New This Month

Pecan Squares


Falling somewhere between a pie and a cookie, this pastry tops a crisp crust with a thick layer of pecans. The sweet pecan filling offers a delicious variation on the pecan pie-perfect for dessert, lunch, or an afternoon snack.

  • Yield: Makes about 32 cookies

Source: Celebrating 2000, Special Issue 2000


  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 375 degrees. To make the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add salt, and mix to combine. Add flour 1 cup at a time, on medium speed, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until the dough begins to come together in large clumps.

  2. Press dough about 1/4-inch thick into a 9-by-13-by-1-inch baking pan. Prick the pastry with the tines of a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

  3. Reduce oven to 325 degrees. To make the filling: Place butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla.

  4. Pour filling onto the cooled crust. Bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a paring knife around edges of the pan, and invert onto cooling rack, leaving the pastry on the rack. Invert rack with pastry onto a cutting board, leaving the pastry on the board, filling side up. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-by-3-inch bars. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cmun4567gmail
    13 NOV, 2015
    I absolutely love these bars as does everyone else who tries them. I have made these for catering events. My only complaint is that the crust is too thick, so after I mix it I discard a little over 3/4 cup and the amount then seems perfect. I have slightly undercooked as well as slightly over cooked these and they always taste great. Love the flavor of the honey in these. Thanks!
  • cvriley2nd
    15 DEC, 2013
    I have made this recipe since it was published in an Everyday Food magazine years ago. Every person that has tried them, love them. I wouldn't change a single ingredient.
  • Luvlybaker
    16 JAN, 2013
    I just made these! They are very delicious and easy to make. When I poured the filling over the crust it seemed like it wouldn't be enough but it is. The only thing I don't like is how buttery they are. I'm don't like butter and I can taste it alot in these bars and they are greasy on the bottom because if all the butter. Although that made really easy to release from the pan! If you like butter they are perfect!
  • finholl
    17 DEC, 2011
    oh, and let this cool in the pan before removing so the filling can set and the crust doesn't break. I think that is one of the most important instructions to this recipe
  • finholl
    17 DEC, 2011
    I started making these with doubt in my mind that they wouldn't be good. I was worried about the crust, then worried their wasn't enough filling. The crust is really good, especially after the second baking, and there is plenty of filling. I only changed one ingredient. Honey for corn syrup. I would also toast the pecans. I think the crust is a little bit thick for the amount of filling. Use parchment paper to line your pan making for easy pan removal.
  • sasbaker
    23 DEC, 2010
    When I made these (for the second time) is used Brown Sugar Splenda instead of the brown sugar. They turned out great! No one will know they are made with Splenda instead of regualr brown sugar.
  • onelittlebirdie
    29 NOV, 2010
    easy peasy to make, i didn't use an electric mixer with a bowl, just a hand-held mixer and it worked for the crust too. a bonus is how wonderful the whole house smells after baking this! thanks martha!
  • AKnamedK
    23 OCT, 2010
    Soooo flavorful! Best pecan dessert I've had! So buttery, way better than a pecan pie. What am I doing writing this review, I should be eating another pecan square right now!
  • Sweet_One
    18 FEB, 2010
    These are easy to prepare and very delicious. I lined my pan with parchment paper, when cooled, it was very easy to remove the entire sheet of bars to my cutting board. By adding chopped pecans rather than half pieces, the finished bars were easier to cut too. My husband thought these pecan bars were better than those at our local pastry shop!
  • DebbieDurham
    19 MAR, 2009
    mykele - thank you so much for your kind words! Laughter IS INDEED the best medicine! Sometimes the complaints on here are so ridiculous I just can't hold it back. I have to say something! Hope your friend is doing well. What a GREAT friend you are to make cookies for them!