What could be more of a treat than maple pecan pie shortbread bars with golden syrup? These bars are little slices of homely heaven – so comforting and delicious.
I love pecan pie, and these bars are the perfect format to take this treat on go. They’re perfect for a bake sale or make a great gift to friends and family. They’re also super easy to make – none of the faffing about with rolling out pastry that you get with making a real pecan pie! The shortbread is so simple and quick to make for the base instead.
The buttery shortbread base is topped with a gooey maple and golden syrup layer, laden with pecans. The pecans are coated in the sugary filling and this helps them to toast up nice and sweet as the bars bake. Trust me, they’re addictively good!
✏️ Making a tasty and easy recipe
I’ll be honest, I got the inspiration for these bars from an actual pecan pie (I mean, yeah, I guess that’s probably obvious). I love pie, but you can’t really have a quick slice with a cup of tea or coffee. It’s more like a dessert, whereas these maple pecan pie shortbread bars are the perfect snack.
Instead of using a shortcrust pastry base, I swapped this for the crumbly goodness of shortbread. It’s far easier to make from scratch than pastry (or at least it is in my opinion) and I love the crumbly buttery texture of shortbread – it just melts in your mouth!
Traditional pecan pie isn’t usually made with golden syrup (as far as I’m aware), but it’s such a gorgeous flavour in these bars. The golden syrup works perfectly with the subtle hint maple added.
Best ways to enjoy your maple pecan pie shortbread bars:
These pecan pie bars can be enjoyed fresh from the oven. If I’m eating them hot, I like to top them with a scoop of vanilla or clotted cream ice cream, or a dollop of thick cream just like a real pecan pie. Serving them with custard also goes down a treat too!
Alternatively, allow them to cool and eat your bars cold with a nice firm and caramelised layer. They’re also tasty if you firm them up more in the fridge. Something about that cold bite just really does it for me.
🥘 Ingredients notes
- Start with room temperature ingredients. It makes it so much easier to fully combine your ingredients! However, with the butter for the shortbread base, you only want to take it out of the fridge 15-30mins before you start baking as if it’s too warm your shortbread dough will be really sticky. It will still taste great, but it’s harder to press into your tin.
- Always sieve your flour and baking powder. I used to be a bit lazy and skip this part, but it really makes such a difference to get you a lump-free mixture.
- When measuring your ingredients, I always recommend using weights rather than cups where possible for greater accuracy. Accuracy is important for the amount of flour used.
- You can make your own homemade golden syrup to use in this recipe, or check out these best alternatives for golden syrup.
🔪 Equipment notes
- I like to use digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easier and more accurate than other scales. I'm a fan of these KitchenAid or Salter ones!
- Use measuring spoons for your teaspoon and tablespoon amounts where possible. Be sure to level off the heaped ingredients in your scoops before adding them to your mix.
- When using your baking paper/parchment (greaseproof paper) to line your baking tin, leave a slight overhang above the sides of your tin. This will help you to easily lift your bars out once they’re done.
You can store your bars in an airtight container. They should keep for up to 4 days stored at room temperature.
If you like your bars a bit firmer, you can store them in the fridge instead.
💭 Top tips for success
- Coarsely chopping your pecans will give them a nice crunch, but they'll be small enough pieces that it will be easier to slice and bite into your bar. I tried this with whole pecans and it was a bit of a mess really! Still tasty though.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making these maple pecan pie shortbread bars, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
♻️ Alternatives and substitutions
I love pecans, but if you’re not a huge fan you could try swapping them out for a different nut or even a mix of nuts.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative, you can simply swap the plain flour for a gluten-free plain flour blend. Be sure to check the label of the other ingredients you buy, just in case there is a note about cross-contamination.
If you don’t like the taste of maple, I’ve also tried these bars using honey instead of the maple syrup and they’re delicious!
I’ve been told that golden syrup (I use Lyle's Golden Syrup) can be hard to find in certain countries. It’s basically a cupboard staple here in the UK! If you’re not able to get your hands on this golden delight, I believe you can substitute it for light treacle or dark corn syrup. If you have any advice on substitutes in your country, please leave a comment in the box below. I’d love to know what works for you!
Had a tough day? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Add a tablespoon or two of your favourite bourbon/whiskey to the pecan filling mix and reduce the cream by 1 tbsp. It’s delicious and gives it that extra kick of flavour and a boozy twist to your treat.
🧁 Other goodies
So, I definitely recommend that you whip up a batch of these maple pecan pie shortbread bars! But as an avid home baker, I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what next?”.
Or if you love pecans, give my recipe for white chocolate pecan cookies a try. Like these golden maple pecan pie bars, those cookies have that gorgeous, lightly toasted, pecan crunch.
Or if you’d like to hear about our latest recipes, why not subscribe to our newsletter?
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Maple Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars
Rate this recipe here:
- 170 g (¾ cups) butter
- 80 g (⅓ cups) golden caster sugar (or white)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 175 g (1⅓ cups) plain/all-purpose flour
- 15 g (1 tablespoon) cornstarch (cornflour in the UK)
- 115 g (½ cups) butter
- 100 g (½ cups) brown sugar
- 150 g (½ cups) golden syrup
- 30 g (2 tablespoon) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- 200 g (2 cups) pecans (coarsely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pre-heat oven: 180°C / 160°C (Fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- Mix shortbread base ingredients together, creaming together the butter, vanilla and sugar then adding in the flour.
- Line a 9inch square tin with greaseproof paper and press the dough into the base of the tin, making sure to press firmly until you get an even layer. You can use your hands or the back of a large spoon.
- Use a fork to prod a few rows of shallow holes in the base to help cook evenly, then bake for 20-25mins until golden.
- While the base bakes, melt the butter and sugar in the microwave for 30-60secs and beat together. The mixture should be warm but not boiling.
- Add in the syrups and mix well until fully combined. You should have a thick syrupy liquid at this stage.
- Beat the eggs until fluffy and add to the syrup mixture, beating in slowly.
- Add in the cream, vanilla, salt and chopped pecans, stirring together until fully combined and spread throughout.
- Once the base has baked, pour the filling onto this and bake for a further 25-30mins until the filling has caramelised and just set in the middle.
- Allow the bars to cool in the tin to firm up further before cutting into slices.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.
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