Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars taste like the favorite holiday pie… elevated. With a buttery homemade crust, these sweet, decadent bars are the perfect dessert for any fall or winter gathering. Makes 9 large bars.
Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and delicious food. Luckily, the food blogging community is all about these things as well. To celebrate the holiday, Meghan from Cake ‘n’ Knife and Susannah from Feast + West are hosting Blogsgiving Dinner.
Today, we’re finishing up the week with desserts, drinks and various Thanksgiving leftovers.
If you scroll on down, you’ll find a list of all these awesome recipes, too. 🙂
Why I love this recipe:
I’ve made us Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars to finish off this week of Thanksgiving deliciousness. It’s a twist on my Bourbon Pecan Pie, which happens to be one of our Thanksgiving traditions.
I have to say, this treat is well-loved in our home because we’re major fans of pecans in anything… and when you add the bourbon, they just sing.
Also, as an added bonus, these Pecan Pie Bars don’t involve corn syrup, like the traditional pie does.
Since I am currently not drinking, I thought it might be fun to infuse dessert with a little booze. The bourbon cooks off as the bars bake and leaves a delicious and distinctive taste that’s hard not to love.
Other Thanksgiving desserts that you won’t want to miss: Orange Cranberry Bars | Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze | Bourbon Pecan Tassies | Cranberry Crumb Bars
Need baking inspiration? Check out my Dessert Recipe Index for help!
What you need to make these Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars
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In addition to these tools, you’re also going to need the following ingredients…
- Unsalted butter
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Rolled oats—not the instant kind
- Kosher salt
- Granulated Sugar
- Maple syrup—the real deal, not the “maple-flavored syrup”
- Bourbon—something that’s worth drinking but not something that’s incredibly fancy
- Vanilla extract
- Pecan halves
How to make Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars
First and foremost, preheat the oven. While it preheats, spray a square cake pan with nonstick baking spray, then line it with parchment paper. Set it aside for later.
Make the buttery crust
In a large bowl, combine the softened butter, applesauce and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer or a spatula, mix until smooth.
Measure in the flour, oats and salt. Mix until combined.
Using your hands or a rubber spatula, spread the crust onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish. The mixture is really sticky, so if you’re using your hands, give them a spritz of the nonstick baking spray before you get started.
When the crust is evenly spread out across the bottom of the baking dish, pop it in the oven and bake it until golden. We don’t want it to brown up, but we do want it to become firm so it doesn’t mix into the filling.
When it’s finished with its bake, remove it from the oven, and set aside.
Make the filling and bake the pecan bars
In a large bowl, break the eggs and measure in the sugar. Use a whisk to beat the two ingredients together until light yellow and creamy.
Measure in the salt, maple syrup, honey, bourbon, vanilla extract and melted butter. Stir those ingredients into the others, mixing until incorporated.
Add the pecan halves to the mixture, and use a rubber spatula to mix those into the filling batter.
Pour the filling on top of the baked crust, and transfer to the oven.
Bake the bars for 45-55 minutes, or until the bars are set. How will you know they’re set? The bars won’t be jiggly when you pick the tray up.
Let the bars cool for 30-45 minutes before serving, then slice and serve warm or room temperature alone or with a scoop of ice cream on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these pecan pie bars in advance?
Yes! You can make these bars 2-3 days in advance. Bake them, let them cool completely, and then cover with plastic wrap. Slice ’em up when it’s time to serve them with a super sharp knife.
How bad is pecan pie for you?
Look. I’m no nutritionist, so I can’t speak for the “goodness” or “badness” of pecan pie. However, in my opinion, there are no good or bad foods because there should be room in our diets to be able to enjoy every kind of food. Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars are an awesome dessert to make and serve at the holidays.
Why is my pecan pie filling runny?
The filling of these pecan pie bars gets to be kind of dense, as you’d expect a true pecan pie to become. If it’s runny, that means your pie or pie bars haven’t baked long enough.
Is pecan pie supposed to rise?
These bars puff up in the oven as they bake, but they sink back down once they cool.
How can you tell when a pecan pie is done?
The texture is a giveaway for if the pie (or pie bars) are done. These bars shouldn’t jiggle wildly when you move the cake pan they’re in. A little jiggle is OK, but anything that dislodges the pecans means you need to make it a little longer.
Blogsgiving Progressive Dinner Menu for Friday, November 14
More Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas
- Grandma’s Pecan Pie from A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
- Cranberry Almond Coconut Bars from Love & Flour
- Sweet Potato Pie from Think Fruitful
- Nutella Pumpkin S’mores Tart from bethcakes
Thanksgiving After-Dinner Drinks
Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas
- Cheesy Potato Croquettes from Hello Little Home
- Leftover Stuffed Egg Rolls with Cranberry Dipping Sauce from Cake ‘n’ Knife
- Freezer-Friendly Turkey and Rice Casserole from Betty Becca
… YUM. That’s all I’ve gotta say, y’all, and I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this Thanksgiving celebration as much as I have!
If you’re interested in trying out these Drunken Pecan Pie Bars, here’s how you can make ’em at home…
Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars taste like the favorite holiday pie... elevated. With a buttery homemade crust, these sweet, decadent bars are the perfect dessert for any fall or winter gathering and are made without corn syrup!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup brown sugar (dark or light work)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats (not the instant kind)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Bourbon Pecan Pie Filling
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup local honey
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/3 cup pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9"x9" square cake pan with nonstick baking spray, then line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the Butter Crust
- In a large bowl, combine the softened butter, applesauce and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer or a rubber spatula, mix together until smooth.
- Measure in the flour, oats and salt. Stir until combined.
- Spread the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish using a rubber spatula or your hands. (If you use your hands, spray them with nonstick baking spray so that the mixture doesn't stick to you.)
- When the crust is evenly spread out across the bottom of the baking dish, pop it in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. You don't want the crust to brown, but you do want it to firm up.
- When the crust has pre-baked, remove from the oven and set aside.
Make the Bourbon Pecan Pie Filling
- In a large bowl, break the eggs and measure in the sugar. Using a hand mixer or a metal whisk, mix until the ingredients are light yellow and creamy.
- Measure in the salt, maple syrup, honey, bourbon, vanilla extract and melted butter. Stir the ingredients until incorporated.
- Add the pecan halves to the mixture, and use a rubber spatula to stir them into the batter.
- Pour the filling on top of the baked crust, and transfer to the oven.
- Bake the bars for 45-60 minutes, or until the bars are set. (They'll have browned on top, and when you move the cake pan, they will not appear to be liquidy anymore.)
- When they are baked through, remove the bars from the oven.
- Let the bars cool for 30-45 minutes, then slice into even bars and serve.
This recipe makes 9 large squares, but you can easily slice the bars into smaller pieces for a bigger crowd. They're decadent enough that you don't need to have them be that big unless you want them to be. 🙂
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Yield:9 large slices
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 3gSugar: 45gProtein: 6g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.