Looking for an easy fall dessert to bake with the kids? These delicious shortbread pecan pie bars have a crispy cookie crust, a gooey caramel filling, and oodles of salty pecans on top. Bake the crust separately so it gets nice and firm and stands up to the mountain of yummy pecan pie filling on top.
Quick, you can only choose one: Is it pumpkin pie or pecan pie??
I'm a pecan pie girl, hands down. I love that ooey-gooey filling with salty pecans topped with whipped cream for my Thanksgiving dessert because I'm all about the texture.
Even though my kids are definitely Team Pumpkin Pie for the holiday, they've recently come around to the joys of pecan pie thanks to these delicious shortbread crust pecan bars.
This easy recipe makes just enough dessert bars to enjoy as a family for a couple days without being too much. If you want to get your Thanksgiving treat fix scratched now, this is the baking idea you need!
This easy bar recipe has a short list of ingredients, you likely have most of this in your pantry right now!
- Sugar & Brown Sugar
- Karo Syrup
- Pecan halves
See recipe card for quantities.
First, assemble and bake the shortbread crust so that it has a nice crispy texture.
Preheat the oven to 325°F and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Add the shortbread ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl: flour, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Stir them together until a thick dough forms. Make sure you haven't missed any dry pockets of flour.
Add the dough to the baking pan and use your fingers to press it firmly into the bottom from corner to corner and side to side.
It may take a little wrangling to keep the parchment in place while pressing the dough but this will help ensure you can get the bars neatly out of the pan for serving later.
Bake the crust alone for 10 - 15 minutes or until it develops a lightly toasted color.
NOTE: I slightly under-baked my crust because I was in a rush. It's worth being patient, your crust should be just a little darker than what is shown in that photo.
While the crust is baking, assemble the pecan pie filling:
Combine the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, and flour until smooth.
Break the pecan halves into quarters by hand. I MUCH prefer to do this than chopping them with a chef's knife. Fresh pecans can tend to fall apart if you chop them and I love big chunks of crispy pecan crunch in each bite.
Stir the pecans into the batter and pour over the baked crust. Use your spatula to spread the pecans out evenly over the crust.
Raise the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 25 - 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is just set.
This is an awesome southern-style classic pecan bar but you could definitely have a little fun with it:
- Spicy Chocolate - Add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and ½ cup chocolate chips to the pecan pie filling
- Maple Bourbon - Swap 2 tablespoon of the brown sugar for 2 tablespoon maple syrup and add 1 tablespoon of bourbon to the pie filling
- Pumpkin Spice - Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the filling
The bars are best served fresh but you can store the shortbread pecan bars in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
If you freeze the bars, don't cut them into squares before storing. Seal them in an airtight container and let thaw in a vented container in your fridge overnight.
The pecan pie bars are delicious on their own, but I highly recommend serving them with a big dollop of whipped cream and a fork!
Easy Thanksgiving Treats
I love pie just as much as the next girl but sometimes a bar is easier to travel with when visiting friends and family for the holiday. Here are some fun twists on Thanksgiving desserts you will love:
If you’ve tried these salted rosemary dinner rolls or any other recipe on PeanutBlossom.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
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Shortbread Pecan Pie Bars
For the Shortbread Crust
- 8 tablespoon (1 stick) butter melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the pecan pie filling
- 2 whole eggs
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup pecans broken into quarters by hand
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Drape a piece of parchment paper over the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch baking dish.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour and stir it in with a spatula. The mixture will get quite thick, be sure to mix until all the flour has been incorporated and there are no dry pockets.
- Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Use your fingers to smooth it into an even layer, right up to each corner and all the sides.
- Bake the crust for 10 - 15 minutes or until it is just barely toasted in color.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, and flour.
- Break the pecans up by hand into quarters. This may take a couple more minutes than chopping with a knife but will the pecans will have a nicer shape and texture.
- Remove the shortbread crust from the oven and pour the pecan filling over the top. Smooth out the pecans so they cover the top evenly.
- Raise the oven temperature to 350°F and bake the pecan bars for 25 - 30 minutes. The top should be golden and crispy and the filling should be set.
- Let the bars cool completely before you attempt to cut them, the filling needs a chance to firm up at room temperature.
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