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Plate of decadent Gooey Caramel Pecan Pie Bars with a drizzle of caramel sauce and sprinkle of sea salt.

GOOEY CARAMEL PECAN PIE BARS


Description

These decadent Gooey Caramel Pecan Pie Bars are the perfect combination of sweet, salty, buttery, and crunchy.  Forget the pecan pie!  This will be your new family favorite.


Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

Filling:

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Topping:

  • ¼ cup toasted pecans
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling (optional)

Instructions

Make the crust.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and leave enough paper at each end to lift the bars out of the pan after baking.  Spray the parchment and sides of the pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, dark brown sugar, and butter.  With a hand mixer at medium speed, beat the mixture until the mixture resembles sand with fine crumbs.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan.  Use your hands to press the mixture smooth.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the topping.  In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stir together the butter, light brown sugar, and honey.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly – about 7-8 minutes.  Pour in the cream and continue to cook, stirring until a candy thermometer inserted in the mixture hits the soft-ball stage (240 degrees) – about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans.

Carefully pour the mixture over the crust, using an offset spatula to spread it evenly to all corners.

In a food processor, add the toasted pecans and sea salt.  Process until finely chopped.

Sprinkle the pecan/salt mixture evenly over the top of the caramel mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the caramel is bubbly.  Remove from the heat and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To serve, run a butter knife along the sides of the pan.  Use the parchment paper overhang to lift the dessert out of the pan.

Cut the bars into squares.  If your knife gets sticky, dip it in hot water before making the next cut.

Arrange the squares on a platter and drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: gooey caramel pecan pie bars, bar cookies, pecan pie, caramel recipes, pecan recipes, Thanksgiving desserts, Southern desserts