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 pounds of pecans...  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-sized 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 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
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 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.



  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!

    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.

  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

    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.

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

  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 :)

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

    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.

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

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

    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.

  8. 2 cups or 2 pounds? The beginning states 2 cups. Recipe states 2 pounds. Which is it? Thanks!

    1. It's pounds. It's a lot but makes a thick yummy, topping.


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 egg 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 fo

The Best Asian Dipping Sauce You'll Ever Taste

If you're looking for a versatile, easy-to-make Asian dipping sauce perfect for sushi and dumplings, then you've come to the right place. This recipe for the best Asian dipping sauce is perfect for any time you want a  kick of delicious Asian flavor. An Asian Dipping Sauce for Sushi and Dumplings Try this if you are looking for a dipping sauce that is a little more flavorful than you typically get with your takeout order. You'll love it with dumplings, too!

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. 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 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 When you need a quick potato salad, and have 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. Yes, you can improve store-bought potato salad. How to Doctor Up Potato Salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having

Five Keys to Growing A Healthy Ficus Tree

Have you ever wondered how a single Ficus benjamina tree could become a beloved part of your home for decades, thriving and growing alongside your family?  If you haven’t yet, you might consider the addition of this living, air-purifying companion in your home that not only beautifies your space but also stands the test of time.  You may know this tree as either a Ficus benjamina or a weeping fig.   I have loved growing a ficus tree in my home for 36 years. It’s remarkable that I've had this tree for so long.   How to Grow A Ficus Tree Inside for Decades When thinking about how I managed to keep this indoor ficus tree happy, healthy, and growing strong all these years it boiled down to five key Ficus benjamina plant care tips. Follow these tips and you can have a happy, healthy ficus tree in your home for many years, too.

DIY Cheap and Effective Rug Cleaning

Using area rugs throughout your house help to make your home feel warm and inviting.  Area rugs help absorb noise and add pops of color to complement your decor.  How do you keep rugs clean and smelling fresh? It can be a challenge. While regular vacuuming is important, you'll want to deep clean your rugs periodically, especially if you own pets. Here's a cheap and effective rug-cleaning method I use. How to Clean Your Area Rugs (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience ) Cheap and Effective Rug Cleaning This cleaning method works well for me with both wool rugs and polypropylene rugs. I've cleaned polypropylene rugs like I have in my front entry hall and large, 8 x 10-foot wool rugs like I have throughout the rooms in my house.

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 the whoopie pie's origin.  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 suga

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 holid

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. 

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. 

My Favorite Red Wine Sangria

When you are looking for a delicious and refreshing drink that is perfect for any occasion look no further than this easy and tasty red wine sangria recipe!  This sangria is made with a blend of sweet red wine, spiced rum, freshly squeezed orange juice, and a variety of sliced fruits that make it a perfect choice for any party or gathering. The Best Red Wine Sangria This red wine sangria recipe is a perfect choice for any occasion. It is easy to make, refreshing, and delicious. The combination of sweet red wine, spiced rum, and fresh citrus juices creates a well-balanced and flavorful drink that is sure to please.