PPQ: Texas Pecan Pie Bars

in Cookies and Bars, Project Pastry Queen, Thanksgiving

Texas Pecan Pie Bars

Every fall, we’d return home from my grandparents’ little farm in northeast Texas with a car full of kids and pecans. Brown paper sacks filled to the top with whole pecans sat on the floorboards and left very little room for 8 feet on that 5-hour car ride. Then the real work began.

We’d spend hours shelling pecans, cracking and picking shells, for a bucket destined for the freezer. There was no way to escape – an “accidently” smashed finger courtesy of the nutcracker – or a good actor – would only garner so much pity and a few minutes on the sideline.

Texas Pecan Pie Bars

This week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge, “Texas Pecan Pie Bars,” is a fun take on the fall favorite. The dessert is aptly named: you get all the flavors of pecan pie, baked into a convenient bar. A gooey layer hides between a buttery shortbread crust and a crunchy top. Sweet tooth and glass of milk required. Fork optional.

And it’s probably best if you make them for friends, cutting them and giving them away immediately. Or at least have some sort of support system because even as sweet as they are, it’s hard to stop at one.

I took a few liberties with the recipe:
– I made 1/4 of the recipe in a 8-inch square pan and cut it into 9 squares. The original recipe is a doozy (doozie?), baked in a 12×17 – which is perfect if you need dessert for you & 29 of your closest friends.
– I replaced half of the flour with whole wheat flour.
– Because I live with a coconut hater, I replaced the coconut with rolled oats (not instant oatmeal, the kind you have to cook for ~5 minutes).
– I doubled the bourbon because… because it’s bourbon 🙂

They can be eaten by hand so they’d be perfect to bring for a holiday potluck this fall. To get the full recipe, head on over to Powdered Plum. And check out how the other members tackled the pecan pie bars. Next week, we’re going classic Texas comfort food: King Ranch Chicken.

19 comments… add one
  • raquel @ Erecipe

    I love the crunchy top , I really do wanna try this .

  • I love the fact you scaled it down to fit an 8 inch pan, its the only size i have and wouldnt know where to start scaling it down myself! So thank you for that as it means i might well be able to try these gorgeous looking bars myself 🙂 Gorgeous!

  • Mmm these sound so yummy!

  • We had a giant pecan tree in our yard growing up – I would go pick and shell pecans and then sell them to my grandparents for like 50 cents per bag – not a very high return for my work – I wasn’t the greatest businesswoman back then 😉

  • My college room mate and I would frequent Pecan Park and collect bags of pecans during our days at SFA. We didn’t have a nutcracker and found ourselves “shelling” pecans on our balcony with hammers. Oh-the days of being a poor college student, but we ate pecans for months!

    These bars remind me of the old days!

  • annie

    Hi, I would love to get the recipe for these great sounding bars, but when I link to the site, it’s not posted yet. Is there somewhere else I can get th recipe?

  • I’ve always loved pecan pie and I feel like in bar form they’re even more ooey gooey delicious!

  • Allison

    I would love the recipe for these bars as well but cannot seem to find it. Help!

  • I already love these because Texas is in the name. 😀

  • Oh my goodness, I cannot wait to try these bars. Do they freeze well? I hesitate to make a pecan pie because I either eat to much or throw away too much. I’m going to make these and find out if I can eat a few and freeze a lot. 🙂

    • I’m not sure but I can report back to you probably this weekend – my husband is already asking for a second batch and I can wrap a few squares individually for the freezer to see how they thaw.

  • These bars look amazing!!!! Def will have to try these!

  • Gorgeous pictures. These sound and look delicious. I’m a fan of your changes to the recipe, especially like the idea of cutting this down to fit in the 8 x 8 pan as well. Very nice. ~ Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathie

    Where can I get the converted recipe for 1/4 (8×8 pan) of this? Cant wait to try it! 😉

  • These look incredible! I love anything with pecans in it. My aunt and uncle have a giant pecan tree in their yard and they always make a pecan pie when we visit them. These bars look like a great portable version! 🙂

  • Jess

    Hi Shawnda, about how long was the bake time for an 8×8 pan? I’d like to make a scaled down version of these bars as well. Also, did you ever end up freezing them? How did they turn out?

    Thanks for posting such wonderful recipes!

    • They didn’t last long enough to make it to the freezer [blush]. You’ll bake them for ~20-25 minutes to get them golden brown and set.

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