The combination of sweet brown sugar, crunchy pecans, and pure maple syrup in these chewy maple nut bars is tough to beat. Pecan pie lovers in particular will go nuts for these maple nut bars — the handheld variation of the popular dessert.
Yield: 9 squares
For the Crust
- 1/3 cup ground pecans
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and set aside.
Using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a standing mixer, add the crust ingredient and mix to combine. Press evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole pecans
For the filling, combine the brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, and heavy cream in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans and vanilla. Pour over crust, then scatter the top with whole pecans, lightly pressing to set.
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, then transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for an hour before cutting into squares.