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Pecan Bars

These buttery treats are made with an easy press-in-the-pan shortbread crust.

  • prep: 15 mins
    total time: 1 hour
  • yield: Makes 24

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Ingredients

For The Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Filling

  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg; pulse just until a dough forms.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer dough to prepared pan; with floured fingers and an offset spatula, press firmly into bottom and 3/4 inch up sides. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Prick bottom of dough; bake until lightly golden, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool while preparing filling.

  4. Step 4

    Make the filling: In a large saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly, until smooth; continue boiling, without stirring, until slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Remove pan from heat. Whisk in cream and salt; mix in pecans.

  6. Step 6

    Assemble and bake: Spoon hot filling evenly over crust, using spoon to arrange and press in nuts so they fit snugly (create as flat a surface as possible).

  7. Step 7

    Bake until bubbling and amber-colored, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

  8. Step 8

    Using foil, lift cake from pan; peel off foil. With a sharp knife, trim edges (if desired). Cut into 6 even strips; cut each strip crosswise into 4 even strips to make 24 bars.

Source
Everyday Food, December 2004

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Reviews (23)

  • kvnsgrl 3 Oct, 2013

    This tastes just like pecan pie, but is much easier to make.

  • Karatlover 7 Jan, 2012

    I made the above recipe & have to agree with Camery...too greasy. Then I found original one from original air date. Someone has changed the proportions. A lot more butter vs other indredients in this one. Cooking heat higher and time not as long. The topping would not set & kept puddling in the pan when I removed cut pieces. Guys need to fix this. Still tastes good though. This batch got devoured too.

  • jennchristensen 27 Dec, 2011

    I have made these for Christmas giveaways for three years, and they are the best treat on the platters. My sister has now asked for them for her birthday. Super, super yummy. This year, I tripled the recipe and made a full sheet pan. Still not enough to go around!

  • Karatlover 18 Dec, 2011

    Wish there was way to make this into candy w/o cookie part. Still excellent. I'm from Calif. so I use toasted, salted almonds and I use honey in this recipe. If I don't include this in my Christmas food gifts, I get reactions like they got a lump of coal in their stocking. :D

  • camery 11 Dec, 2011

    I made these today and not happen with he out come, way to oiley with all the butter broke apart and pecan did not stick to the pastry. I was very disappointed. I read the reviews before to check and only saw one negative one and so happen that's what happen with my batch, I say a no to this one.

  • mrosborne 23 Nov, 2011

    I've been making this recipe for at least five years now--every Thanksgiving. I can't not make it or people in my family get upset. If you follow the recipe, they will turn out perfect and the taste is impressive--like something from a high-end bakery. I actually make mine in an 8x8 pan instead of the 9x9, but they always turn out perfect.

  • chamula 6 Nov, 2011

    I cannot recommend this recipe. Too much butter, the final product is very greasy. Also the pastry broke apart before I could cut the squares.

  • Syrup4Me 23 Dec, 2010

    My family and I absolutely love these - they are delish! I made the crust nearly a week in advance (refrigerated it, in the pan, unbaked) and made the topping today. I used 1/4 cup honey instead of corn suryp (I didn't have any). The crust melts in your mouth and the topping isn't too sweet/rich - just a perfect balance of flavor

  • mochamad 9 Dec, 2010

    They are so delicious! As far as cooling them a llittle quicker, I put them down my basement where it's alot cooler.

  • melrod 10 Nov, 2010

    these are so yummy and easy to do, my kids make them all the time. they do require a looooong cooling time so plan accordingly :-)

  • scrapcatb 28 Sep, 2010

    Love this recipe. The one change I made was to add some coarse sea salt to the top of the bars as they cooled, giving them that sweet and salty flavor combination I like so well...

  • EmmyGray 27 Sep, 2010

    These are my "go to" recipe when my guys start asking for pecan pie mid week. They are great packed into lunches.

  • leighannet 27 Sep, 2010

    These look very cute and tasty! Nutr. breakdown: roughly 200 kcal each, 15g fat, 16g Carb. - LAT, RD :)
    To those asking about corn syrup: the main issue to think about with corn syrup is the high fructose type - the body processes this chemically altered sweetener differently than nutural forms of sugar (glucose, etc) and the reaction of insulin is different. HFCS can lead to insulin resistance and other issues.

  • kelecello 31 Dec, 2009

    These are the best Pecan Bars I've ever made!!! I make them all the time because they are loved by everyone!!! You have to make these asap!!

  • craftypam 7 Dec, 2009

    These have been a hit for the past 3 years on my cookie trays. I cut the crust recipe in half

  • DebbieDurham 12 Oct, 2009

    Would someone please explain to me what is the big deal about the corn syrup. Am I missing something? I've been baking for 30 years, part of this time has been in bakeries. I've never heard of this being an issue before now. I must agree with ritamay (1/4 C divided by 24 serving = nothing to obsess about).

  • ritamay 12 Oct, 2009

    1/4 C corn syrup divided by 24 servings is nothing to obsess about.

  • WonderWomyn 12 Oct, 2009

    Using MAPLE syrup or HONEY always makes sense,,,,both are natural sugars and are unrefined,,,,,mus=ch better for the body! Just use less of either (also very economical!)

  • laffgirls 12 Oct, 2009

    HOMEMADE CORN SYRUP
    2 c. white sugar
    3/4 c. water
    1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
    Dash of salt
    Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often.
    Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months. Makes almost 2 cups.

  • Zach 18 Jun, 2008

    Love recipe as written. Rich and good.

  • gerhartl 17 May, 2008

    Rice syrup might be a better substitute for the corn syrup. I fear the maple might be overpowering.

  • soniabeard 15 May, 2008

    I live in South Africa and we do not have such a thing as corn syrup, what could i use in place of it cause these sound so great and i would love to try them. Please help!

  • ulihelisdi 14 May, 2008

    These sound really good, except for the corn syrup, which is not a good thing. I would substitute pure maple syrup for the corn syrup. Much healthier, and tastier