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Pecan Pie Bars

Shortbread topped with loads of sweet pecans have all the best flavors of pecan pie but served as a finger food perfect for fall and winter parties. Bonus: These Pecan Pie Bars make a ton and freeze beautifully, making it a great make ahead dessert for fall entertaining. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 48
Author Liz


Ingredients for the Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 1/4 lb. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Ingredients for the Pecan Pie Topping

  • 1 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. honey
  • 3 c. light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp. orange extract
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 lbs. chopped pecans


Make the Shortbread Crust

  1. Place one rack in the middle of the oven, and another just below. On the lower rack, place 1-2 baking sheets covered in aluminum foil to catch any drippings. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer to low and add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Scrape down sides of the bowl and mix again, if needed.

  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined.

  4. Turn out dough onto an 18x12x1 inch baking pan (or deeper). With clean, floured fingers, press into baking sheet, creating a lip around the edges. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Crust should be set but not browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

Directions for the Pecan Pie Topping:

  1. Begin making topping as you remove the crust from the oven to cool.

  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine butter, honey, and brown sugar over low heat. Stir every few minutes until butter is melted. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and slowly stir in extracts and heavy cream. Then stir in pecans, ensuring they're completely coated.

  4. Pour pecan mixture onto cooled crust, trying to keep away from the edges best as possible. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until filling is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour, before cutting. Store in the fridge until serving.