Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars

Made with brown butter and maple syrup, you’ll love the sweet and salty flavor in each bite of brown butter pecan pie bars. They’re so much easier than baking an entire pie!

So much easier than baking an entire pie! These brown butter pecan pie bars are made with maple syrup and brown sugar. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Though these bars aren’t shaped like your typical pie, they’re every bit as mouthwatering in square form. Especially when that square combines not only pecan pie + crust, but brown butter, quality nuts, pure maple syrup for extra flavor, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top.

So much easier than baking an entire pie! These brown butter pecan pie bars are made with maple syrup and brown sugar. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars Video

brown butter

Why We Love Pecan Pie Bars

While I don’t usually like to stray from the classic, unadulterated pecan pie– I do believe there is room for both traditional pecan pie (here’s my favorite pecan pie recipe!) and jazzy pecan pie. Who doesn’t want a little jazzy every now and then?? These pecan pie bars are certainly jazzy and there’s so much to love about them.

  • Deliciously flavored with brown butter, brown sugar, and sea salt
  • Made with maple syrup which adds flavor and takes the place of corn syrup that’s typically used in pecan pie recipes
  • The shortbread crust is soft and simple
  • Lots of wonderful crunchy and gooey texture in every bite
  • The pecan pie topping is sweet and salty
  • They’re easier to make than an entire pie– no pie crust to chill and roll
  • A fun alternative to the classic pie and perfect for serving a crowd
  • No mess to clean up because they’re easy to eat and transport!

Brown butter crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Brown butter brings a whole new level of flavor to these pecan pie bars. It’s the same crust as my salted caramel apple pie bars, only doubled to make a larger batch and– of course– made with brown butter. All you’ll do is brown some butter on the stovetop, then mix it with sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour. Press it into the pan and pre-bake for a few minutes while you make the pecan pie topping. So simple yet so delicious!

Here’s a full tutorial on how to brown butter. It’s quick and easy.

Ingredients for brown butter pecan pie bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pecan Pie Bars Without Corn Syrup

I chose to make these pecan pie bars without corn syrup and formulate a way to have maple syrup get the job done. It works like a charm here. You’ll boil butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cream together into a syrup– then temper the eggs. Now before you go running at the term “tempering” let’s chat about it for a second.

Tempering means you’ll add a hot liquid to the beaten eggs. If you add the eggs directly to the pot of boiling ingredients– guess what? You’ll have some funky scrambled egg sauce. By slowly whisking *some* of the hot syrup into the beaten eggs, you are slowly bringing up their temperature– not shocking them. And then you’ll slowly drizzle and whisk that warm egg mixture into the pot. This way you’re avoiding that funky scrambled egg situation that sounds, and probably is, horrifying.

For an entire pecan pie made without corn syrup, try my maple pecan pie!

How to make brown butter pecan pie bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make Pecan Pie Bars

They’re truly easier than pie!

  1. Brown the butter. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine all of the crust ingredients. Press the mixture evenly into a prepared 9×13 pan.
  3. Bake the crust. 15 minutes is all it takes.
  4. Make the pecan pie topping. Combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk this mixture and bring to a boil.
  5. Temper the eggs. As the mixture boils, carefully spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture into a glass measuring cup. Slowly drizzle it into the beaten eggs. Stir frequently to keep it moving so the eggs do not scramble. Once the 1/2 cup mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pot.
  6. Add the pecans.
  7. Spread topping evenly onto the crust. Don’t be alarmed if the pecan topping is too syrup-y. It will cook just fine!
  8. Bake. These bars take about 30-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. If the top is getting too brown as it bakes, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
  9. Cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

So much easier than baking an entire pie! These brown butter pecan pie bars are made with maple syrup and brown sugar. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The flavors marry together wonderfully between the brown butter, maple, toasty pecans, and brown sugar. I’m not a fan of cloyingly sweet pecan pie, so I added a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the baked bars. They’re crunchy in some places, soft in others. Moist with big chunks of delicious pecans on a bed of brown butter. It most certainly doesn’t get better than this.

So much easier than baking an entire pie! These brown butter pecan pie bars are made with maple syrup and brown sugar. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Like my cranberry crumble pie bars, this process is much easier than an entire pie!

Print

Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 18-24 squares
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These ultra flavorful brown butter pecan pie bars made with maple syrup are so much easier than baking an entire pie.


Ingredients

Brown Butter Crust

  • 1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Pecan Pie Topping

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups (300g) coarsely chopped shelled pecans
  • optional: sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with parchment paper leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out. Set aside.
  2. For the crust: Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning– you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat immediately and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the brown butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour until evenly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. For the topping: Combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. As it is boiling, carefully spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture into a glass measuring cup. Slowly drizzle it into the beaten eggs. Stir frequently to keep it moving so the eggs do not scramble. Once the 1/2 cup mixture is added to the beaten eggs, slowly drizzle and whisk this back into the pot. The trick is to always be stirring/whisking to avoid scrambling the eggs. Remove from heat, stir in the pecans, and pour evenly over the crust.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. If the top is getting too brown as it bakes, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven, set on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Cover and store leftover bars at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Bars freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Baking Dish, Stainless Steel Saucepan, and Wooden Spoon

Keywords: brown butter pecan pie bars, pecan pie bars

So much easier than baking an entire pie! These brown butter pecan pie bars are made with maple syrup and brown sugar. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

186 Comments

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  1. I tried this recipe for the first time and it is absolutely amazing!
    The instructions are really comprehensive, thank you @Sally.

