Pecan Pie Brownie Bars

65 minutes
25 minutes
90 minutes
12 bars
What happens when you combine two desserts into one? You get Pecan Pie Brownie bars! It starts with a shortbread crust on the bottom, a fudgy chocolatey brownie layer in the center, and then it is finished off with the best pecan caramel on top.  
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Pecan Pie Brownie Bars

What happens when you combine two desserts into one? You get Pecan Pie Brownie bars! It starts with a shortbread crust on the bottom, a fudgy chocolatey brownie layer in the center, and then it is finished off with the best pecan caramel on top.

The Shortbread Pie Crust Layer

The crust might just be the most important part of the cheesecake as it holds the whole thing together and offers an incredible texture. I love a shortbread crust because it is so simple in taste but buttery and a bit sweet. It takes literally just about five minutes to make.

HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU WILL NEED:
  • unsalted butter, melted
  • white granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • salt
  • all-purpose flour

Just mix it all together in a bowl, press it tightly into a lined 8×8 pan, and set aside.

The Brownie Layer

Making brownies from scratch is surprisingly a lot easier than you may think! You only need one mixing bowl and a rubber spatula and whisk. No beater required so cleanup is really easy.

HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated white sugar
  • light brown sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • salt
  • espresso powder
  • vanilla extract
  • vegetable oil
  • heavy cream
  • large eggs
  • all-purpose flour

Start out by whisking together the butter and sugars until smooth.

Then add the unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, and heavy cream. Whisk again and then pop in the microwave for 30 seconds. This will help the cocoa powder and sugar dissolve to create a smooth brownie batter. It shouldn’t be hot, just warm.

Once smooth, add the eggs and whisk until combined. Now add the all purpose flour and mix until you have a thick batter consistency. If you would to like add chocolate chips, fold them in at this point. I chose to leave them out for the bars since there is already alot of sweetness going on.

Now to bake the brownies!

Transfer the batter to the 9×9 tray on top of the shortbread crust. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and pop in the oven at 350°F to bake for about 30 minutes. The longer they bake, the less fudgey they get so make sure not to over bake them.

Once they’re out of the oven, allow them to cool down and set.

The Pecan Pie Topping

The pecan caramel layer is basically the filling of a pecan pie but no baking is required! You just need a saucepan and stovetop to make it.

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • unsalted butter
  • heavy cream
  • light brown sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • chopped pecans
  • salt

Add all the ingredients to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Mix all together and bring to a boil. Once bubbly, drop the heat to low and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Take off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Allow it to cool down to room temperature COMPLETELY.

Once the pecan pie filling is chilled, add it on top of the brownie layer. Pop it back in the fridge until the pecan pie layer is set, about one hour. Pop the brownie out of the pan by lifting it from the parchment paper overhanging. Cut into squares, making sure to clean the knife after every cut.

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Pecan Pie Brownie Bars

What happens when you combine two desserts into one? You get Pecan Pie Brownie bars starting wtih a shortbread crust on the bottom, a fudgy chocolately brownie layer, and finished off with the best pecan caramel.

What happens when you combine two desserts into one? You get Pecan Pie Brownie bars starting wtih a shortbread crust on the bottom, a fudgy chocolately brownie layer, and finished off with the best pecan caramel.

65 minutes
25 minutes
90 minutes
12 bars

Ingredients

BROWNIE BATTER
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
SHORTBREAD PIE CRUST
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
PECAN PIE
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

PECAN PIE LAYER
  1. To a pan over medium heat, add the pecans, heavy cream, brown sugar, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
THE BROWNIE LAYER
  1. Whisk together the unsalted butter, granulated white sugar, and light brown sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Then add the unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, and heavy cream. Whisk again and then pop in the microwave for 30 seconds. It shouldn't be hot, just warm. Whisk together to dissolve the sugar and cocoa powder.
  3. Once smooth, add the eggs and whisk really well until combined.
  4. Now add the all-purpose flour and mix until you have a thick batter consistency.
THE CRUST
  1. To a small bowl, add the melted butter, white sugar, all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix together with a rubber spatula until the consistency resembles cookie dough.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper. Press the dough tightly to the bottom of the pan and make sure it's even.
  3. Add the brownie batter on top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake. It should still be fudgy in the center.
  4. Once out of the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature.
  5. Add the pecan pie layer on top and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until set.
  6. Once the pecan caramel is set, cut into squares to enjoy!
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