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Pecan Shortbread Bars 

If you love pecan pie, you’ll love these easy 6 ingredients Pecan Shortbread Bars. With a shortbread crust topped with pecans coated in a quick caramel sauce. These gooey pecan dessert bars are delicious!

The bars stacked on top of each other.

⭐ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • 3 ingredient shortbread crust. 
  • Quick homemade caramel sauce. 
  • Made without corn syrup.
  • Lunch box friendly. 
  • Serve as a warm pecan dessert with ice cream. 

This recipe for easy pecan pie shortbread bars is created with a 3 ingredient shortbread base and an indulgent brown sugar and maple caramel pecan topping made without corn syrup. These bars are a take on the traditional pecan pie, a classic and popular American dessert. 

The rich caramel and maple pecan topping is made without corn syrup, making this a healthier version of pecan bars. 

A scrumptious batch of Pecan Pie Bars will satisfy everyones sweet tooth. Created with an easy 4-ingredient shortbread base and an indulgent brown sugar and maple caramel pecan topping. These bars are a take on the traditional pecan pie, a classic and popular American dessert.

You can serve these bars as a delicious pecan dessert warmed up and served with scoops of vanilla ice cream. With the added crunch from the pecan topping and the melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust, these pecan squares are a crowd pleaser. 

Make these pecan shortbread bars as a Thanksgiving dessert that the whole family can enjoy. You can warm the squares up in the oven so they’re nice and warm. Serve with vanilla ice cream by the fireplace. 

A tall stack of the bars after baking.

If you live in Australia, enjoy making this recipe for pecan bars all year round. During Thanksgiving and the festive holiday season, serve the bars cold from the fridge with scoops of ice cream as a refreshing dessert. 

If you’re interested in more easy dessert recipes, try my Almond Slice, Quick & Easy Apple Crumble, Sticky Date Pudding, and this Raspberry Chocolate Semifreddo.

📋 Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

Here is what you need to make these easy pecan shortbread bars:

  • Salted butter – must be soft at room temperature before starting your pecan bars. You can use unsalted butter, just be sure to add 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt or Kosher salt to both the base and topping. 
  • Plain flour – is also known as all-purpose flour in the US. 
  • Pecans – use pecan halves or whole pecans roughly chopped.
  • Maple syrup – a pure maple syrup works best with no added sweeteners. 
  • Thickened cream – also known as heavy cream in the US. Do not use whipped cream. 

🥣 Step By Step Instructions

How to make pecan bars in 6 easy steps!

1) In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, and sugar. 

Whisking the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

2) Rub the softened butter into the flour until it turns crumbly. 

Rubbing the softened butter into the flour to form a crumbly dough.

3) Firmly press the dough into the pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Pressing the base into the lined pan and baking it for 15 to 18 minutes.

4) In a pot, add the butter, sugar, maple syrup, and cream. Warm through until the butter has melted. Then boil for 2 minutes.

5) Turn off the heat and stir through the pecans. 

Making the caramel sauce and stirring through the pecans in a pot on the stove.

6) Pour the topping over the base. Bake for a further 20 minutes. Allow them to cool before slicing into squares or longer bars. Enjoy! 

Pouring the topping over the base and baking it for a further 20 minutes.

💭 Tips For Recipe Success

  • The butter for the shortbread base must be soft at room temperature. This makes it easier for you to rub it into the flour to create the dough. 
  • Use pecan halves for best results or use whole pecans and roughly chop them. 
  • Pure maple syrup works best, not maple syrup with added sweeteners. 
  • Use a thickened cream, also known as heavy cream in the US. Not whipped cream. 

⏲️ Storage Instructions

Store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week. Store it in the refrigerator if it begins to soften/melt in warm weather.

Freeze individual pecan bars by first allowing them to cool completely after baking. Place them in a freezer-friendly container, making sure they aren’t touching. Place a layer of parchment paper between layers. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

Thaw pecan bars at room temperature until defrosted. To serve, warm them back up in the oven or microwave until soft. 

Showing the layers of one bar.

💬 Recipe FAQ’s

Can I make these pecan bars gluten-free?

This recipe has not been tested using gluten-free flour however, try using your favorite baking all purpose plain gluten-free flour for best results. 

How do you store pecan bars?

Store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week. Store it in the refrigerator if it begins to soften/melt in warm weather.

Can I freeze pecan bars?

Yes! Freeze individual pecan bars by placing them in a freezer-friendly container, making sure they aren’t touching. Place a layer of parchment paper between layers. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

The caramel pecan topping.

🥄 Related Recipes

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x

A stack of pecan bars.

Pecan Shortbread Bars 

Samantha Pickthall
If you love pecan pie, you’ll love these 6 ingredient Pecan Shortbread Bars. With a shortbread crust topped with pecans coated in a quick caramel sauce.
4.12 from 18 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert, Slice
Cuisine American
Servings 16 bars
Calories 278 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Shortbread Base

  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain all-purpose flour, scoop & leveled
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) salted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature

Pecan Topping

  • 1 3/4 cups pecan halves, or whole pecans roughly chopped
  • 70 g (1/3 cup) salted butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp thickened/heavy cream, not whipped cream

Instructions
 

Shortbread Base

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºC). Line a 11-inch x 7-inch (28cm x 18cm) rectangular baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add flour, and sugar. Whisk to combine.
  • Add softened butter and using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until you reach a crumbly texture, about 1 minute. It should stick together when pressed.
  • Firmly press the dough into the base of the lined pan.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and set it aside. Leaving the oven on.

Pecan Topping

  • In a medium-sized pot, add the butter, sugar, maple syrup, and cream.
  • Place over low heat and warm through until the butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Do not bring it to a boil yet.
  • Increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning on the base of the pot.
  • Turn off the heat and stir through the chopped pecans.
  • Pour the topping over the base and spread it out evenly.
  • Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes. It will bubble and turn golden all over.
  • Remove from the oven, set aside, and allow it to cool in the pan for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
  • Slice into squares or longer bars.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week. Store it in the refrigerator if it begins to soften/melt in warm weather.

Notes

The butter for the shortbread base must be soft at room temperature. This makes it easier for you to rub it into the flour to create the dough.
Use pecan halves for best results or use whole pecans and roughly chop them.
Pure maple syrup works best, not maple syrup with added sweeteners.
Use a thickened cream, also known as heavy cream in the US. Not whipped cream.
Store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week. Store it in the refrigerator if it begins to soften/melt in warm weather.
Freeze individual pecan bars by first allowing them to cool completely after baking. Place them in a freezer-friendly container, making sure they aren’t touching. Place a layer of parchment paper between layers. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw pecan bars at room temperature until defrosted. To serve, warm them back up in the oven or microwave until soft.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 2gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 95mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 386IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Keyword caramel, pecan pie, pecans
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x

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