Skip to main content

Decadent Pecan Bars Your Family Will Love

Pecan pie has long been a holiday favorite with my family.  It's one of those desserts I reserve only for the holidays because it is so rich and calorie intense.  In my opinion, it is decadence that makes a perfect holiday treat.

I've been looking for desserts lately that are easily served in smaller portions after noticing the family prefers bites of goodies rather than whole slices of pies or cakes. Wanting to keep the essence of pecan pie on our menu I thought a pecan square might make a great substitution.  These pecan squares will be a tasty bite for any holiday table.

The Best Pecan Bars


Pecan squares are perfect small bites for dessert.
Pecan Squares
When you first read this pecan square recipe you are apt to be horrified!  2-1/4 cups of butter, 3-3/4 cups of sugar, 2 cups of pecan...  The list of ingredients conjures up visions of a heart attack waiting to happen and the recipe is expensive to make.  On the other hand, when making these pecan bars for a holiday celebration a little decadence is expected.

Tips for Baking Pecan Bars with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

  • Plan to bake your squares at least a day in advance of serving. You'll want these squares to fully cool and set before cutting. Chilling overnight in the refrigerator is helpful.
  • Use a rimmed half-sheet pan.  Other size pans will not be right for this recipe. The amount of pecan filling is generous.
  • Line your sheet pan completely with foil.  Grease the foil. Keep the foil nice and smooth.  I had a couple of spots where the foil stuck to the squares, so take your time with this.  The foil can be hard to get off.
  • Bake the squares on the center rack of your oven. Cover the bottom rack with foil in case the squares bubble over.  It will burn and make a mess that you'll have trouble cleaning up without the foil.  If you spread your filling carefully it won't make a mess.
  • Cut your squares into small servings, about 1-1/2" square or 1" x 2" rectangles.  Any larger is just too much.
  • Do drizzle the bars with chocolate to make the squares extra special.
  • These squares freeze beautifully so feel free to make them now and serve them later.

Decadent pecan squares.


Decadent Pecan Bars with Chocolate Drizzle

Printer Friendly Recipe
Pecan Squares and Truffles
Decadent Pecan Bars and Oreo Truffles

Shortbread Crust


  • 5 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Pecan Topping


  • 4 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped


Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a half sheet pan with aluminum foil, keeping the foil smooth. Grease the foil.

To make the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar together using your electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the batter, stirring just to combine. The batter will be sticky.

Press the dough evenly onto your sheet pan making an edge around the outside. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until the crust is set but not browned. Set aside to cool.

To make the topping, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Add the honey and brown sugar, stirring to combine well.  Raise the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil.  Let the mixture boil for three minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream and pecans.

Immediately, pour the nut mixture over the crust spreading evenly and leaving the edges free of the topping.  Bake the squares for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping appears set.  Cool completely before adding the chocolate drizzle.

Make the Chocolate Drizzle

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp Crisco shortening
Melt the chocolate and shortening together in a double boiler or your microwave. When using the microwave. Heat the chocolate and shortening for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring in between.  Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, drizzle the chocolate over the squares.  Let the chocolate set. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight before cutting into squares.

Decadent Pecan Squares
Chocolate Topped Pecan Squares


Don't be afraid to make these pecan squares. They'll be a welcome addition to your dessert table for holidays or any special occasion throughout the year.




Before you go.....Never miss a Just One Donna post by signing up to receive posts in your email or your favorite RSS feed.  Links are in the sidebar.

Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Yes please!! These sound like heaven and thanks for all the baking tips! I wonder if this recipe would work in a 9x13 dish with parchment instead of foil? Thanks Donna!
    Jenna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Jenna. No, I wouldn't bake these in a 13x9" pan unless you cut the ingredients. You'll find these to be very generous squares. You'll have more than enough batter for the 13x9" pan if you follow the recipe as stated.

