chocolate pecan BARS

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These chocolate pecan bars with shortbread crust are a dessert-lover’s dream. Like classic lemon bars and pecan pie bars with shredded coconut, cutting this Thanksgiving dessert into little squares can feed a crowd!

PIN CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE BARS

Stack of chocolate Pecan Pie Bars on a white ceramic serving board.

Unlike traditional pecan pie, these scrumptious bars are less gooey, not as dense, and not overly sweet. Once your family tries this classic dessert with chocolate chips, they’ll never settle for ordinary pecan pie bars again!

The buttery shortbread crust is irresistible. But the melty chocolate and caramelized pecan topping with honey (no corn syrup!) will have everyone reaching for seconds. Assemble this easy dessert in 20 minutes then bake.

Because these dessert bars are easy to transport, they’re ideal for potlucks, picnics, and family gatherings. Another plus: no dessert plates or forks are needed for this convenient finger food. Just a short pile of square napkins.

At home, serve chocolate pecan pie bars with milk, coffee, hot chocolate, or iced vanilla latte.

Chocolate pecan bars on white ceramic board next to glass of iced coffee with gold straw.

INGREDIENTS

This tasty recipe comes together with common refrigerator and pantry items. You won’t need any special spices for these bar cookies!

CRUST

  • All-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter
  • Pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for shortbread crust: flour, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and butter.

LAYERING

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Pecan halves (or chopped pecans)

FILLING

  • Butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Heavy cream (same as whipping cream)
  • Vanilla extract

SHOPPING TIP: When pricing out pecans at the market, look for the price comparison by ounce. Sometimes is more cost-effective to buy shelled pecan halves rather than chopped pecans.

Ingredients for chocolate pecan pie bars filling: nuts, brown sugar, honey, chocolate chips, vanilla, cream, butter.

EASY INGREDIENT SWAPS

Missing an ingredient for these chocolate pecan bars? Don’t slip on your shoes and head to the store. Instead, check your refrigerator and pantry for these easy ingredient substitutions.

  • SALTED BUTTER: If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt for every 1/2 cup butter.
  • LIGHT BROWN SUGAR: Use dark brown sugar instead, or a mix of dark brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  • HONEY: Use corn syrup or agave nectar instead.
  • HEAVY CREAM: Substitute with half and half, or milk.
  • VANILLA EXTRACT: Swap with vanilla paste.
  • PECANS: The best ingredient swap is walnuts.
Overhead view of chocolate chip pecan pie bars on a white board.

BEST PAN FOR THIS RECIPE

When making Thanksgiving dessert bars, I reach for my USA pan bakeware. They deliver the best results, every time. For this recipe use the 8 X 8-inch pan. It’s the industry choice for bakers everywhere.

Treat yourself well. You deserve the best. Add this high-quality pan to your collection. If you plan to double this recipe, grab the 9 x 13 pan. Make your purchase through the Amazon affiliate links below.

CHOCOLATE PECAN BARS RECIPE

We’ll start by creating the crust. As it bakes in the oven, we’ll assemble the caramel filling in the microwave.

MAKE THE CRUST

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cube butter with a knife. Grease bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 baker.

Recipe prep for Thanksgiving dessert: chocolate chip pecan pie bars. Greased 8x8 baker and chopped butter.

Line pan with an oversized piece of parchment paper that extends over 2 sides of the pan. Later, these “handles” will be used to easily lift and remove dessert from the pan.

  • STEP 1: In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.
  • STEP 2: Pulse until ingredients are combined, and a soft supple dough forms. Gather it into a ball.
  • STEP 3: Transfer dough to prepared pan. With your hands, firmly press it down into an even layer on the bottom of the baker. Be sure to also cover the corners and edges of the pan.
  • STEP 4: Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the middle is baked but still pale, and the edges are a slight golden blonde. Remove from oven.
How to make the crust for chocolate pecan pie bars in 4 easy steps.

MAKE FILLING, ASSEMBLE & BAKE

RECIPE PREP: Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Here’s how to finish up this easy recipe for chocolate pecan bars.

  • STEP 1: While the crust is in the oven (toward the end of baking time), prep the caramel filling so it’s ready to go. Add butter, brown sugar, honey, heavy cream and vanilla to a heat-safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute. Whisk until ingredients are fully combined. If needed, microwave 20 seconds more and whisk again.
  • STEP 2: As soon as the hot crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with an even layer of chocolate chips. Arrange 1 cup pecans in an even layer over the chocolate. Reserve remaining nuts for later.
  • STEP 3: Evenly pour caramel sauce over the chocolate and pecans. Let it spread to cover the corners and edges of the pan. If needed, tilt pan to encourage spread. Arrange remaining nuts on the surface.
  • STEP 4: Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until filling is gently bubbling around the sides, with slight bubbling across the surface. Remove pan from oven. Cool on a metal rack until set, about 3 hours. After the first hour, tent the pan loosely with foil.

KITCHEN TIP: If using a specialty bar pan or baking dish with low sides: line a baking tray with foil. Set baker on lined tray to catch any overflowing drips that may occur in the oven.

How to make the filling for chocolate pecan pie bars in 4 easy steps.

CUT AND SERVE DESSERT BARS: Once slab has cooled and set, use parchment paper “handles” to lift and transfer slab to a wooden board. Slice into 16 squares. Serve and enjoy!

Slab of chocolate pecan bars on wooden board with knife for slicing into Thanksgiving dessert bars.

RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly asked questions about chocolate pecan bars, and the most helpful answers for recipe success!

WANT A THICKER LAYER OF CARAMEL FILLING?

Increase the filling recipe with these additional amounts: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed), 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add more pecans, if needed, so the layer of nuts sits prominently above the caramel layer.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED?

