Dessert · holiday

Pecan Pie Bars

I’ve always been a storyteller.

When I was in elementary school, I would gather my friends around and spin a yarn about my weekend. I was always so excited when I had a killer story to tell. Whether it was a trip to the grocery store with my mom, or a neighborhood biking excursion, I couldn’t wait to tell anyone who would listen my stories.

Me (long hair) thinking of my next story, probably…

Most times, though, life is rather dull. My stories, in turn, would get more extravagant and more outrageous. If nothing happened on a trip to the store, I’d make something up. I was busted once when I told my class a rattlesnake bit me while visiting the base where my uncle was stationed. My mom came to school a few days later to eat lunch with me (that was the cool thing to do when I was a kid) and my friend’s mom was there, too.

“Oh, how is Colleen? I heard she got bit by a snake!”

My mom, flabbergasted, “Excuse me?”

Busted.

One of the long-running stories I had convinced my entire school of was my “allergy”. I was jealous that a kid named Luke was allergic to peanuts, and that my friend Abby was allergic to cocoa. I just had to be allergic to something, dagnabbit!

Cliff notes: I’ve never been allergic to anything.

I spun this yarn about how I was allergic to pecans. It was simple to accomplish the ruse; I already hated pecans. So, for most of my elementary school life, everyone thought I was allergic to pecans…including the teachers.

It’s funny how that storytelling grew up with me into my adult life. My photography career was all about storytelling. I write television news now, and although it’s more methodical and educational, I still find myself spinning yarns with the stories I write.

My storytelling skills may have grown up, but my hatred for pecans did not. I still don’t like to eat them by themselves, but I love pecans when they’re mixed in with something. I have a big place in my heart for pecans in salads and pecan pies.

There’s nothing quite like my dad’s chocolate pecan pie, or my mom’s classic pecan pie. I love that ooey, gooey corn syrup center—that’s what makes a pecan pie so great. These pecan pie “bars” take all the best parts of pecan pie and slaps it on a shortbread-style crust so you can take your pecan pie mobile.

Everybody at work loved these, so I’m sure you will, too.

Enjoy!

Pecan Pie Bars

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

A cross between pecan pie and cookie bars for a mobile sweet treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (for the pecan layer)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped

Directions

  1. Grease a large 9×13″ baking dish (or use parchment paper on the bottom). Make the crust layer: sift together 1 1/3 cups flour and the sugar. Cut cold butter into tiny pieces and put into the flour bowl.
  2. Using your hands, mix together butter with flour-sugar mixture, rubbing into flour until it resembles a coarse meal. Pour into prepared pan and press ino the bottom with your fingers so it’s an even, solid layer.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  4. Make the pecan pie layer: in a large bowl, sift together brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and start stirring in corn syrup. Let mixture sit while crust bakes.
  5. When crust is done, add pecans to corn syrup mixture and stir. Pour pecan mixture over crust and return to the oven for 40-50 minutes. It should be done when the center wobbles a bit, but doesn’t run.
  6. Let pecan pie bars rest in pan until pan is completely cooled, a few hours. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Grease a large 9×13″ baking dish (or use parchment paper on the bottom). Make the crust layer: sift together 1 1/3 cups flour and the sugar. Cut cold butter into tiny pieces and put into the flour bowl.

Using your hands, mix together butter with flour-sugar mixture, rubbing into flour until it resembles a coarse meal.

Pour into prepared pan and press ino the bottom with your fingers so it’s an even, solid layer. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

Make the pecan pie layer: in a large bowl, sift together brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour.

Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and start stirring in corn syrup. Let mixture sit while crust bakes.

When crust is done, add pecans to corn syrup mixture and stir.

Pour pecan mixture over crust and return to the oven for 40-50 minutes. It should be done when the center wobbles a bit, but doesn’t run.

Let pecan pie bars rest in pan until pan is completely cooled, a few hours. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.

2 thoughts on “Pecan Pie Bars

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