Pecan Pie Bars
Dazzling decadent Pecan Pie Bar Recipe (Caramel Bars), the perfect combination of cookie and pie! Also a fantastic recipe for the holidays that are approaching!
Why We Love This Caramel Pecan Pie Bars Recipe
Simple Thanksgiving desserts are totally my jam. I am definitely a huge fan of classic pecan pie, but these Pecan Pie Bars are made easy, without any gelatin or corn syrup!
These rich chewy Caramel Pecan Pie Bars were created to satisfy pecan pie cravings, without making a fussy pie or complicated pie crust!
I started the Caramel Pecan Pie Bars by pressing my traditional sugar cookie dough into a parchment paper-lined bar pan. I baked the cookie base for a short time to help it set.
Then I warmed dulce de leche (thick rich Mexican-style caramel) in a microwave-safe bowl and mixed it with shelled pecans, a little flour, and a little cinnamon. That’s it. Only four ingredients to make a wonderful caramel pecan pie filling!
Spread the pecan pie filling over the surface of the cookie base and place it back in the oven to finish baking.
What you end up with are tender, nutty cookie bars with a buttery shortbread crust, a soft chewy interior, and a crusty top.
Heaven. Pure heaven.
Ingredients You Need
These pecan caramel bars use simple ingredients that are easy to throw together! While most pecan pie bar recipes use brown sugar to create a caramelly mixture, we decided to skip a step and use canned dulce de leche instead. It makes it so much easier! Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Cookie Base:
- All-purpose Flour – or use a gluten-free replacement flour
- Baking Powder – to make a light and fluffy cookie
- Salt – to balance the flavors
- Softened Unsalted Butter – if you use salted butter, add a bit less extra salt to the recipe
- Granulated Sugar – for a hint of sweetness
- Large Egg – at room temperature
- Vanilla Extract – for added flavor
For the Caramel Pecan Pie Filling:
- Cans of Dulce de Leche – for an easy caramel filling
- Whole Shelled Pecans – or you can opt for chopped pecans if you prefer
- All-Purpose Flour – or a gluten-free replacement flour
- Ground Cinnamon – for added warming spice
Get the Proportions and Full Instructions in the Pecan Carmel Bar Recipe Below!
How To Make Pecan Bars
Preheat the oven to 365 F. Line a 10 X 15-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then scrape the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Beat again to combine. Then with the mixer running, slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Scrape the bowl again and beat until smooth.
Dump the cookie dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to press the dough out evenly from corner to corner. Bake for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, scoop both cans of dulce de leche into a large bowl that is microwave-safe. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until very warm. Then stir in the nuts, flour, and cinnamon. Mix well to avoid clumps.
Carefully pour the nuts mixture evenly over the surface of the cookie base. Press it down a little to even out the filling. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Once cooled, remove the whole sheet out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper and cut into bars.
Top with whipped cream and homemade caramel drizzle, if desired. Enjoy!
Get the Complete (Printable) Pecan Pie Bars (Pecan Caramel Bars) Recipe at the Bottom. Enjoy!
How to Serve These Caramel Pecan Bars
You can cut the Caramel Pecan Pie Bars into 24 large square bars for friends and family, or cut them into 48 smaller rectangular bars for larger parties and work events.
Either way, all who partake will look at you with a new level of warmth and admiration. That is the power of Caramel Pecan Pie Bars. You can enjoy them on their own just as they are in all their caramelly, nutty goodness. Or, you can top them off with whipped cream or ice cream and eat them with a spoon!
If you want a total dessert spread on Thanksgiving (or any holiday), then you should pair these easy caramel pecan pie bars with some of my other easy favorites:
- Caramel Apple Slab Pie
- Easy Pumpkin Slab Pie
- Sweet Potato Pound Cake
- Nutella Chocolate Fondue
- Caramel Apple Dump Cake
Frequently Asked Questions
First, you will par-bake the cookie crust so that it is set and will bake fully once the pie filling is placed on top! Don’t skip baking the cookie crust first or else you might end up with an undercooked cookie bottom!
These pecan pie bars can stay in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week!
Yes, you can definitely store these caramel bars in the freezer! Just make sure to wrap them well in plastic wrap and in a zip bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Then thaw them in the fridge overnight before serving!
Looking for More Thanksgiving Style Desserts? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Fluffy Pumpkin Cream Pie Recipe
- Pumpkin Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache Recipe
- Spiced Apple Ice Cream Recipe
- Easy Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe
- Tres Leches Pie Recipe (Tres Leches Cake)
- Layered Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake Recipe
Pecan Pie Bars Recipe (Caramel Bar)
For the Cookie Base:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 10 X 15 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- For the Cookie Base: Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then scrape the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Beat again to combine. Then with the mixer running, slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Scrape the bowl and beat again until smooth.
- Dump the cookie dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to press the dough out evenly from corner to corner. Bake for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, scoop both cans of dulce de leche into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until very warm. Then mix in the nuts, flour, and cinnamon. Mix well to avoid clumps.
- Carefully spread the nuts mixture evenly over the surface of the cookie base. Press it down a little to even out the filling. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden on top. Once cooled, pull the whole sheet out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper and cut into bars.