Finally, a gluten-free Pecan Pie Bar that tastes like the real thing! These bars sit on a flaky, thick gluten-free shortbread crust and are made with thoughtful ingredients. They’re the perfect sharable treat to make during the holidays.
Table of Contents
This recipe is…
These Pecan Pie Bars mark the beginning of TWO things for the blog:
- Holiday Season 2017 if officially upon us! This is just the tip of the festive iceberg and I cannot WAIT for you to see what else I have up my sleeve. You can expect recipes for a gluten-free stuffing, roasted turnip pesto, collagen hot chocolates, roasted duck, thumbprint cookies, and so much more!
- A decidedly less legalistic approach to my blogging.
Let’s talk about that 2nd one, because a lot of thought has gone into the decision. My life is about to change BIG TIME (re: our first baby is due in January) and I’ve been having some real heart-to-hearts with myself about how I represent myself here on the blog. Earlier this year, I decided to share more details of our lives with honest trimester pregnancy updates. I love sharing these details with you! Yes, I keep a few pieces of information close to home (out of respect for my family), but being an open-book is truly in my nature. I *know* the more I share, the more I invite outside opinions of our personal family decisions. These opinions aren’t always easy to navigate, but they’re real life.
In this vein, I’ve made the decision that I want the blog to be a representation of my own personal, honest, and not Paleo-perfect “perfect you plan.”
The Fed & Fit Project
Side note: if you’re new here, the “perfect you plan” (or PYP) is the ultimate destination of my signature online food + fitness + healthy lifestyle program, the Fed & Fit Project. I coined this phrase with the purpose of helping to direct you to the healthy lifestyle “plan” perfectly designed by and for YOU. It includes the right amount of water for you, the healthy mindset habits that help you feel great, the best-for-you sleep habits, the right fitness routine for your preferences/budget/time, and (of course) the list of foods + amounts of those foods that make you feel YOUR BEST. The PYP can allow for the occasional piece of wedding cake because wedding cake is REAL LIFE. The PYP can guide you towards sautéed kale in the morning, baked sweet potatoes during your luteal phase (ladies), and the replacement of soda with a sparkling water that you really love. The PYP is the answer to a naturally, eventually effortless healthy lifestyle. It frees you from the burden of dietary dogma and gives you a compass to navigate this great big world of endless decisions.
Though sometimes I only cook up the squeakiest-clean Paleo recipes, other times I have a hankering for an as-close-to-the-real-thing-as-possible gluten-free Pecan Pie Bar. I live out my “perfect plan” (aka, balance) in my every day life and I’ve decided that I want to share more of that here. I want to share MORE than just squeaky-clean inspiration. Having a baby is going to bring out even more of the messy, not-perfect, but somehow-it-all-works side of how we make decisions and I want to build a platform that expects (and SUPPORTS) such honesty.
WHO KNEW Pecan Pie Bars could mean so much? Ha!
So, about these bars. They’re ridiculously delicious. NO, they are not Paleo …not by a long shot. The recipe calls for a measure-for-measure (or cup-for-cup) gluten-free flour substitute, powdered sugar (gasp!), and more sweetness in the form of maple syrup and coconut sugar. Like I said, they’re as-close-to-the-real-thing-as-possible and I feel confident that my grandmother would take a bite and nod her approval.
How to Make this Recipe
These bars sit on a THICK gluten-free shortbread crust (it’s so good) which is baked first. While the crust bakes, we’ll prepare the filling in the most traditional pecan pie sense. Let’s get to it!
For the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine the Flour + Sugar, then Add Butter – combine the flour and powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Then, cut the butter into 1/4-inch pieces and add them to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, combine the butter with the flour until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Press into Baking Pan + Bake – press the crust mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper, then bake the crust for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
For the Pecan Pie Bar Filling
- Melt the Butter + Add the Sugar – to make the pecan pie filling, we’ll first need to melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the coconut sugar, and whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in Maple Syrup, Vanilla, and Salt – remove the buttery sugar pan from the heat, and whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Whisk the Eggs – in a medium bowl, beat the eggs, then slowly pour the filling mixture into the eggs, whisking the whole time to ensure the eggs don’t cook.
- Assemble – place the pecans on top of the baked shortbread crust, then pour the filling over the pecans.
- Bake – bake the assembled pecan pie bars for 50 minutes, until the filling is completely set and no longer jiggles in the center.
- Let Cool, Refrigerate, Cut, and Serve! Let the bars cool for one hour, then refrigerate. When ready, cut the bars into 16 equal squares and serve!
I hope this really-not-Paleo recipe brings you and your family some joy this Holiday season. These delicious bars are from the heart and I hope they help you get a homemade dessert option on the table that you really, truly look forward to enjoying with loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Good question! You’ll know the bars are ready to come out of the oven when the filling no longer jiggles in the center! Be sure to lightly shake the dish to be sure the pecan pie filling is jiggle-free before pulling them out of the oven.
Absolutely! Just store the bars in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. These bars will last for 5-6 days in the fridge.
Sure! That’s a great idea. The day before you’re ready to enjoy the bars, just pull them out of the freezer and let them sit in the fridge to thaw overnight. Enjoy!
Pecan Pie Bars (GF)
For the Crust:
For the Pecan Pie bars:
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups pecan halves
For the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Combine flour and powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl. Cut butter into 1/4 inch pieces and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, combine the butter with the flour until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Press crust mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
For the Pecan Pie Bar Filling:
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut sugar, and whisk until smooth.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Let cool 5-10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, then slowly pour the filling mixture into the eggs, whisking the whole time to ensure the eggs don’t cook.
- Place pecans on top of the baked shortbread crust, then pour the filling over the pecans.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until filling is completely set and no longer jiggles in the center.
- Let cool for one hour, then refrigerate. When ready, cut bars into 16 equal squares and serve!