Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pecan Pie Bars

Oh. My. Word.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving's arrival, I thought I would post a recipe that you should definitely try for the holiday, Pecan Pie Bars.  They're like pecan pie you can eat with your hands.  'Nuff said.  Actually, that's not true, I must also add that they are pure, sweet, chewy, evil deliciousness that I try to slow down my consumption of by putting the leftovers in the freezer only to discover that they taste fantastic frozen as well.  Instead of a pie crust, this recipe uses a boxed cake mix, which makes for an amazing texture.  You will never want to use yellow cake mix for another purpose.  Ever. Again. 

What dish are you looking forward to for Thanksgiving?

Pecan Pie Bars
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups halved pecans (or chopped pecans)
Whipped Topping for serving, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, butter and egg with electric mixer until well combined.  Mixture will be very stiff.  Press into a 9x13" baking pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until crust starts to become golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare filling.  In same bowl (no need to clean the bowl or beaters!), combine sugar, eggs and butter.  Mix thoroughly.  Add flour, milk and vanilla extract and mix again until well combined.  Stir in pecans.  Pour filling mixture on top of crust.  Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until filling is set but is still wobbly like jello.  Allow to cool before slicing into bars.  Top with whipped topping, if desired.

Notes: This recipe is inspired by "The Cake Mix Doctor."  In her recipe, the filling calls for corn syrup.  I did not avoid corn syrup on principle (I just didn't have it), but if you like to make your pecan pie filling with corn syrup (and half the fat, hence once less stick of butter), here's her filling recipe.  I have made them both ways and I have noticed that this filling recipe is definitely stickier but other than that, haven't noticed much difference.  Either way, in the words of Martha Stewart, "they're a good thing."

3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or pecan halves
Mix all ingredients except for pecans until well combined.  Stir in pecans.  Continue as followed above.


  1. This looks dangerous... If I had pecans on hand, we'd be having this for dinner tonight. Not dessert, dinner. Hmmm, maybe I can fit in a run to the store... Thanks for the recipe! Can't wait to try it.


  2. Love this recipe. I used walnuts instead of pecans because i didnt have any on hand but turned out great