PPQ: Texas Pecan Pie Bars

by Shawnda on September 5, 2011

in Cookies and Bars,Holiday Favorites,Project Pastry Queen

Texas Pecan Pie Bars

Every fall, we’d return home from my grandparents’ little farm in northeast Texas with a car full of kids and pecans. Brown paper sacks filled to the top with whole pecans sat on the floorboards and left very little room for 8 feet on that 5-hour car ride. Then the real work began.

We’d spend hours shelling pecans, cracking and picking shells, for a bucket destined for the freezer. There was no way to escape – an “accidently” smashed finger courtesy of the nutcracker – or a good actor – would only garner so much pity and a few minutes on the sideline.

Texas Pecan Pie Bars

This week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge, “Texas Pecan Pie Bars,” is a fun take on the fall favorite. The dessert is aptly named: you get all the flavors of pecan pie, baked into a convenient bar. A gooey layer hides between a buttery shortbread crust and a crunchy top. Sweet tooth and glass of milk required. Fork optional.

And it’s probably best if you make them for friends, cutting them and giving them away immediately. Or at least have some sort of support system because even as sweet as they are, it’s hard to stop at one.

I took a few liberties with the recipe:
– I made 1/4 of the recipe in a 8-inch square pan and cut it into 9 squares. The original recipe is a doozy (doozie?), baked in a 12×17 – which is perfect if you need dessert for you & 29 of your closest friends.
– I replaced half of the flour with whole wheat flour.
– Because I live with a coconut hater, I replaced the coconut with rolled oats (not instant oatmeal, the kind you have to cook for ~5 minutes).
– I doubled the bourbon because… because it’s bourbon :)

They can be eaten by hand so they’d be perfect to bring for a holiday potluck this fall. To get the full recipe, head on over to Powdered Plum. And check out how the other members tackled the pecan pie bars. Next week, we’re going classic Texas comfort food: King Ranch Chicken.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 raquel @ Erecipe September 5, 2011 at 12:52 am

I love the crunchy top , I really do wanna try this .

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2 Sasha @ The Procrastobaker September 5, 2011 at 4:42 am

I love the fact you scaled it down to fit an 8 inch pan, its the only size i have and wouldnt know where to start scaling it down myself! So thank you for that as it means i might well be able to try these gorgeous looking bars myself :) Gorgeous!

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3 Katrina September 5, 2011 at 5:04 am

Mmm these sound so yummy!

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4 Josie September 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

We had a giant pecan tree in our yard growing up – I would go pick and shell pecans and then sell them to my grandparents for like 50 cents per bag – not a very high return for my work – I wasn’t the greatest businesswoman back then ;-)

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5 Melissa September 5, 2011 at 10:02 am

My college room mate and I would frequent Pecan Park and collect bags of pecans during our days at SFA. We didn’t have a nutcracker and found ourselves “shelling” pecans on our balcony with hammers. Oh-the days of being a poor college student, but we ate pecans for months!

These bars remind me of the old days!

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6 annie September 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

Hi, I would love to get the recipe for these great sounding bars, but when I link to the site, it’s not posted yet. Is there somewhere else I can get th recipe?

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7 foodiebride September 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Hey annie, the recipe is now live at: http://powderedplum.blogspot.com/2011/09/texas-pecan-pie-bars-ppq.html

Hope you guys enjoy them as much as we do :)

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8 Joanne September 5, 2011 at 11:30 am

I’ve always loved pecan pie and I feel like in bar form they’re even more ooey gooey delicious!

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9 Allison September 5, 2011 at 11:32 am

I would love the recipe for these bars as well but cannot seem to find it. Help!

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10 foodiebride September 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Allison, Beth has the post up now – enjoy!

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11 Jessica September 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I already love these because Texas is in the name. :-D

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12 Maureen September 6, 2011 at 2:03 am

Oh my goodness, I cannot wait to try these bars. Do they freeze well? I hesitate to make a pecan pie because I either eat to much or throw away too much. I’m going to make these and find out if I can eat a few and freeze a lot. :)

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13 foodiebride September 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I’m not sure but I can report back to you probably this weekend – my husband is already asking for a second batch and I can wrap a few squares individually for the freezer to see how they thaw.

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14 Happy When Not Hungry September 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm

These bars look amazing!!!! Def will have to try these!

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15 Pecan Pie September 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Gorgeous pictures. These sound and look delicious. I’m a fan of your changes to the recipe, especially like the idea of cutting this down to fit in the 8 x 8 pan as well. Very nice. ~ Thanks for sharing.

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16 Kathie September 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Where can I get the converted recipe for 1/4 (8×8 pan) of this? Cant wait to try it! ;)

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17 Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen September 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm

These look incredible! I love anything with pecans in it. My aunt and uncle have a giant pecan tree in their yard and they always make a pecan pie when we visit them. These bars look like a great portable version! :)

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18 Jess November 18, 2011 at 7:22 am

Hi Shawnda, about how long was the bake time for an 8×8 pan? I’d like to make a scaled down version of these bars as well. Also, did you ever end up freezing them? How did they turn out?

Thanks for posting such wonderful recipes!

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19 foodiebride November 19, 2011 at 8:11 am

They didn’t last long enough to make it to the freezer [blush]. You’ll bake them for ~20-25 minutes to get them golden brown and set.

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