  2. I’m hoping to make this next week. I was just wondering, is there a specific reason to not toast the pecans?

  3. The first crust I made, after I baked it, was super runny and liquid, and I had to throw away. Not sure why, I even used a scale for the flour measurement. The second one I made, I added an additional scant cup of flour and it came out much better. But if you do this, be sure to decrease bake time! I didn’t and the crust was super dry!

    1. When I took the crust out of the oven after 15 min, it wasn’t done but instead finished baking with the pecan mixture. I do wish that had been noted in the recipe because it made me nervous but it worked out!

      1. Thanks so much for your comment about the crust. It really helped me when I was making this recipe last night. After I cooked the crust for 15 minutes, it was definitely not done and still really soft on top. I was very confused. I read through the comments hoping someone would say something about this and you did! Thanks. Nice name too. 😉

  4. Tried the recipe today they are fantastic! New family favorite ….. my mother in law finished her whole bar … this never happens Thank you for a great recipe!

  5. I’ve been wanting to make this for a while now. However, I want to add chocolate chips to this. How much should I reduce the sugar by? And should I also reduce the amount of pecans? I would really appreciate your input. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lori! No need to reduce the sugar unless you want to– just add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the filling when you stir in the pecans.

  6. Outstanding recipe. Just wondering, if I wanted to make the bars a tad less sweet, would the recipe still work if i cut the brown sugar by 1-2 Tbs?

    1. Hi Deborah, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! You can certainly try cutting the sugar by just a small amount next time.

  7. I made two batches for Thanksgiving – for one, I added a cup of Ghiradelli 60% cacao choc chips. The chips melted when added to the filling, so I made sure I covered the pan for about 75% of the baking to make sure the chocolate didn’t burn. Both were smash hits! For the pecan pie purists, the brown butter crust made all the difference in the world. For the chocolate lovers, the chocolate and crust played nicely together. The sea salt is a must for both bars. Added just the right amount of salty goodness. I was a bit skeptical about using maple syrup over dark brown corn syrup, but it was perfect. My mother-in-law has requested the non-chocolate versions for our Hanukkah get together next month (along with other bars!).

    If you plan to lift the bars out whole before cutting, I suggest you put them in the fridge overnight or else the rectangle of beauty may crack (I don’t like to cut in the pan because I don’t want to scratch the pans). A night in the fridge and they lifted out nicely to cut perfectly on my cutting board.

  8. These were great! The recipe turned out perfectly. I’m known for things turning out differently than the picture on the recipe and my husband told me they look just like they’re supposed to! That’s a big win. Thank you!

  9. Just made these bars for a gathering tomorrow and they turned out GREAT. It’s going to be hard to resist them until tomorrow, haha. I did find that the crust needed more flour for me, it was darn near liquidy at first! Not sure why, as I used the spoon and level method as suggested. Either way, GREAT recipe! I added some bourbon to the filling for extra flavor too.

  10. These are very tasty but I had an issue with the crust. After mixing the ingredients, the crust mix was super runny. There was no way I could “press” it in to the pan like the recipe says. I had to add a lot more flour to get it to a consistency where this was possible. So, as expected, the crust came out rather crumbly. The taste is great, but was disappointed in how the crust turned out.

  11. I just won 2019 because of your recipe! I bought a pecan pie from a good restaurant chain here in Orange County, CA. After a nice dinner and lots of clean up, my husband waited till 7:30 to eat a piece of pie (his favorite)! I put it in the oven to warm for no more than 7 minutes. When I cut the pie, there was no filling, and crust was inside pie! My husband was so upset about the shabby 15$ pie he stomped upstairs and went to bed! (After much coaxing and laughing under my breath) I managed to get him back downstairs to watch Scrooge. I found this wonderful recipe online and was able to throw this together in a hurry! (I had to use pre made crust for time) but, the filling was wonderful and this recipe saved our Christmas! Thank you so much for helping me today!!! God bless you!

    1. I’m sorry the store bought pie was so bad but so happy that you found this recipe and it was a success!! YAY for pies on Christmas!

  12. I love the idea of pecan pie in the shape of bar cookies. So much easier to handle at a buffet. I was pleased with the outcome and would make it again. Using maple syrup instead of Karo syrup was brilliant. It wouldn’t be pecan pie if it wasn’t sweet and rich so when I bake this again I’m going to try a crust that isn’t as rich as this one. Also I think there needs to be a little more topping. The recipe is very complicated in places. I had to draw a diagram to make sure I understood it. But it was delicious.

  13. Would I be able to use White Whole Wheat flour? And if so would measurements stay the same? Thanks

  14. Wow, these were fantastic! I don’t care much for maple other than for breakfast, so I made with corn syrup, but yummmmmmy! I also mixed regular salt in with the topping since I didn’t have sea salt.

    It was easy to put together if you’ve ever browned butter before. Waiting for them to cool was hard!

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