      Delete
  2. Could you use non stick foil and not grease it? Also, what dimensions are in a 1/2 sheet pan?
    This sounnds really good - Im ansious to try. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A half sheet pan is typically 18x13x1-1/2 inches in size. I have never used the non-stick foil product, so I don't know about using it in place of the greased, standard aluminum foil.

      Delete
  3. Ooooh! I can taste these already!
    Rich and delicious 😋
    Thanks
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks so delicious! Thank you so much for joining the party at Dishing It & Digging It! Hope to see you back again this week :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. 9 sticks of butter in this dish-- can that really be true??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I warned you that you'd be shocked! Truth is, this recipe makes at least four dozen squares. You could even get away with cutting them smaller than that. This is a very decadent pecan square. I will only make these as a holiday treat. They freeze beautifully, too. Make a batch now and you'll have plenty for the whole holiday season.

      Delete
  6. These look divine! And yes, sometimes a little decadence is necessary!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These sound perfect...but can I use karo instead of honey? a family member is allergic to honey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In most baking, you can swap honey with corn syrup 1 to 1, unless you use dark corn syrup. Then you will use 1/2 teaspoon of dark corn syrup for 1 teaspoon of honey. With that said, I have never made these squares swapping corn syrup for honey. You'll have to experiment.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Talk to me. I welcome your comments. (These comments are strictly moderated. Spammers take note.)

More Popular Posts

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with hearty bread. This bacon and eggs recipe delivers. Bacon and eggs or eggs and bacon? No matter, it is definitely the breakfast you want on those lazy mornings when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  This is a basted eggs recipe which means the eggs are cooked in bacon grease. Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread

Grandma's Soft and Chewy Date-Filled Cookies

One of the things I can count on as the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons arrive each year is a feeling of nostalgia. The traditional foods we serve at our family's holiday tables can sure bring out all the feels. Now that it is officially cookie season, we should kick it off with an old-fashioned homemade date-filled cookie recipe. This is a soft, tender cookie with dates that is a special, nostalgic, family recipe.   An Old-Fashioned Date Cookies Recipe This old-fashioned, date-filled cookie was my dad's favorite cookie from his childhood. My dad was born in 1932 so this recipe has been around for quite a while. 

How to Doctor Up Store-Bought Potato Salad

Here's a potato salad time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts. You'll love how you can transform grocery store potato salad so easily no matter whether you are hosting a BBQ or bringing a side dish for a summer barbecue. When you need a quick potato salad, and no time to make one from scratch, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of the store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better Take Your Potato Salad from Blah to AH-Mazing! How to Doctor Up Potato Salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having p

Crunchy, Spicy Gingersnap Cookies

Crunchy, spicy, and yummy are all words used to describe a good gingersnap cookie.   While my hands-down, favorite cookie is a gooey chocolate chip cookie I occasionally crave a spicy ginger snaps cookie or  this molasses cookie .  This old-fashioned gingersnap cookie is a winner.  It's easy to make and will be a favorite in your recipe rotation. Traditional Ginger Snaps Cookie Recipe ( This post contains affiliate links.  I will be compensated when you make a purchase with these links.) Gingersnaps Cookies In the U.S., gingersnaps are usually drop cookies with lots of cracks on the surface.  That's exactly how I like them.  Those found in other countries may be thinner and sliced.  The Lebkuchen, a traditional German cookie, and the pepparkakor, from Sweden, are often cut into festive shapes.  My gingersnaps are round. Reasons You'll Love These Gingersnap Cookies These gingersnaps are tasty cookies at any time of the year.   Their spiciness is perfect as a h

Making Pie Dough-America's Test Kitchen Vodka Dough

How many of you watch America's Test Kitchen shows on your local PBS station?  Show of hands, please.  Well, those of you who don't have your hands raised really should check your local TV listings and catch one of the shows soon.  The programs are full of ideas and tips, like this suggestion that you can make a better pie dough using vodka as one of the ingredients.  I know, sounds crazy doesn't it? Vodka Pie Dough Pie dough is not my thing.  No, not at all.  Yes, I've been known to purchase the prepared pie dough from my local grocery store.  No, I'm not ashamed to admit it, and neither should you be.  My mom, keeps telling me that making pie dough is easy.  Yes, easy as pie.  Well, I'm finally willing to tackle the art of making pie dough.  I actually started about a year ago.  I selected different dough recipes, made some pies and compared the crust results.  I had no clear winner with my first attempt at the experiment, so I'm ready to start again.

