When I think of pecan pie, I think of Thanksgiving and family. We always have chocolate pecan pie along with our family’s holiday dinner. It’s the quintessential holiday dessert.
Even though we are currently in the midst of summer, I still sometimes crave a taste of Autumn. It’s my favorite time of year! I can’t wait for apples and crisp Fall mornings, cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice everything!! In fact, I may or may not have already starting putting out some of my Fall decor around the house! Once we hit mid-August I start getting itchy for my favorite time of year.
But I digress… On to the reason why we are here. Chocolate pecan pie bars!! Those perfect bites of buttery shortbread combined with the smooth creamy pecan filling, layered with rich chocolate and crisp, sweet pecans!! Mmmmm the best thing ever!! And since they are so easy to make they are perfect any time of year, not just holiday time. In fact, I might like these even better than my original chocolate pecan pie, just for the simple fact that they are easy to clean up and I can cut them into perfect little squares.
My family really loves the layer of chocolate in these bars, but if you aren’t a fan of chocolate feel free to omit it. I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe because the filling is already very sweet by itself.
I also like to have my butter to room temperature when I work it into the shortbread mixture. I typically use my hands when I do this, but a food processor is a great alternative and makes quick work of making the shortbread dough. If you decide to use a food processor, use cold butter instead.
A great tip when making these is to line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Just spray a light coat of nonstick spray into your pan and then line with parchment paper. The baking spray helps the paper stick to the pan. Once the bars are totally cool just lift the paper, place on a cutting board, and then cut into squares. This way you can have nice even squares. I cut these bars small because they are very rich and you don’t need much to satisfy your sweet tooth.
These bars can be stored in an airtight container for a few days but they rarely last that long around here!
How to Make
12 TBS softened unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 C flour
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars Filling:
1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 C chopped pecans
1/3 C flour
2/3 C light brown sugar
1 1/2 C light or dark corn syrup
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl mix flour, brown sugar, and salt.
- Add softened butter. With a pastry cutter, fork, or hands and work butter into mixture until small pea size lumps form. You can also use a food processor if desired.
- Line a 9 x 13 x 2 baking pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle the shortbread dough into the pan. Using hands or the back of a measuring spoon press evenly onto bottom.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes just until edges start turning brown.
- Prepare filling while crust is baking (steps 7 and 8).
- In a large bowl whisk together the four and brown sugar, ensuring there are no lumps.
- Add eggs, corn syrup, vanilla and salt and whisk together. Add chopped pecans and mix. Mixture can sit while crust is baking.
- As soon as crust is removed from oven, evenly sprinkle chocolate chips over the crust. Then pour pecan filling over top.
- Return pan back to oven for about 45 more minutes until filling is set. Filling should still be slightly jiggly (like jello) but not runny. You can use a thermometer to check internal temp. Place thermometer in center of filling careful not to touch bottom of pan. Temp should be around 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit when done.
- Remove pan from oven and let cool for several hours.
- Once cooled completely, lift the bars by the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Cut into small squares. Store in airtight container.Enjoy!