Easy homemade pecan pie bars made with a buttery shortbread crust and gooey pecan pie filling. They’re perfectly caramelly, nutty, crispy and chewy all in one bite!
Pecan Shortbread Bars
These pecan pie bars are one of my favorite holiday desserts! They’re buttery and caramelly and nutty, crispy and chewy, just pure wonderfulness. They’re like part pecan pie and part shortbread and I make them absolutely every year.
Did I mention they’re pretty easy to make too? You make a quick food processor dough, press into a pan and bake, then top with a caramel and pecan topping that cooks on the stove in no time. Simple and delicious – perfect for the holidays or really anytime!
Buttery Shortbread Crust
The shortbread crust is one of the main things that differentiates this recipe from the classic pie version that’s made with a homemade pie crust. Shortbread is made with more sugar than pie dough, resulting in a sweeter crust that’s more crumbly and tender. It tastes similar to a sugar cookie, but with a denser consistency.
- Bake crust first. You’ll need to prebake the shortbread crust before adding the filling, or else the crust won’t cook all the way. Press it into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden. Then pour the filling on top and continue baking as directed.
- Keep an eye on the caramel. Similar to when making homemade caramel on the stove, it’s important to keep an eye on the mixture so that it doesn’t burn. Once the sugar dissolves and the mixture is boiling, that’s when it’s ready to go. The caramel color will get even bolder as the bars bake in the oven.
- Let set. These bars will need to cool completely before slicing. The filling will continue to set as they cool. You can let them chill in the fridge to speed up the process if you prefer.
There are a few different ways to make these easy pecan pie bars your own. Add a drizzle of melted chocolate over the top or use 2 cups pecans and 2 cups walnuts for a fun flavor and texture. Both taste delicious!
How to Store Pecan Pie Bars
- Storing: Cover the pan with a lid or transfer the sliced bars to an airtight container. The filling for the bars is a bit sticky, so it helps to add a sheet of wax paper in between each layer so they don’t stick together. They will keep at room temperature for about 2 to 3 days.
- Freezing: Once the bars have been cooled and sliced, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and flash freeze for about an hour. This helps harden them so that they don’t stick together. Then stack in a freezer container or bag and freeze for 3-6 months. Let thaw on the counter for a few hours before enjoying.
More Easy Holiday Desserts:
Pecan Pie Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13" baking pan with nonstick foil, leaving about 1″ of overhang. Blend the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and process until mixture clumps together.
- Pour into the baking pan and press evenly. Bake until light golden, 25 minutes. Lower heat to 325ºF.
- Meanwhile stir brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils. Add pecans and cream and boil until it thickens slightly. Stir in vanilla and pour over the baked crust.
- Bake until caramel is darker and bubbles thickly, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Use the foil to lift the cookies out and cut into squares.
Recipe contributed by Jennifer from The Chronicles of Home.