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Maple Pecan Pie Bars (GF & DF)

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Incredible Maple Pecan Pie Bars made with oat flour, and sweetened with a bit of pure maple syrup. These pecan pie bars are healthier than the typical pecan pie, and are the perfect dessert for your holiday table.

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The year 2020 has been crazy! It is a year like we have never seen before and, hopefully, will never see again. So, my goal with this Thanksgiving meal is to make it as easy and as stress-free as possible. Considering Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without some pie, in my opinion, pecan pie is the only way to go.

Instead of making the usual pie, I thought it would be fun to make it into easy-to-eat bars. And, the biggest bonus of them all is that they are much healthier than you would think.

The crust is buttery, and includes a rich, ooey gooey, brown butter, maple center. I then top the filling with pecans and flaky sea salt.

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How To Make Healthier Maple Pecan Pie Bars:

Traditionally, pecan pie/bars are made with lots of butter, refined sugar and corn syrup. I, however; specifically want these pecan pie bars to be a little lighter and have “better for you” ingredients in them. These bars are:

  • Gluten-free, due to the oat flour cookie crust.
  • Dairy-free, thanks to the delicious vegan butter.
  • Made with unrefined sugar like maple syrup. No corn syrup here!
  • Packed with protein, healthy fats and fiber, thanks to the oat flour and pecans.
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Tips For The Best Bars:

  • Use pure maple syrup.
  • You will need a candy thermometer to make the filling.
  • Room temperature eggs are a must.
  • The recipe calls for bourbon. However, because I didn’t have any I used dark rum. Both work!
  • Use an 8-in square pan lined with parchment paper, which will ensure even baking and no sticking.
  • Fresh out of the oven, brush the pecans with maple syrup and sprinkle with flaky salt.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. These bars are also freezer-friendly up to 3 months. (Either method: just warm them briefly, or let them thaw before enjoying).
  • NOTE: This recipe is slightly adapted from Laura over at Tutti Dolci. Click here to see her recipe.

For more holiday recipes, please give these a try:

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Maple Pecan Pie Bars (GF & DF)

Incredible Maple Pecan Pie Bars made with oat flour, and sweetened with a bit of pure maple syrup. These pecan pie bars are healthier than the typical pecan pie, and are the perfect dessert for your holiday table.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bars, Dairy-Free Recipes, Dessert, Easy Dessert Recipes, Gluten-Free Recipes, Holiday Recipes, Maple Syrup, Pecan Pie, Pecan Pie Bars, Pecans, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Desserts
Servings: 16 bars

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 1/2 cup Miyoko's Creamery European Style Cultured Vegan Butter, unsalted (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Florida Crystals Organic Raw Cane Sugar (linked below)
  • 2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill® Gluten-Free Whole Grain Oat Flour (linked below)
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg, just a pinch
  • FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup Florida Crystals Organic Raw Cane Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Miyoko's Creamery European Style Cultured Vegan Butter, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup Organic Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Bourbon
  • 2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Maple Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 cup Pecan Halves
  • 1 tbsp Organic Pure Maple Syrup
  • Flaky Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Whisk together melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined.
  • For the crust: Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; add to butter mixture and fold in until completely incorporated. Press dough evenly into the bottom of prepared pan.
  • Bake crust for 16-20 minutes, until lightly golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. While the crust is cooling, increase oven temperature to 400°F and make the filling.
  • For the filling: Place the sugar in a medium bowl. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a medium brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the sugar.
  • Combine maple syrup and bourbon in the same saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture reaches 225°F, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour the mixture into the bowl with the sugar and brown butter. Let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.
  • Slowly pour in the eggs while whisking constantly until smooth and combined; whisk in maple extract and salt. Pour warm filling over the crust and top with pecan halves.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking 30 minutes (for a total time of 40 minutes), until the edges are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove bars from the oven and brush the pecans with maple syrup. Sprinkle the bars with flaky salt, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Carefully lift parchment and place bars on a cutting board; cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

NOTE:

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