticking to you.  Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned.  Allow to cool.

For the toping, combine the butter, honey, and brown sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir.  Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the heavy cream and chopped pecans.  Pour over the crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling is set.  Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool.  Cut into bars.  (Dip one side of the bar in melted chocolate and place on wax paper until set, if desired.)  Makes approximately 20-25 bars.  

Have a safe and Merry Christmas.  Below photo is from my archives.




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