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.
- 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
- 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves (or chopped pecans)
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate Pecan Bars, Thanksgiving Dessert, Pecan Bars