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies can be a huge annoyance at certain times of the year. What can you do to kill fruit flies? We've all been there wondering how to get rid of fruit flies.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. You don't have to tolerate the annoyance.  This homemade fruit fly trap is one I have been using for many years and it works every time. 

Traditional New England Whoopie Pies

Are you looking for the best whoopie pie recipe?  Whoopie pies are a quintessential New England dessert and a memorable treat from my childhood.   My mom would make them for us every once in a while.  Oh, what a treat to come home from school to a platter of chocolate whoopie pies!  Yum! Today I'm sharing my recipe for the best-ever whoopie pies. The Best Whoopie Pies Recipe without Marshmallow Fluff Whoopie Pies Whoopie pies are soft round cookie-like cakes with a smooth cream filling sandwiched in the center. Debate rages about where whoopie pies originated.  Some say these goodies originated in New England, others say they originated with the Amish.   There is also debate about what ingredients should be in the filling.  Many recipes include fillings made with Marshmallow Fluff or buttercream but neither is  traditional in my opinion.  The whoopie pie of my childhood is a traditional Maine whoopie pie recipe, made with a cooked flour and milk mixture added to sug

Rum Punch for a Party

As the weather warms and you start to think about gathering friends and family for parties and celebrations you'll want to think about signature cocktails. This rum punch cocktail is an ideal cocktail for a large gathering because the flavors are irresistible. Don't you think a warm-weather cocktail should make imagine yourself sitting by the shore on a tropical beach with your toes in the sand? Fruity rum drinks are perfect and rum punch is one of those perfect cocktails.  Cool and fruity, rum punch will make a party! One sip and you'll be transported to the beach. Rum Punch Cocktail (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) Rum Punch for a Party! Can you make a rum punch ahead of time?  This rum punch recipe is a make-ahead recipe I use whenever we are having a large group for a summer picnic or barbecue.  Use the recipe below as your baseline and double or tripl

My Favorite Clam Dip

Hubby and I have a favorite restaurant that serves a to-die-for clam dip with freshly made potato chips.  Every once in a while we find ourselves craving that clam dip. It is easy to make the dip at home with a few ingredients, you may even have on hand now.  That makes this dip easy to whip together for a party or holiday gathering as well as watching the big game this weekend. A Clam Dip Perfect for Any Time of Year Yummy Clam Dip Make the clam dip a day or two ahead of serving for optimal flavor, but if you are like me you'll make it and eat it the same day. It's that good. While we love freshly made potato chips, we don't usually make our own.  A favorite brand of kettle chips is perfect for us. The recipe is perfect as is when served with crackers, vegetables, or thick-cut potato chips. You might want to thin the dip a bit with the reserved clam juice if you are serving it with thinner store-bought potato chips. The dip will thicken when refriger

Easy Chicken Parmesan-A Make Ahead Freezer Dinner

Chicken Parmesan is a favorite dinner in the Just One Donna house.  It's also a favorite restaurant menu choice. I like to keep Chicken Parmesan prepared in my freezer for those busy weeknights when we might be tempted to head to a restaurant instead of eating at home.  That way, we'll have a delicious dinner all ready to go into the oven and save money to boot.  What's not to like about that? Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Busy Families This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small compensation when you shop using these links Easy Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Dinner This Chicken Parmesan recipe is made with everyday ingredients in the spirit of semi-homemade. You may already have the ingredients you need in your pantry.   Chicken Parmesan Ingredients That makes this an easy recipe for any mom or dad to prepare in advance for those busy weeknight dinners. Make a double batch and you'll have a baked Chicken Parmesan dinner for tonight and anoth