Martha's Pecan Bars

Photo: Bryan Gardner
3 dozen

Martha's pecan bars are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Add them to your dessert rotation and everyone will be impressed.


For the Crust

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the pan

  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with melted butter. Line with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on all sides. Butter parchment; set aside.

  2. Make crust: Place butter and brown sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in salt. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until dough begins to come together in large clumps.

  3. Press dough about 1/4-inch thick into prepared pan. Pierce the dough with a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

  4. Make filling: Place ingredients in a 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; pour filling into the cooled crust.

  5. Bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a paring knife around edges of the pan and invert onto cooling rack. Invert again onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-by-3-inch bars. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

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