Pecan bars are made with a flaky shortbread crust, crunchy pecans, and a perfectly chewy filling. These treats feature all of the beauty of a rich and delicious pecan pie — in bar form!
If you’re looking for the perfect dish to bring to your next potluck, you’ve found it! This recipe is easy to make and simply delectable. The yummy shortbread crust reminds us of the pecan sandy cookies that we loved as kids. Does anyone else have memories of sneaking some from your parents’ stash? We totally do! Bake these easy pecan pie bars for a large gathering, keep them on hand for a midnight snack, or you can even enjoy them for breakfast. No judgment here! They come together in just a few simple steps and are a unique take on a pecan dessert. Plus, the crust is even easier to make than a pie! The nut lovers in your life will go crazy over our pecan pie bars. They last about a day in our house, so you may want to consider making a double batch!
Corn Syrup Options:
We realize that not every home chef is a fan of corn syrup in baking. No worries! You can substitute with maple syrup instead if desired. It also adds a hint of maple flavoring which goes perfectly with the pecans.
How Can You Tell If Pecan Bars Are Done?
If you’re struggling to determine whether your bars are cooked through, there are a few ways to tell if they are done. First, make sure that the center is set. They should be gooey in the center, but not to the point that they are runny. Then, take a look at the edges. If they are completely set, your dish is done and ready to enjoy!
Do Pecan Pie Bars Need To Be Refrigerated?
This dessert technically doesn’t need to be refrigerated. That said, they will keep longer if you store them in the fridge! We also love the taste and texture of a cold pecan pie bar. If you don’t like them chilled, you can store them on your countertop or in your pantry. They will keep for 3 days at room temperature.
Do I Have to Pre-Bake The Crust?
Yes! For the best results, bake your pecan pie bar crust for no more than 20 minutes before you add the filling. This will ensure that it stays crispy. When you skip this step, you could end up with mushy and soggy results. And no one wants that!
Troubleshooting: How To Keep The Pecans From Burning
You may find that traditional pecan pie burns easily if you’re not careful. The great thing about our easy pecan pie bars is that you don’t need to worry about that when you follow the recipe card below! Simply make sure that your oven is set to 350 degrees F, and keep an eye on the cooking time. After you’ve baked the crust and added the filling, they should be ready in just about 30 minutes!
One of the reasons why we love this recipe so much, is that it makes for the perfect potluck, family party, or bake sale dessert! They are easy to make ahead so that you can get back to party planning. We recommend that you whip them up the night before you plan on serving them. Leave them uncut in the baking dish and refrigerate them once they have cooled. Then, cut into bar form when you’re ready to dig in!
Never run out of pecan bars, and freeze a batch or two! Simply wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap before placing them inside your freezer where they will keep for approximately 2 months. When you’re ready to eat, make sure to thaw the bars in the fridge overnight.
Store pecan bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days. Make sure to let them cool completely before refrigerating!
If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious bar recipes:
Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Best Ever Pecan Bars
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pecans finely chopped
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs beaten
- 2 cups pecans halves or chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in water and vanilla.
- Stir in flour and pecans until well combined.
- Press the crust mixture onto the bottom of the 9×13 pan. Press firmly and make sure there is a small lip around the edges.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Once melted, add corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine until everything is fully melted.
- Remove from heat and whisk in eggs and stir in pecans.
- Pour the mixture onto the warm cooked pecan crust.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center 1 inch, comes out clean.
- Let cool completely and slice into squares and enjoy!