Pecans are one of my favorite nuts. Not surprisingly, I enjoy using them in baked goods. A couple of weeks ago, when I needed to make a treat to share with some other ladies, I had just one thing on my mind: Pecan pie.
We were all going to have children with us, so I wanted to make a dessert that could be picked up easily and eaten without forks. These Pecan Pie Cookie Bars were the perfect answer.
For the crust
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking power
For the pecan filling
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup coconut nectar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ stick butter, melted
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour and baking powder; blend into the butter mixture. Pat into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir into the eggs the sugar, coconut nectar, maple syrup, vanilla, butter, and salt. Add the pecans and stir until combined. Pour over the crust.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and just set in the center. Allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. Yield: 20 bars.
When I eat pecan pie, it’s because I want the flavor of the pecans. I’m not a fan of the syrupy filling that usually surrounds the pecans in pecan pie. You will notice that this recipe doesn’t contain any corn syrup (the usual base of this filling). I’ve used a little bit of maple syrup and a little bit of coconut nectar instead. This means two things. First, these cookies bars aren’t anywhere near as sweet as typical pecan pie. Second, the filling is comprised predominately of pecans, so you aren’t going to get mouthfuls of smooth syrup. Each bite is packed with delicious nuts!
If this sounds good to you—a pecan-rich cookie bar that is mildly sweet—then you’ll love these bars. If you want something sweeter, then go ahead and use corn syrup. If you want more syrupy filling, then use a total of 1 cup syrup (either corn syrup or a mixture of maple syrup and coconut nectar). It’s easy to cut these into neat little bars so they can be eaten by hand off of napkins instead of requiring plates and forks. They are great plain, but a dollop of whipped cream would be a nice touch!
How do you like your pecan pie? In your opinion, what makes a good one?
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