I married a southern man almost 20 years ago, you better believe pecan pie is a staple in this house. Sometimes mixing it up with these tasty Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars is just what we need.
What Makes These Pecan Pie Bars To Good?
Surely the combo of chocolate+caramel+shortbread says it all. Is there another trio better for desserts?
This is a great dessert to make ahead of time. They even hold really well for several days, so no stress on serving day if you are making these for a get-together.
While this isn't the healthiest dessert, it's all about balance, right? This is certainly one of my favorite indulgent desserts! It also happens to be one of my husband's favorite desserts.
They are pretty simple to make. I mean, I know there are several steps, but all of them are pretty quick to do! I will explain all of this in detail so you will have success the first time you make them.
This recipe makes a 9x13, so there is plenty to go around! I think these make great gifts for Christmas or even teacher gifts. I promise people are going to love these!
For food gifts, you can wrap them in cello bags, tie them with a pretty ribbon. Or if you prefer, they have plenty of smaller bakery-style boxes you can pack them in.
What Makes Up The Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars?
- Shortbread Base- I love using shortbread as a base in so many of my desserts. It lends a subtle sweetness that is not overpowering, but pairs perfectly with just about everything.
- Caramel Pecan- If you have not made caramel before, this is a great recipe to start with it. It is simple to make.
- Chocolate- The chocolate in this recipe is chocolate chips, sprinkled on the shortbread crust. When it is baked, it spreads throughout the caramel. Simple and perfect.
- Butter- Always, butter.
- Cream Cheese
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat flour- I love to use whole wheat pastry flour. It is a lower protein flour and is so much better for bakes like this.
- Brown Sugar
- Heavy Cream or evaporated milk
- Chocolate Chips or Chunks- I love dark chocolate, but use whatever kind you like.
How To Make The Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
- Mix your shortbread.
- Press into your baking pan. I like to line it with parchment or tinfoil for easy removal.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Bring your butter, brown sugar, and honey to a low boil.
- Remove from heat and add in the heavy cream, vanilla, salt, and pecans.
- Sprinkle your chocolate chips over the shortbread crust, then pour the caramel pecan mix over top.
- Return to oven and bake about 20-30 minutes.
- Try to resist digging in, I promise you will burn your mouth!
- If you want to cut them like I did, let them cool completely, then move it to the fridge for at least a few hours. They cut much easier when they are chilled.
Why Use Whole Wheat Flour In Baked Goods?
You will notice almost all my baked goods recipe incorporate whole wheat flour in some amount. There are so many great benefits for consuming more whole grains in our diet- lowered cholesterol, improved heart health, etc.
Most people are nervous about adding whole wheat flour because it is unfamiliar to them. I hope in my recipes you will find clear instructions and a willingness to try them.
I almost always take a moderated approach to whole grain flours, as I find most people like this approach better. What I mean by this is I rarely use 100% whole wheat. Most people, my family included, prefer a blend of refined flours (all-purpose in this recipe) and whole wheat.
It is important to start in moderation anyway. It is better to give your palate and body time to adjust.
Recipes like this are great for trying out whole wheat flour. The caramel and chocolate are such dominant flavors, people rarely notice the whole wheat! Plus, the texture of the shortbread is perfect for whole wheat.
The Finished Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
The hardest part of this dessert is trying to resist eating the whole pan yourself. I mean, no judgment from me if you do, I am speaking for myself here.
These are easiest to cut if they are chilled slightly. If you aren't concerned about a beautiful cut, then as soon as they are cool enough to eat, go for it!!
They are just so good!
Can I make this recipe without using whole wheat flour?
Yes, replace the whole wheat amount with regular all-purpose flour. No other modifications need to be made. I will say this though if you are not used to whole wheat flour, this is a great recipe to try it in. Most people have no idea this recipe has any wheat flour at all.
More Dessert Recipes
- Berry icebox cake
- Lemon chiffon layer cake
- Strawberry sugar cookie bars
- No-bake lime cheesecake with blackberries
- Strawberry mini donuts
- Blood orange shortbread cookies
- Lemon drizzle cookies
- Chocolate Almond Tart
- Strawberry Dark Chocolate Tart
Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
- hand mixer or stand mixer, but can also be mixed by hand
- 8 ounces butter softened
- 2 ounces softened cream cheese
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 eggs
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1 ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup honey
- ¼ cup heavy cream or even evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- 3 cups pecans, whole or pieces
- 1-2 cups chocolate chips I love dark chocolate, but if you prefer a milk or semi- sweet, use it!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9x13 pan with tinfoil. You can also line the bottom with a piece of parchment if you prefer. Set the pan aside.
- Now, to make the shortbread crust, you can either mix it by hand, a hand mixer, or even a stand mixer. I used a stand mixer for mine, as it was easy, and I always have my mixer on hand. So, mix the butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar until it is creamy. Next add in your flours and salt. Mix again. Last up, add your egg and mix to combine. Be mindful not to over mix here.
- Add the mix to your 9x13 pan, spread, and press firmly into pan.
- Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
- While your crust is baking, let's start your filling. So, add your butter, brown sugar, and honey to a medium-sized pan. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add in heavy cream, vanilla, salt, and pecans. Mix well.
- Now, pour your chocolate chips evenly over the shortbread crust. Pour the pecan filling over the chocolate chips and shortbread crust. Spread carefully.
- Place bake in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. You will want the filling to be bubbling for several inches around the outside edge.
- Remove from the oven.
- You can eat these right away, but they are very difficult to cut and remove when they are hot. I remove them from the pan by carefully pulling up the tinfoil and quickly and carefully moving to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 30-45 minutes, then peel back the tinfoil and remove it from the bottom.
- They are ready to be cut and enjoyed! I like to eat these as they are, but the hubby likes to heat them just a bit in the microwave and serve with some vanilla ice cream.
- These bars are delicious the day of, but can also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days! If they have been stored in the fridge, I like to pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to heat just a touch.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You certainly deserve it!!