I decided to whip up some pecan bars yesterday because this time of year always reminds me of my grandmas famous pecan pie. I used to love it as a kid but it always left me feeling really full and a tad guilty. I stopped eating it after a few years knowing it wasn't all that healthy.
So this year I tried out a few different "healthier" (vegan) recipes and then developed my own special creation. I guess you could call these paleo and vegan pecan pie bars because they have no grains and no refined sugars or animal products like eggs or dairy. There is only a little coconut oil and they are sweetened with dates and maple syrup.
There is something about the smell and taste of lightly toasted nuts but pecans in general are so festive and aromatic. If you haven't already tried my pecan milk spicy hot cocoa recipe, please do - recipe is over on my Instagram account - I made a video tutorial as well.
This recipe is fun on a rainy day because it's really easy and simple. It looks like it takes hours and might be tricky but nope, it's really quick and the kids can help out with it as well.
If I had to describe the flavor and texture of this healthy pecan pie bar I would say something like: Think short bread meets date balls or something like that.
Rich + "Buttery" Pecan Pie Bars Recipe
yields 12 bars
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
4 Tbsp melted coconut oil (paleo) or room temp vegan butter spread
4 Tbsp maple syrup
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh dates
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup date sugar or coconut sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans + extra for topping
1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put raw pecans onto a baking dish and bake for about 8 minutes until well toasted but not burned.
- By hand or in a food processor combine and mix/whisk together the flours and sea salt. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix/blend really well until well combined and dough is formed.
- Press dough into a casserole dish or deep dish square baking pan. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown on edges as shown. Let cool completely before adding topping (you can put it into the fridge to cool quicker).
- Combine all the ingredients except for the toasted pecans in a sauce pan.
- Heat the saucepan on medium until the mixture comes to light boil. Using a whisk, whisk it all together until melted and sauce like. About 2 minutes. Let cool.
Finally Combine Crust + Filling
- Transfer the warm (not boiling hot) sauce to the cooked (but already cooled off) crust. Using a spoon spread the mixture evenly over the top.
- Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Turn off oven. Remove Pecan Pie Bars and let sit until cooled completely.
- Serve Immediately or let set in the fridge and serve the next day.
XOXO - Juli