Pecan pie is delicious, but it’s not really portable. As someone who’s always on the go and never seem to have enough time to sit down and enjoy a slice of pie (or two), these maple pecan pie shortbread bars are the perfect solution.
While I should probably address the fact that I never have enough time in the day and that sitting down to eat a proper dessert is too time consuming. Let’s save that for another time though. For now, let’s focus on this amazing alternative to my favorite Thanksgiving dessert. That’s right pumpkin pie, I finally picked a favorite and it is not you.
This weekend was going so well until yesterday afternoon when I accidentally sliced into my thumb. Far from ideal. I faint at the sight of blood so it was touch and go for a minute there before the hubby came home from the gym to drive me to urgent care. A few hours later and I was back home and ready to jump back into my plans. Well that didn’t happen. My plans went out the window and I spent the rest of my weekend binge watching old Mark Wahlberg movies (anyone else obsessed with the Italian Job?) and snuggling with my dog. There are worse ways to spend my Sunday.
The cook time on these is set to produce a really gooey bar but if you’re looking for something with a little more crunch, bake these maple pecan pie shortbread bars for an extra 5-10 minutes once the topping is on. If you want even more crunch, mix in ¾ cup pecans into the shortbread portion of the dish.
I’ve been playing around with alternatives to different kinds of traditional Thanksgiving desserts and this one is by far my favorite. Stay tuned for my full list of alternatives coming in November!
- 12 ounces of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¾ cup (350g) brown sugar, divided
- 2 cups (250g) flour
- ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract
- 2 cups pecan pieces
- Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper leaving it long on two sides and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together the butter, and 1 cup of the brown sugar in a stand mixer. Once lighter in color and fully combined, turn mixer to low and add in the flour and the cinnamon. Mix until just combined.
- Press dough into the bottom of the pan to evenly cover it. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the dough bakes, make the pecan pie topping.
- Mix together the remaining brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, butter and maple extract. Once fully combined, gently mix in the pecan pieces.
- Once dough is done pull baking pan out of the oven. It will still be soft and gooey. Don’t worry, it will cook more in the next round of baking! Wait 10 minutes to let it cool slightly before spreading pecan pie topping over the shortbread.
- Bake for another 20 minutes. Leave in the pan until completely cool. Once cool, use the overhanging parchment paper pieces to pull the bars out of the pan. Store in an airtight container.