Maple Pecan Bars
Think of these Maple Pecan Bars as a portable version of pecan pie, with a crumbly shortbread crust, a gooey sweet maple filling, and toasted pecans.
I don’t remember the last time I loved a dessert so much. These Maple Pecan Bars are dangerous in the best way.
Admittedly, I am biased.
If you asked me what my favorite Thanksgiving pie is, it would take me .03214 seconds to tell you PECAN PIE!
And I may or may not have a yearly tradition of eating leftover pecan pie for breakfast on the morning after Thanksgiving.
So when I came across this Maple Nut Bars recipe from my friend Laura at Runamok Maple and read that they were “basically a portable version of pecan pie,” I ran to the kitchen.
I have loved and known pure maple syrup since I was a kid, but when I walked by their booth, I noticed they were doing something really different.
I saw things like “Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup” and “Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup” and had to stop to taste. And the flavors were mind-blowing!
After the show, I sent them an email
totally fangirling telling them in a very composed manner how much I loved their maple syrups, and we have been talking back and forth ever since.
I also discovered they have a BIG collection of maple-centric recipes on their website, and I’ve cooked several of them.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m really excited about what they’re doing and wanted to share a bit about them, and also share a recipe of theirs that I made and loved (all of this is not sponsored, by the way).
Okay, let’s get to Laura’s Maple Pecan Bars recipe. It’s perfect for fall and would be a great dessert to take with you to holiday parties.
How to Make Maple Pecan Bars:
To make the bars, start with the crust.
Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, softened butter, and brown sugar in a bowl:
Mix everything together with your fingers or with a pastry cutter, until the butter is broken down, and the mixture is crumbly and moist:
Press the crust into a 9×13 pan:
Pop that into the oven for 10 minutes, and in the meantime make the filling.
Combine eggs, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a bowl:
In Laura’s original recipe, she uses the Sugarmaker’s cut, which is their best of season maple syrup.
Bourbon is something I usually add to any recipe using pecans, so that one was a no-brainer, and the pecan wood smoked maple syrup added a subtle smokiness to the bars.
Whisk this together until smooth:
To finish the filling, add chopped pecans, butter, vanilla, and salt to the mixture:
Stir to combine, then pour into the pan, making sure the nuts are evenly spread out:
Bake the bars until the pecans are golden on top, and the bars jiggle ever so slightly when you move the pan. You definitely don’t want to overbake these!
The bars can now be enjoyed.
And let me tell you that the bars are AMAZING with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Don’t ask me how I know that.
Another tip: For really clean cuts, freeze the bars for 30 minutes before slicing.
For more maple recipe ideas, Laura has a big collection of maple recipes, covering everything from cocktails to savory meats to desserts.
Maple Pecan Bars
For the Crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces by weight)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (2.5 ounces by weight)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 14 tbsp butter softened
For the Filling
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup maple syrup*
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp butter melted
- 1.5 cups chopped pecans
- For the Crust:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine all the crust ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to blend the butter in with the dry ingredients, until there are no butter chunks left and the consistency is moist and crumbly.
- Press the crust into the pan with your fingers until it forms an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, until it turns faintly brown, then remove from the oven.
- For the Filling:Whisk to combine the brown sugar, maple syrups, and eggs in a bowl.
- Add the salt, vanilla, melted butter, pecans, and stir to incorporate.
- Pour the filling over the partially baked crust, making sure the nuts are evenly distributed.
- Bake for 23 minutes**. You know the bars are done when you jiggle the pan and the filling moves slightly, but does not slide all over the place.
- Let the bars cool completely, then cut into squares. Enjoy!