Pecan pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert but I usually opt for pumpkin because I’m averse to baking with corn syrup. Thankfully, it’s possible to make pecan pie with pure maple syrup instead.

Pecan Pie Bars | Tutti Dolci

In lieu of pie, I opted for bars with a cinnamon-graham base. Maple syrup, maple sugar, brown butter, and a splash of whiskey give the filling wonderful flavor. For the topping, pecans plus sea salt add richness and balance. Of course, if you’d like to make pie, simply use this filling with your go-to pie crust (I’d recommend this graham pie crust).

Pecan Pie Bars | Tutti Dolci

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Pecan Pie Bars

  • Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup graham flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp whiskey
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Topping

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Whisk together flours, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Combine melted butter, sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture and fold in until incorporated. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish and bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare filling. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat to cool. Combine maple syrup and whiskey in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and simmer until mixture reaches 225ºF, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. While syrup is simmering, place brown butter and maple sugar in a medium bowl. Once syrup reaches 225ºF, immediately pour over brown butter and maple sugar mixture; let stand 1 minute before whisking until smooth. Slowly pour in eggs, whisking constantly until combined; whisk in vanilla and salt. Increase oven temperature to 400°F and pour filling over warm crust. Top with pecan halves and sea salt.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake an additional 15 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. Cool completely in dish on wire rack. Carefully lift parchment to remove bars from dish and place on a cutting board; cut into squares using a sharp knife. Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days.

Notes

Filling adapted from Deliciously Organic


Nutrition

  • Calories: 210
  • Carbohydrates: 27

45 comments

  1. Lovely! I bet they taste divine with the maple syrup. Happy Thanksgiving later this week (glad our Canadian Thanksgiving was in October and I don’t have a turkey to cook this week 😉

  2. Gorgeous bars for the holidays! I like these better than pie-thinking about making these to go with my pumpkin pie for a change up in my Thanksgiving menu 😉 Thanks 😉

  3. Love this recipe, Laura! You know me, I always enjoy baking with natural sweeteners in lieu of overly refined sugars. And, I love that you used graham flour and cinnamon in your crust! Beautiful styling and photography with the pretty cookie platter, too. Just gorgeous!

  4. These bars look extraordinary Laura! I’m totally drooling over them and I just finished dinner and dessert and am quite satiated but I would some how make room for one of these if you were my neighbor. Oh how I wish you were! 🙂

  5. Maple syrup is an excellent stand-in for corn syrup (I’ve always wanted to try it on homemade marshmallows)! These bars look unbelievably tempting!! I think I’d eat the entire batch. 😀

  6. Oh these bars are gorgeous, Laura! I prefer pecan pie over pumpkin, but pumpkin usually wins out with my sons. These I think I need to make just for me! And I bet swapping maple syrup for the corn syrup just adds a unique flavor! Love it! : )

  7. Oh my gosh, these bars look so good. I love pecan pies, but among all the pies that my family eat, no one votes for pecan pie with me (well even for me it’s tough choice between classic pumpkin and apple, all the fruity ones). Therefore, these bars are very very tempting! I can giveaway to others easily too! Saving… 🙂

  8. OMG….they are delicious!!!! I didn’t find maple sugar, so I used brown, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Make these!!!!

    1. I used Chivas Regal because that’s what I had on hand – the general rule is to use something you wouldn’t mind drinking. You can also use bourbon.

  9. My son and I just made things to bring to a Thanksgiving celebration and they are wonderful. love that guests can grab a Pecan bar alongside a slice of pumpkin pie!

  10. Absolutely delicious! Made this filling/topping to put on top of a gluten free pecan crust I wanted to try out… end result: rave reviews at a Thanksgiving potluck! My partner wants me to make them for Christmas with his family. The only change I made was that I didn’t have maple sugar on hand so I used brown sugar. They turned out without defined layers because my crust rose up through the filling – nobody knew the difference except me!

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