Today I’m bringing you the only dessert you need this Thanksgiving, Double Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars. Brown butter pecan shortbread is topped with pecan pie filling to create incredibly rich and delicious bars that are so much better than pie.
So I have a confession to make. I like pecan pie but I have two issues with it that cause me not to make it or indulge. First, and this is hard to admit as a food blogger, I hate making pie. I mean, I like eating it but making a pie crust, rolling it, crimping the edges. I’m just so terrible at it all. It’s never buttery and flaky, my crimps look like Hannah did it.
If you are a pie crust aficionado, tell me your ways. Second, it’s way too sweet and rich for me. I cut the tiniest piece and am satisfied.
Let me tell you the benefits of these bars. Handheld. So you can chase your crazy kids while still eating dessert. Though I’m not one to limit dessert on Thanksgiving, these are so sweet and rich that just a little square will satisfy. And perhaps the best one of all, they are super easy to make.
I started with my favorite shortbread recipe, brown butter pecan shortbread, for the base of the bars. It gets a double dose of nutty flavor from the toasted pecans and browned butter.
Guys, brown butter is life. If you’ve never browned butter before, don’t be scared, it’s really easy. Simply heat a small skillet over medium heat and melt your butter. Stir it often until dark, golden bits appear. You don’t want it to burn, which can happen quickly, so keep a close eye on it and stir it almost constantly.
I used the filling recipe from my mom’s famous mini pecan pies. It consists of 5 ingredients and all you have to do is stir them together and spread it on the parbaked shortbread crust. Then you bake. And oh my goodness, the way these bars smell as they are baking. It makes it really hard to wait for them to cool. You’ll want to stick your face right in.
I cut these bars into 2 inch squares since the filling is so rich and the crust is so buttery. You all know I’m not a huge dessert addict but these bars, they were dangerous to have around. I may have eaten three before I even noticed what was going on. Then I immediately packed them up and took them to my parents house.
So there you have it. Double Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars give you your pecan pie fix without all the effort. And yay for portion control.
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 cups pecans, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and set aside. For the shortbread crust: Cook butter in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat immediately and pour butter into a shallow dish. Do not cover. Chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.
- Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating until smooth. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in the pecans.
- Press the shortbread dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pecan pie filling.
- Whisk together all the filling ingredients. Pour into the prebaked crust. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cover top with foil and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Carefully lift out the foil and cut into even squares.