Pecan pie bars are delicious little taste treats… just like pecan pie, but in easy-to-eat smaller sized bars! This recipe is made without corn syrup, so it’s better for you, while also being totally yummy!
Pecan pie has to be one of my favorite desserts of all time! But sometimes I really don’t want to be rolling out that pie crust, so that’s when I make pecan pie bars.
Anyway, we were shopping at an agro-farm shop the other day and I found some adorable little baby pecan halves, so I scooped them up and earmarked them for pecan pie bars. I call them miracle bars because they are so easy and yet have all the amazing flavor of a full-on pecan pie – with less fuss!
Let’s Make Some Miracle Pecan Pie Bars
This recipe is so easy it is almost ridiculous. The few pure and natural ingredients do all the work to come together in that amazing taste I love.
For these pecan pie bars, you’ll start with a simple pie crust recipe. I’ve seen recipes for pecan pie bars that use a shortbread cookie crust, but the filling is so incredibly sweet that I go for a regular pie crust base. That way, it’s more like the flavor of traditional pecan pie, too. The crust is pressed into a pan, pricked with a fork and is baked for a few minutes.
While the crust is baking, you mix together the rest of the ingredients, which starts with melting the butter. I use dark brown sugar for this recipe and it comes out nice and caramel-y – a bit more than a traditional pecan pie. Also, I always avoid using high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in my cooking due to the abundant evidence that HFCS is really bad for health.
Instead of using corn syrup, we use just a little bit of flour to thicken the filling and it works fantastically! The flour and sugar get mixed together and added to the melted butter. Whisk. The eggs are added. Whisk again. Add vanilla and then the pecans. Whisk, whisk… then pour.
I use pecan halves for this recipe, but you could also use pecan pieces if that’s what you have on hand – they’ll just look a little different on top. My baby pecans were incredibly sweet teeny little pecan halves – so adorable! And they worked perfectly in this recipe.
The filling is poured onto the crust while the crust is still hot, then the pan goes back into the oven to bake the filling. Cool before slicing, so the filling has a chance to set up. Use a sharp knife to cut through the pecan halves, which have risen to the top of the filling to make that nice sugary pecan topping.
Crunchy pecan topping, juicy brown sugar filling, buttery pie crust – who could ask for more???
I hope you try these scrumptious miracle pecan pie bars soon! You’re sure to love them!
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Miracle Pecan Pie Bars (Without Corn Syrup!)
For the crust: Use your favorite single crust pie crust recipe or follow the one here:
- 1⅓ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter
- 3 TBSP cold water
For the filling:
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1½ cups brown sugar*
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1½ cups pecan halves or pieces
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Line the bottom of an 8" x 8" square pan with parchment, allowing the parchment to come up over the sides for easy removal
- Pre-heat oven to 350°
For the crust:
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add flour and salt; mix together
- Add cold butter, cutting in with a knife and either pulsing or using your hands to make small pea-sized pieces throughout
- Add in cold water and make into a ball of dough
- Press the dough into the bottom of the lined pan to make a crust of no more than ½ inch in depth. Press the dough just into the bottom of the pan, not up the sides. You may not need all of the dough
- Prick the crust all-over with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes
For the filling:
- While the crust is baking: In a small mixing bowl, whisk the sugar and flour together; set aside
- Melt butter in the bottom of a medium sized saucepan
- Add the sugar/flour mix to melted butter and whisk
- Add eggs and vanilla and whisk again
- When the crust is ready, remove from oven. Whisk the pecans into the filling mixture and quickly pour the filling mixture onto the crust
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes more, until a crust has formed on the top of the bars
- Remove from oven and cool before slicing