Gluten-free bourbon pecan pie bars are a tasty fall dessert that serves a crowd! The bars are easy to put together, require no pie dish, and are easier than typical pecan pie.
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I'm putting a modern twist on classic pecan pie with these pecan squares. These gluten-free bourbon pecan pie bars are made with a simple shortbread crust instead of a pie crust recipe (no rolling out a pie crust required) and a gooey, maple-flavored pecan filling. The pecan squares are quick to put together and easy to serve a crowd for Thanksgiving or any other celebration. I think this recipe might even be better than typical pecan pie! Also, no pie dish is needed for this buttery flavor treat!
If you're looking for more gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes like this twist on a bourbon pecan pie recipe, check out my easy gluten-free sage and onion stuffing and my chai-spice snickerdoodle cookies.
Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars with Flakey Salt
Talk about a sticky, gooey, and delicious bourbon pecan bars! It's just like a gluten-free pecan pie, but in bar form so it's easier to cut and serve to a crowd. Plus, who doesn't like switching recipes up?! And, these irresistible pecan pie bars are gluten-free, so they're safe for everyone to eat at your holiday table.
How long do pecan pie bars take in the oven?
The entire bourbon pecan pie recipe takes about an hour and a half to make. The baking process takes up most of the time. The prep time for these pecan squares takes under 20 minutes. The shortbread bakes for 20 minutes first, and then the filling and shortbread bake together in the oven for 40-50 minutes. The pecans will be caramelized around the edges and the top layer of the bars will be dark golden brown like typical pecan pie.
- Light Corn Syrup: I prefer to use light corn syrup, although most recipes for pecan pie filling call for dark corn syrup. Dark corn syrup works, too, but I think the flavor is better with light corn syrup.
- Eggs: three large eggs at room temperature are best. You may use an egg replacer instead of eggs to make vegan bourbon pecan pie bars instead.
- Butter: use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Vegan butter is a good substitute for vegan bourbon pecan pie bars. Do not use coconut oil instead of butter.
- Pecans: use whole pecans of pecan halves and pecan pieces. I like the look of whole pecans in this pecan pie bar recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: vanilla extract gives an extra oomph to this recipe. You may also use almond extract.
- Brown Sugar: brown sugar is used instead of granulated white sugar in this recipe. Coconut sugar or regular sugar are good substitutes for brown sugar. Coconut sugar is derived from coconuts.
- Bourbon: you may omit the bourbon in this recipe, but it adds rich flavor to the gluten-free bars. Make sure the bourbon brand you choose is gluten-free. Omit the bourbon for a booze-free pecan pie bar recipe.
- Gluten-Free Flour: Used for gluten-free shortbread. I recommend using a blend with xanthan gum like King Arthur's Measure-for-Measure Gluten-Free Flour or Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend. Both of these blends are a 1-To-1 baking flour that acts almost the same as a regular all-purpose flour.
- Powdered Sugar gives the shortbread a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make the Crust
Combine dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. Press the gluten-free crust mixture into the bottom of the baking dish evenly. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Let cool.
How to Make the Filling
Cream eggs, sugar, and butter together using an electric mixer. Add the bourbon and corn syrup. Fold the pecan halves into the syrup mixture, careful not to break them.
Pour the pecan mixture over the prepared pie crust and bake.
Let the baked pecan pie bars cool completely before cutting. The bourbon pecan filling needs to be completely cool for it to set. Don't cut the bars while they're still warm or the bourbon pecan filling will be liquidy.
What to Serve with Pecan Pie Bars
Let's talk about bourbon pecan pie toppings. Pecan pie bars are fabulous on their own, but try pairing these homemade gluten-free bars with vanilla ice cream and freshly whipped cream. Gluten-free pecan pie also tastes great with chocolate ice cream.
Store any leftover pecan pie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. Leftover pecan pie bars don't do well in the freezer so I don't recommend freezing them.
Use a warm knife to cut your pecan bars.
Gluten-Free Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars
- 1 cup gluten-free flour I use King Arthur's Gluten Free Flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 and line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine softened butter, almond flour, gluten-free flour, and powdered sugar in a large bowl using your hands or a food processor. Work the mixture for about 5 minutes.
- Press the shortbread into the bottom of the baking dish evenly. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Let cool.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
- Add corn syrup and bourbon. Whisk to combine.
- Fold in the pecans into the syrup mixture.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the shortbread and bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.
- Let the bars cool completely before cutting.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.