Yes! It’s simple to double this recipe for chocolate chip pecan pie bars. Use two 8 x 8 square pans, or one 9 x 13 baking dish.

HOW TO COOL THE SLAB FASTER?

Once the slab has cooled on a wire rack for 1 hour, transfer the pan to the fridge or freezer so the slab can set quicker!

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE MORE FLAVORFUL?

Before using nuts in this recipe, toast the raw Pecans in the oven to enhance their flavor profile. Toss them in melted butter and salt. Spread them in single layer on a baking tray. Bake at 350°F for 7 to 10 minutes.

HOW TO SLICE CHOCOLATE PECAN BARS CLEANLY?

Stick the room-temperature dessert in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or in the freezer for 35 minutes. A chilled slab will deliver the cleanest slices.

HOW TO STORE CHOCOLATE PECAN BARS?

Transfer bars to an air-tight container. Store at room temperature up to 2 days, or refrigerate up to 4 days.

HOW TO FREEZE CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE BARS?

Cut the slab in quarters, or in squares. Wrap the individual pieces in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. After wrapping, slip the bars into a zip-top freezer bag(s) for extra protection. This dessert freezes well for up to 1 month. When ready to enjoy, just thaw in the fridge.

White 3-tiered tray with chocolate pecan bars on dessert table with dessert plates and napkins.

MORE EASY HOLIDAY DESSERTS

If you love holiday desserts, like these chocolate pecan bars, you’ll be delighted to try these delicious easy recipes. They’re real crowd pleasers!

Eight chocolate pecan pie bars stacked on a small metal rack.

rate this recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Family and friends say this is one of their favorite holiday desserts! I’m frequently asked for this recipe. If you enjoyed it too, give these chocolate pecan bars a 5-star rating in the comments. Share the recipe with a friend!

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Stack of chocolate Pecan Pie Bars on a white ceramic serving board.

CHOCOLATE PECAN BARS


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes
  • Yield: 16 Servings 1x

Description

These chocolate pecan bars are irresistible! And they’re a cinch to make. Once you taste these chocolaty caramel-scented treats, this will become your new go-to recipe for Thanksgiving dessert. 


Ingredients

Scale

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter,  + more for greasing pan
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

LAYERING

  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves (or chopped pecans) 

CARAMEL FILLING

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 


Instructions

SHORTBREAD CRUST

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cube butter with a knife. Grease an 8 x 8 baker.  Line pan with an oversized piece of parchment paper that extends over 2 sides of the pan. Later, these “handles” will be used to easily lift and remove dessert from the pan.

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, powdered sugar, butter pieces, and vanilla extract. Pulse until ingredients are combined, and a soft supple dough forms. Gather it into a ball.
  2. Transfer ball of dough to prepared pan. With your hands, press it down into an even layer on the bottom of the baker. Be sure to also cover the corners and edges of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  3. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the middle is baked but still pale, and the edges are a slight golden blonde. Remove from oven. 

CHOCOLATE PECAN FILLING

RECIPE PREP: Reduce oven temperature to 325°F

  1. While the crust is in the oven (toward the end of baking time), prep the caramel filling so it’s ready to go. Add butter, brown sugar, honey, heavy cream and vanilla to a heat-safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute. Whisk until ingredients are fully combined. If needed, microwave 20 seconds more and whisk again.
  2. As soon as the hot crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle an even layer of chocolate chips across the surface. Arrange 1 cup pecans in an even layer over the chocolate chips. Reserve remaining nuts for later.
  3. Evenly pour caramel sauce over the chocolate and pecans. Let it spread to cover the corners and edges of the pan. If needed, tilt pan to encourage spread. Arrange reserved 1/2 cup of pecans on the surface.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until filling is gently bubbling around the sides, with some slight bubbling across the surface. Remove pan from oven. Cool on a metal rack until set, about 3 hours. After the first hour, tent the pan loosely with foil.

CUT AND SERVE DESSERT BARS: Once slab has cooled and set, use parchment paper “handles” to lift and transfer slab to a wooden board. Slice into 16 squares. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

FOR A THICKER LAYER OF CARAMEL FILLING: Increase the filling with these additional amounts: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed), 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add more pecans, if needed, so the layer of nuts sits prominently above the caramel layer.

HOW TO COOL THE SLAB FASTER: Once the slab has cooled on a wire rack for 1 hour, transfer pan to fridge or freezer so the slab can set quicker!

HOW TO SLICE DESSERT BARS CLEANLY: Stick the room-temperature slab in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or in the freezer for 35 minutes. A chilled slab will deliver the cleanest slices. 

HOW TO STORE THIS DESSERT: Transfer bars to an air-tight container. Store at room temperature up to 2 days, or refrigerate up to 4 days. 

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate Pecan Bars, Thanksgiving Dessert, Pecan Bars

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

CHOCOLATE PECAN BARS > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

When baking holiday desserts for a crowd, which bar cookies are your favorites? What do you think of these chocolate pecan pie bars? Would you like to make a batch for this year’s gathering? Share your thoughts below!

5 thoughts on “chocolate pecan BARS”

  1. omg – all my favorite things in one dessert – this was perfect – whole family loved it!

    Reply
  2. My hubby and I love pecans! He is going to be so excited for this recipe and I can’t wait to make these! So fun and look so yummy!

    Reply
  3. One of my favorite holiday desserts that also I make year round! I love your flaky shortbread crust and the addition of chocolate chips. The individual squares are perfect for portioning out during get togethers and celebrations. This recipe’s a keeper!

    Reply
  4. Pecans are my favourite, and I love any kind of dessert with them in. I made a slab of these delicious bars last night. I cut them in 9 large squares instead of 16 small squares. They are soooo good! Next time I’ll double the recipe!

    Reply

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