Southern Pecan Bars
My first taste of these rich Southern Pecan Bars was in a childhood friend’s kitchen. I was sold on this pecan dessert with my first bite!
Full of butter, brown sugar, and toasted pecans, these chewy Pecan Squares are incredibly delicious. Make this easy recipe for all the pecan lovers in your life!
Why You Must Make
- If you love pecan pie, you’ll adore these, too!
- These are one of the easiest cookie bars you’ll ever make!
- The simple flavors of real butter, brown sugar, and toasted pecans shine through!
How to Make
The technique is a bit unusual, but the recipe has been around for decades, so there you go! It works.
- Preheat the oven and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.
- Toast the pecans in the oven or in a skillet. Let cool and chop.
- Melt your butter in the prepared pan.
- Whisk the eggs, set them aside.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar, flour, soda, and nuts.
- Add the flour mixture and the vanilla into the eggs.
- Pour this mixture over the butter. DO NOT STIR.
- Bake as directed.
- Cool slightly, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil and invert them onto a cutting board. Remove the foil and sprinkle this side with powdered sugar.
- Cut, garnish each bar with a pecan half if desired, and serve.
- Always toast your nuts so they have optimal flavor. Pecans are best, but if you prefer walnuts, they’ll work well, too.
- With the small number of ingredients in these pecan squares, use quality ingredients. Don’t substitute margarine for the butter or use imitation vanilla.
- Mine were done at exactly 20 minutes, but if the middle does not look set, bake for a few minutes longer. All ovens bake a little differently.
- Make sure the bars are cool before flipping them out of the pan. I used a cutting board, put it on top of the pan, then inverted them together. Remove the foil and dust with more powdered sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions
When toasting nuts, the heat helps release their essential oils. By doing their flavor is intensified and it also boosts their crunchiness.
It is definitely a mystery. This recipe has been around since at least the 1970s, and I’m sure there is some baking chemistry involved. It works, so I don’t advise stirring.
Pecan pie bars usually have some sort of crust and a gooier topping resembling pecan pie filling. These Down South Bars or Pecan Bars are similar as they are both tasty bar cookies with pecans, but they’re not pecan pie bars.
Keep them covered with plastic or in an airtight container so they don’t dry out. They’re fine at room temperature for a day or two, then refrigerate for up to 3 days more. They also freeze well for 2-3 months.
Wrap in plastic wrap first, then either wrap in heavy-duty foil or place the wrapped bars in an airtight container. This will prevent them from drying out in the freezer.
You May Also Like:
- Oatmeal Pecan Cookies from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
- Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies
- Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Bars
- Pecan Tassies
- More Easy Bar Cookie Recipes
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toast whole, then chop
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Toast pecans in the oven or in a skillet. See notes for details.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with nonstick foil, then melt butter in the pan.
- Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Mix together (I used a whisk) the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and nuts.
- Stir dry mixture into the eggs. Add the vanilla and stir again.
- Pour over the butter, but do not stir.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Cool slightly and sprinkle with powdered sugar. If desired, cool to room temperature, then flip the bars onto a cutting board, remove the foil, and sprinkle the bottom side with more powdered sugar.
- Cut and serve.
Toast the pecan halves in a skillet, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until they darken slightly and develop a nutty aroma.
To toast the nuts in the oven, preheat to 350°, place the pecan halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they darken slightly and develop a nutty aroma.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g
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