Holy smokes, people. Thanksgiving is just over a week away. This time of year seems to have a serious identity crisis. Thanksgiving hasn’t happened, and yet the stores are decked out in garland, holiday music is all around, and my Instagram feed is full of sugar cookies and peppermint. While I know exactly where I stand this time of year (TEAM THANKSGIVING!!), I have a few recipes that bridge this gap nicely. These Honey Pecan Bars are one of them, as they’re appropriate for all your holiday gatherings.
These babies have a buttery shortbread crust topped with a sweet, sticky layer of pecan filling. The filling is much like that of pecan pie, only elevated with the floral flavor of honey. I also love the crust-to-filling ratio on these bars, with the crisp-tender crust contrasting the gooey crunch of the pecan layer.
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel the holiday crunch for sure. Planning for Thanksgiving next week, trying to get Christmas lists together for the kids, and the kids’ extracurriculars are trying to fit all they can in before break. Oh, and my husband is somewhere in the wilds of Northern Michigan freezing his tail off hoping to shoot a deer. Amongst all of those things I find myself procrastibaking instead of doing what I need to do. *shrugs*
These Honey Pecan Bars are stress-free. Really. They are simple to whip up, but the taste reminds you that simple things can still be special! Serve them alongside your other Thanksgiving desserts, or add them to trays of holiday goodies. They freeze wonderfully if you want to make them in advance!
So, regardless where you fall on this whole Thanksgiving/Christmas issue*, this recipe will have you covered!
*(Seriously, Team Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is awesome. The Christmas season is still an ENTIRE month. I could go on…)
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Recipe from Taste of Home (link here).
Honey Pecan Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
Honey Pecan Filling:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy (whipping) cream
- pinch salt
- 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted (see note)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9"x13" pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the edges (the foil/parchment will be used later as handles to remove the bars from the pan). Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, and salt. Mix until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add flour gradually, and mix until combined. Mixture will resemble wet, coarse sand.
- Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 16-20 minutes.
- Combine butter, brown sugar, honey, sugar, cream, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Immediately add toasted pecans and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Pour filling over crust. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until filling is bubbling. Cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift from pan using the foil or parchment paper to cut into bars.Enjoy!