Old-Fashioned Southern Pecan Pie Bars
Learn how to make easy pecan pie bars with this traditional Southern recipe!
- Updated November 18, 2020
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If you are looking for an easy pecan pie recipe for your next holiday gathering, look no further than this easy Southern recipe for Old-Fashioned Southern Pecan Pie Bars. This twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dessert makes it easy to serve pie to a crowd. Even novice pie bakers will be able to make this easy pie recipe.
Like most pecan pie recipes, these bars feature a gooey layer of pecans mixed with corn syrup and other sweet ingredients. However, these pie bars go one step further because the filling also contains plenty of chopped chocolate. If you love pecan pie, then you are sure to love these bars, but even those who don't usually go for the pie will want to gobble up this chocolate-laden treat. The flaky crust alone will make you want to go back for a second pecan pie bar. Top these bars with plenty of whipped cream for a true holiday treat.
You may use all light corn syrup instead of using the molasses if you prefer a lighter flavor. Using the liquor and Mexican vanilla is entirely optional. If you don’t have one or another, simply omit the liquor or use regular vanilla.
Brushing the crust with egg yolk keeps the bottom crust more crisp when baked with the wet filling. It is a good technique to adopt for any pie-type dessert when the filling is very wet, like this one or pumpkin or other custard kinds of pies.
Makes24 2-inch square bars
- Homemade double pie crust
- 3 refrigerated pie crusts (1.5 packages)
- 6 ounces (about 2 cups) whole pecans
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 3 tablespoons flour, divided
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 5 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup molasses (see note)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Kahlua (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Mexican or regular vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. You will need two 7 x 10-inch pans (often called brownie pans). If you do not have those, you may use two 8 x 8-inch baking pans; the bars will be a bit thicker and may require a few extra minutes to bake.
Prepare the pie crust if making your own, or unroll the refrigerated crust. Roll to fit the two pans. If using the pre-made crusts, you will overlap one and one half to get the size you need, then trim to fit. Fit them into the pans and crimp the edges.
Lightly spray a piece of foil to fit each pan with overlap and lay them, oiled side down, into the pans, pressing against the dough and up the sides. Fill the foil liner with beans, rice, or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reset the temperature to 350 degrees F. Carefully pull out the foil with the weights and set aside. Return the pans to the oven for an additional 10 minutes until the crust looks dry and is just beginning to brown. Place on a cooling rack. Lightly beat one egg yolk and brush over the surfaces of the crusts. (see note). When the crusts are cooled, spread the chocolate pieces around the bottom of each pan.
While the crusts are baking, place the whole pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Reserve 20 pecans, which will remain whole for the garnish; chop the rest. Toss the chopped nuts with one tablespoon of flour.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. With the mixer running on medium high add the 5 whole eggs one at a time and then beat in the remaining flour, syrup, molasses, Kahlua, vanilla, and salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom once or twice while mixing. The mixture may look slightly curdled, which is okay. Fold in the chopped nuts by hand.
Pour into the two baking pans over the chocolate. Arrange the whole nuts on top so that they will be approximately in the center of the finished bars.
Bake for 1 hour until the center of each pan is set and tests done when a toothpick is inserted. Cool on wire racks. Cut into bars to serve.
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