Pecan Pie Bars with Brown Butter Crust

Happy April 1st/April Fool’s Day! No tricks in this post, only yummy treats. These pecan pie bars are my favorite thing that I’ve made in a while. They literally just taste like a bunch of candied pecans stuck together on a buttery crust. Could you ask for anything more? They are delicious. They really do taste like pecan pie, too! The crust is more like a cookie than a pie crust, but I really like it. The browned butter really adds some flavor.

The butter takes a little while to brown, just because it has to melt completely first, then it has to crackle and pop for a while before it starts foaming. But once the butter starts foaming, it will be browned within seconds. Make sure to stir with a spatula so that you can scrape the bottom of the saucepan. You’ll want to stir a lot in the foaming phase so that you can tell once the butter has browned.

The crust is so good. My biggest problem was making sure I didn’t eat all the dough raw before cooking it! Whoopsie. What can I say, it was delicious. Once you’ve made the browned butter, it’s very easy from there. Then, you just spread the crust in a pan, bake, make the filling, bake the filling, and cool! Okay, so maybe there are several steps, but trust me it’s worth it.

I officially found a way for you to eat pecan pie in months that aren’t just November! Not that you need any reason, I certainly don’t. Happy baking!


Pecan Pie Bars with Brown Butter Crust

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 18-24 bars

Pecan Pie Bars with Brown Butter Crust

A slightly crisp, buttery crust made with browned butter, then baked with homemade pecan pie filling on top. Tastes just like a pecan pie but in a small bar!

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    Filling:
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

    Make the crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang along the sides. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Once melted, leave on heat and it will crackle and pop. Stir occasionally. Eventually it will begin foaming a lot; stir frequently at this stage and watch closely until it is an amber color. It will be hard to tell underneath all the foam, but you can tell when you stir. Pour browned butter into a large heatproof bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In the same bowl, mix together the browned butter with the sugar vanilla, salt, and flour until combined.
  4. Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. It will still be a bit soft.
    Make the topping:
  1. Combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and milk over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk ingredients until sugar has dissolved, then bring to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes. As it is boiling, carefully remove 1/2 cup of the mixture using a liquid measuring cup (I literally just dipped it in tilted and scooped out about 1/2 cup).
  2. Drizzle this mixture into a separate bowl with the beaten eggs, whisking constantly while you are drizzling. This is to avoid curdling the eggs. Once all the hot mixture is added to the eggs, add the combined mixture back into the saucepan and whisk constantly while adding.
  3. Remove mixture from the heat and add the pecans, vanilla, and cinnamon and combine. Pour mixture evenly over the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely before slicing (you can speed this up in the fridge or freezer if you're impatient like me).
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Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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