Every bite of these pecan shortbread bars are delectable. All you will need is 9 ingredients and 15 minutes to prep to make these delicious pecan bars.
Pecan bars make the perfect dessert after a nice meal with coffee or tea. I remember when I first discovered pecans, it was a pecan pie at a local bakery one fall season. I really enjoyed it but it was just so sweet. Then I discovered a pecan bar at a coffee shop. I had wondered why I never tried these before. I never knew how rich and buttery pecans were until then. I can see why my parents had loved pecans desserts so much.
During the fall season, I wanted to recreate these pecan bars but with a shortbread base for Thanksgiving holiday for my friends and family to enjoy. Let’s say it was a big hit! These pecan bars not only make a great dessert during the holiday season, but great for parties, showers, and birthdays. Pecans are accessible all year round and all you will need is 8 other ingredients to bring it together.
Why pecan shortbread bars?
- Takes only 15 minutes of prep time.
- Shortbread is buttery soft.
- A perfect chewy, sticky, and perfect crunch.
- Only need 9 ingredients to make!
- Perfect for any party (bridal, showers, holidays)
Benefits of Pecans
Pecan is a type of tree nuts native in North America. (No wonder American has so many Pecan dishes) It is best known to be a flavonoid since it’s so rich and buttery in flavor. Some of the benefits include: Improved heart health, stabilizes blood sugar, and promotes brain functions. Packed with good fats, vitamins, and minerals such as copper, thiamine, zinc, and much more.
What is Shortbread?
Shortbread is a traditional Scottish biscuit. All it takes to make these buttery cookies are 3 ingredients: sugar, butter, and flour. Shortbread was known to be expensive and a luxury that is reserved for the holiday or special occasions.
Fun fact: Did you know that the first recipe printed for shortbread was in 1736 by a Scottish woman.
Step-by-Step for Pecan Shortbread Bars
Making the Crust Base:
Step 1: In your stand mixer, beat your butter until it gets creamy. Then add in your sugar and allow it to fully incorporate. Then add your salt and vanilla extract. Allow this to mix for 1 minute or until fluffy.
Step 2: Next, add in your gluten-free flour. Allow it to mix with the butter mixture. Don’t worry if it looks crumbly. Once you pour it into the baking pan and press down on it will form the crust like a graham crust.
Step 3: Pour your shortbread crust into the lined 9×9 baking pan and, using your hands, press down the dough evenly. Bake it at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
Making the Top Filling:
Step 4: In your small saucepan, add in your honey, butter, light brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. On medium heat, allow everything to melt and stir until everything is well-combined. Remove from heat and add in your chopped pecans.
Step 5: Add your caramelized pecans mix on top of your lightly baked shortbread crust. Using your silicone spatula evenly spread the pecans. Bring it back to the oven and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. (Don’t worry if it still looks a bit wet. It will set as it continues to cool). Allow it to completely cool at room temperature and then place uncovered in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This will help with cutting the bars easier and cleaner.
Step 6: Slice the bars into 16 squares. Transfer them into an airtight container for up to a week for freshness. You can keep it at room temperature or refrigerated until ready to eat. You can also freeze up to 2-3 months.
Enjoy Pecan Bars With These Recipes
How To Make Gluten-Free Pecan Shortbread Bars
Servings: 16 Square Bars | Course: Dessert | Cuisine: American
For the shortbread crust:
- ¼ cup butter or ghee (room temperature)
- ½ cup cane sugar
- 1 ⅛ cups gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
For the pecan topping:
- ½ cup butter or ghee
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coconut cream
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups raw pecan (whole or chopped)
Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 55 minutes
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your square baking pan with parchment paper. Set it aside.
- Making The Crust:
1. In your stand mixer, add in your butter and sugar. Beat them together until fluffy.
2. Once the butter sugar mix is fluffy, now add your vanilla extract and salt. Beat to combine everything.
3. Then, add your gluten-free flour in thirds and combine everything until you get a dough.
4. Take your lined baking pan and pour your shortbread crust into it. Use your hands and flatten the dough evenly in the pan. (We want an even crust base for the pecan filling).
5. Now, bake the crust for about 25-30 minutes or until it is golden brown. Then remove and let it cool.
- Make the Pecan Bar Filling:
1. In a small saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt. Set over medium heat, whisking while the mixture melts and combines. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the coconut cream and vanilla extract.
2. In a mixing bowl place the pecans (whole or chopped), pour the filling mixture over pecans and toss to combine so that they are all well-coated.
- Assembling the Bars:
1. Grab your cooled shortbread crust pan and evenly spread the pecan filling. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is set. (Don’t worry if it still looks a bit wet. It will set as it continues to cool)
2. Allow it to completely cool at room temperature and then place uncovered in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This will help with cutting the bars easier and cleaner.
3. Remove from the pan and slice into 16 squares. Transfer them into an airtight container and leave them at room temperature. You can also use a line parchment paper in between so they don’t stick and store them in the fridge until ready to eat. You can also freeze it up to 2-3 months.