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Gooey Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan pie is one of the most popular and also one of the highest calorie desserts at Thanksgiving. Despite being a lighter twist on a classic, these gooey pecan pie bars are still every bit as satisfying and taste just as indulgent.  

Servings: 20

Serving Size: 1 bar (30g)   

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes 

Nutrition Facts: 118 calories / 18g carbs / 1g protein / 4.5g fat 

 Gooey Pecan Pie Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups (157g) King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup (60g) powdered sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter (divided)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract (divided)

  • ½ cup (160g) pure maple syrup

  • ⅓ cup (74g) packed brown sugar

  • ¼ cup (62.5g) nonfat milk

  • ½ cup (50g) raw pecan halves

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line an 11x7-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Slice 6 tablespoons of the butter into small pieces and cut into the flour using a pastry cutter or your fingers. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and continue mixing until the mixture resembles small crumbs (it will feel quite crumbly). 

  3. Press the crust mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust just start to lightly brown. Once the crust has only 5 more minutes of cooking, start making the filling. 

  4. To make the filling, add the maple syrup, brown sugar, millk, and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pot. Cook over medium heat and bring to a low simmer. Once simmering, cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pecan halves and remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

  5. Remove the cooked crust from the oven and carefully pour the filling mixture over the top of the crust. Gently spread the filling over the crust using a rubber spatula to evenly distribute the pecans. 

  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the center is still slightly liquidy. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, at least 30 minutes. Once cooled, option to slice into 20 pieces and serve or store in the fridge for firmer bars. 

Notes:

  1. These bars are easiest to cut when they’re completely cool. For best results, allow the bars to cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. 

  2. Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

  3. These bars are very gooey when eaten warm or at room temperature, but firm up when chilled. 

  4. To cut down on prep time, use a food processor to make the crust. 

  5. When pouring the filling onto the crust, make sure the baking pan is on an even surface otherwise it will be difficult to get an even layer on top. 

  6. Any milk or unsweetened milk alternative will work, just note that the macros will be affected. 


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