2 ratings

Pecan Bars

Make pecan bars if you don't feel like making a pecan pie
Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

These short and sweet bars are perfect if you are craving a sweet pecan flavor. 

This recipe is by Leah Eskin and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune

Ready in
50 m
30 m
(prepare time)
20 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


For the nuts

  • 2 1/2 Cups pecan halves

For the pastry

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 10 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt

For the top

  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 Cups dark chocolate disks, chips or chunks


For the nuts

Toast: Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread out pecans on a rimmed baking sheet; slide into oven and toast until nuts darken slightly and give off a sweet, nutty fragrance, about 6 minutes.
Pull out pan; leave oven on.
Pour nuts onto a work surface to cool.

For the pastry

Grind: Measure 1/2 cup toasted pecans into the food processor.

Pile in all pastry ingredients, in order.

Process to a soft dough, about 30 seconds.

Par-bake: Line a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang.

Pat in pastry. (Cover pastry with waxed paper while patting if dough is sticky).

Bake until dry to the touch, but still soft, 10 minutes.

Pull out pan; leave oven on.

For the top

Caramelize: To make the top, scatter sugar into a heavy skillet.

Heat over medium-high until sugar melts and turns caramel brown, about 4 minutes.

Stir in remaining toasted pecans and turn down heat to low.

Stir in the butter, cream, salt and vanilla.

Pull pan off heat.

Scatter in chocolate and stir once, just enough to mix in, not completely melt, the chocolate.

Bake: Scrape nut mixture over par-baked pastry.

Bake, 10 minutes.

Cool completely.

Grasp parchment overhang and lift out.

Slice into 2-by-1-inch bars; you should have 32.