Pecan Shortbread Bars are an irresistible dessert! A mix between a pie and a cookie, these best ever pecan bars have a buttery shortbread crust and a sweet caramel pecan topping.
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I have to admit; I only make this recipe once a year because it is sooo decadent yet SO addicting. It’s truly hard to eat just one pecan bar.
These pecan shortbread bars are chewy, buttery, and just like a pecan pie but in bar form! A buttery shortbread crust is topped with an easy caramel pecan topping and baked until set. This pecan bar recipe is ideal for feeding a crowd, especially during the holidays.
This pecan bar recipe is easy to make and doesn’t require to roll out any pie crust! All you need are a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge. The most difficult part of this recipe is waiting for the bars to cool completely!
PERFECT PECAN SHORTBREAD BAR RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Let’s go over the ingredients used in this pecan bar recipe. Using high-quality ingredients is key to producing a high-quality dessert!
- Butter: I always bake with salted butter. It doesn’t contain any flavorings that unsalted butter has. Just two ingredients; cream and salt. You can use unsalted butter if you prefer, you may just need to increase the sea salt by ¼ tsp in the recipe! Make sure that the butter is at room temperature.
- Sugar: Use your favorite granulated or organic cane sugar! This is the one that I use in all of my baking.
- Egg: Make sure that your egg is at room temperature for the best results.
- Vanilla extract: Always use pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best tasting baked treats!
- All-purpose flour: I always use unbleached all-purpose flour in my baking. You can also use pastry flour or all-purpose gluten free flour with great results as well!
- Honey: I like to use a mild-flavored ethically sourced local pure honey when baking. This one is my favorite!
- Light brown sugar: I like to use light brown sugar for a milder taste, but dark brown sugar works just as well! Use your favorite brand of brown sugar. This is the one that I use in all of my baking.
- Orange and lemon zest: Make sure to wash your orange and lemon before zesting.
- Heavy Cream: This recipe calls for heavy cream. I don’t recommend replacing the cream with milk or a lower fat dairy.
- Pecans: Use your favorite brand of pecans.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT PECAN BARS
This Pecan Bar recipe is sooo easy to make! Let’s go through the steps to make sure you end up with the perfect bars.
STEP ONE: BEAT BUTTER AND SUGAR
The first step in this pecan bar recipe is to make the shortbread crust. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes.
STEP TWO: ADD EGG AND VANILLA
Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
STEP THREE: COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS AND ADD TO BUTTER
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until well combined.
STEP FOUR: PRESS CRUST INTO PAN AND BAKE
Transfer the crust to a 9x9 inch baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan, packing it down into a single smooth layer. Use a fork to poke a few holes into the crust to allow the steam to leave during the baking process. Bake for 15 minutes, then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
STEP FIVE: MAKE FILLING
While the crust is cooling, make the pecan filling. Combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a medium-sized pot. Cook on medium heat until the butter is completely melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, use a timer to boil for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the chopped pecans.
My friends at Samsung Home Appliances sent me an Induction Cooktop and this Pecan Bar recipe was the first recipe I used it for! It features a flex zone area for large, small, and uniquely shaped pots, power boost which boils water in just seconds, and Wi-Fi/bluetooth connectivity. There's also a “Virtual Flame” which shines onto pots to give the look of a gas flame.
STEP SIX: POUR FILLING OVER CRUST AND BAKE
Pour the filling over the baked crust and evenly spread it out. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is set.
STEP SEVEN: COOL COMPLETELY AND CUT INTO BARS
Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack and then use the parchment paper to life them out of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.
STEP EIGHT: DRIZZLE WITH DARK CHOCOLATE AND SEA SALT
At this point, you can leave the bars as they are, or you can dip/drizzle them with melted dark chocolate and flaked sea salt.
PECAN BAR RECIPE FAQS
How to tell when pecan bars are done?
The pecan bars are done when the filling has thickened. The filling will continue to set as it cools.
How do you store pecan bars?
Store your pecan bars covered in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Do pecan bars freeze well?
Yes! You can freeze pecan bars in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
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Pecan Shortbread Bars
- 13 tbsp 188 g butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup 55 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ 225 g cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 10 tbsp 145 g butter
- ⅓ cup 110 g honey
- 1 cup 195 g light brown sugar
- ½ tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 oz 284 g pecans, chopped
- 7 oz dark chocolate optional
- Flaked sea salt optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the sides.
- Make the crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
- Transfer the dough into the prepared pan and use your fingers or the flat bottom of a measuring cup to press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Use a fork to poke a few holes into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool while making the filling.
- Make the filling: Combine the butter, honey, light brown sugar, and zests in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking until the butter has melted. Bring to a boil and then cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Stir in the chopped pecans and mix to combine.
- Pour mixture over the crust and spread it evenly. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the filling has thickened (filling will continue to set as it cools). Transfer the baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once completely cool, use the parchment paper to lift out of the pan and cut into bars.
- Optional: Dip the bars or drizzle with melted dark chocolate and then top with flaked sea salt.