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Pecan or Walnut Shortbread Bars

Pecan bars, an awesome variation of pecan pie, and some might say better!

Pecan Bars

Pecan bars, a classic recipe from The Silver Palate, is one I’ve been making for years. 

Good recipes are worth their weight in gold, and this one is one of them.

When I first started cooking I was addicted to the Silver Palate cookbooks. They still are amazing and deserve the attention. Many of my favorite recipes come from these girls!

I remember the first time I made these. It was for Thanksgiving because there were just two of us…just as there are this year!

Pecan Pie Bars stacked

Manservant loves pecan pie and though I like it, I don’t adore it. So I thought if I made this pecan bars recipe, it might appease him. 

I happened to be right and yesterday when I pulled these from the oven, he commented that I hadn’t made these for a long time.

Shockers! He usually doesn’t remember what I cook, but he did remember these! Truly, they are unforgettable.

No they aren’t pecan pie. They have a shortbread crust, which in my mind is outstanding, and holds up well to the hefty nut filling.

Pecan bars

Pecans or walnuts or any kind of nut will work just fine in this filling. But being a Texas man, Manservant prefers pe-cans. As he says it!

This filling isn’t loaded with corn syrup or eggs. Just good old fashioned maple syrup, honey and brown sugar. Tons of flavor, but if you are looking for drippy, super sweet filling, these may not be what you are thinking of.

These aren’t pecan pie bars with dark corn syrup. They are pecan bars that some might compare to pecan pie, but they are so much better. IMO!

These are perfect for shipping to Manservant’s dad. They are perfect for storing in the freezer. They are perfect for those who want just a bite.

Pecan bars

Just a bite. Make it a sliver. Oh, how I admire those people. I always wonder if they really mean it.

Usually I want a giant piece of almost anything, but I try to be polite. After all, I could go back for more.

Which leads me to these cute little, yes little 2 bite bars. I love them. No they don’t have chocolate, but I still love them.

Delectable, yes they are really delectable. I like that word. They are rich and sugary and well, you will probably want another one. What can I say?

Lots of pecan bars

Like I said. I make these when my husband wants a pecan pie and I don’t. It satisfies him and most definitely satisfies me.

Sometimes you don’t want to make another pie for Thanksgiving but this suffices for those who might want something extra with that ubiquitous pumpkin pie.

Of course you could make this into a tart, but then there goes the two bite rule.

These come together fast, which I guess is good, since they disappear quite fast also.

Pecan Bars

I think they are elegant, but I think nuts in general are elegant and decadent. Perhaps because nuts are not inexpensive.

Let’s face it. I’ve never met a nut I didn’t like.

So, instead of pecan pie this year, try these. I know, you will like them. And don’t tell me if you cut them bigger than two bites.

Need a Few More?

Pumpkin Layer Bars with Rice Krispies

Magic Pumpkin Layer Bars

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Poor Man’s Pecan Pie (Oatmeal Black Bottom)

Oatmeal Pie with a Black Bottom

I’d love it if you follow me on Pinterest and Pin and Share!

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My favorite Silver Palate Cookbook is the first one, but truth is I like them all. I use a Calphalon 13 x 9 pan for baking. And parchment paper is a necessity in my kitchen. I get mine in a roll from Costco, but these precut ones might come in handy!

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Pecan Bars

Pecan or Walnut Shortbread Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 13 x 9 pan 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


These gooey nut bars with a shortbread crust are the perfect solution that satisfies all nut lovers. Better than pecan pie, these gooey bars are always a hit!



2/3c confectioners sugar

2c unbleached flour

2 sticks sweet butter

2/3 c melted sweet butter

1/4 c honey

1/4 c maple syrup

3T Greek vanilla yogurt or heavy cream

1/2 c brown sugar

3 1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a 9 x 13″ pan with parchment paper.

Stir sugar and flour together. Cut in butter using 2 knives or a pastry blender, until fine crumbs form. Pat crust into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven.

While crust is baking prepare filling.

Mix melted butter, honey, syrup, yogurt or cream and brown sugar together. This will make a lovely syrup.

Stir in nuts until well coated. Spread over prebaked crust.

Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes more. The edges should look golden.

Cool before tasting so they don’t burn your mouth.

Cut into whatever size squares you desire.


Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Karen (Back Road Journal)

Sunday 29th of November 2020

I had a girlfriend that use to bring a big platter of Christmas cookies to us each year and these were one of them, I'm sure. Now I have the recipe...I've pinned. 😊


Monday 23rd of November 2020

i adore pecans and i loooooove! maple syrup! so this is a winner for me. Yum!


Monday 23rd of November 2020

One of my all-time favorites. I think the recipe I use is from one of the Colorado Junior League books! Happy Thanksgiving, Abbe!

Jeff the Chef

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Perfect for the holidays!


Thursday 19th of November 2020

These pecan pie bars look absolutely amazing with that sweet nutty topping!