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Pecan Bars

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I love pecan pie.  It is my favorite Thanksgiving dessert.  I brought a homemade pecan pie to my Thanksgiving feast last year and it was amazing.  I decided to throw a little twist into my pecan themed dessert this year to mix it up a bit.  I saw a recipe in a magazine for homemade pecan bars and it inspired me.  I had to adjust the recipe to fit my real food lifestyle.  The original had unnecessary sugar and fake ingredients.  BUT!  It had potential!  

For these bars, imagine the gooey and buttery pecan pie filling sitting on top of chocolate and topped with coconut.  These bars turned out to be as amazing as I thought they would.  

Are you in charge of bringing dessert to your Holiday party this year?  These pecan bars will fit the bill.  I'm pretty sure you won't have any leftovers to bring home.  So, in that case, you might want to make 2 batches.  


Pecan Bars


  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 cup cold cubed butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar may substitute coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Arrange pecans in a single layer of a shallow baking pan. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir halfway through baking.
  • Line bottom and sides of a 9"x 13" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two short sides. Grease the parchment paper.
  • Whisk together flour, salt and cocoa. Add cold butter, and combine with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cold water until it just sticks together. Press mixture into bottom and about 3/4-inch up sides of prepared pan.
  • Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl, and beat lightly. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, and melted butter. Whisk together until smooth. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.
  • Bake 28-30 minutes, or until edges are golden and filling has set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Then, refrigerate for an hour.
  • Using the parchment paper overhang, lift bars from pan and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.


Adapted from Southern Living

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  1. A couple of questions:
    Where does the sea salt come in?
    It says Maple Syrup in the ingredient list but Corn Syrup in the recipe, hoping it’s really maple syrup…
    Where does it say to line the pan with foil? I didn’t see that until I had already started, hoping this all works out!

    1. The Sea Salt is in the crust, mentioned in step #4. In Step #6 you use the maple syrup. The original recipe used corn syrup. I adapted this recipe to use better ingredients and less sugar. I also replaced the foil with parchment paper, in step #3.

    1. I intentionally left out the powdered sugar in the crust. The original recipe had entirely too much sugar. The buttery and salty crust in this recipe nicely balances out the sweet filling.

  2. A little out of balance. Taking out the 3/4 c of powdered sugar from the crust in the original recipe without replacing with something else doesn’t work very well. Kind of a flop at the party where I brought it. Will definitely add something sweet to the crust if I ever make again.

    1. I did replace the sugar that was removed from the crust. I adjusted a pie crust recipe that I have to include cocoa powder. My recipe is only similar to the original version.

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