Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars.

November 22, 2022

Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars.

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Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars…it’s tough to describe my love for them. They’re just freakin’ heavenly. Try them for yourself this holiday season. You’ll want to make them over and over again!

These delicious bars are perfectly sweet and salty, which is essential in any good dessert. The 100% cocoa powder is rich and chocolatey, the pecans nutty, and the maple syrup offers the tastiest hints of caramel and vanilla. And let’s not forget about that layer of buttery and slightly sweetened shortbread pie crust (which consists of only a handful of ingredients and couldn’t be easier to prepare).

Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars are a great make-ahead dessert to save some time on busy cooking days like Thanksgiving and Christmas. The bars need time to cool and set anyway, so why not check them off your list the night before?

You may also like: Pumpkin Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.

This post includes affiliate links. When I find a product that I love and use daily, I like to share it with my readers. Sometimes I use affiliate links so I can earn commission for my recommendations (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! 🖤

THANKSGIVING 2022

It is currently November 21, 2022. Thanksgiving is three days away and I haven’t planned a single thing for dinner, which is so not like me. Thanksgiving is going to be a bit different for me this year.

Usually, Jon and I always cook together, but this year he’ll be working, unfortunately. It’s also his birthday on Thanksgiving which makes it even more upsetting!

Last year we didn’t cook together because we were still in a hotel on a military base (no kitchen), just weeks away from moving into our new home in Washington. Instead, me, Jon, and Bentley spontaneously booked a hotel room at a casino for the night. It was not your typical Thanksgiving, but we went with it and ended up having so much fun. That just comes naturally when us three are together, though. 🖤 Even better, we discovered the restaurant in the casino was offering a full on five-course Thanksgiving dinner, which was so delicious and memorable!

The good part of being a military spouse is (in my experience), even though at times I won’t have my husband, and my family is across the country in New York, there’s always people there for me.

Whether it’s our neighbors (and friends) who are retired from the Army, or my husband’s coworkers and their family; everyone sticks together and looks out for one another. They just get it!

Knowing that Jon isn’t going to be around to cook with me this Thanksgiving, my friend offered to cook for me (which I am NOT used to but who doesn’t like a meal cooked for them). Another couple asked me to go spend time with their friends and family up North. I treasure these military relationships so much. These people really care!

CHOCOLATE MAPLE PECAN PIE BARS


The combination of flavors and textures you get when you first bite into these pecan pie bars is truly magical. Picture this: if a slice of pecan pie and a fudgy brownie had a baby, this would be it. Chocolate Poptarts, the baby’s first cousin. 🤣

To me, pie bars are just more fun and more convenient than traditional circular pies. They’re cut into squares and easily stored and transported, too; making it the perfect thing to bring to your next Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas cookie exchange, etc.

THE INGREDIENTS

To make the Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Butter
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Pecans

So much flavor with so few ingredients…you may even have a lot of them in your pantry already!

PECAN PIE BARS: ARE THEY HEALTHY?

Although we don’t always associate desserts with health, these pecan pie bars do have some health benefits thanks to natural ingredients such as maple syrup, pecans, and cocoa powder!

I’m not saying you should eat the entire cake pan full (also not saying you shouldn’t), but you may be able to sleep a bit better at night knowing the decadent dessert you just devoured benefited not only your belly, but your body too.

MAPLE SYRUP BENEFITS

Typically, pecan pie is made using corn syrup. These pecan pie bars are made without corn syrup, and instead, contain naturally sweet, better for you, pure maple syrup.

There are few ingredients found in nature that are as sweet as pure maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Below you’ll find more health benefits, and if you’re interested, Maine Maple Producers goes into more detail about each benefit in their article: Nutrition & The 9 Health Benefits of Maple Syrup.

1. Contains Numerous Antioxidants

2. Gets a Lower Score on the Glycemic Index

3. Fights Inflammatory Diseases

4. May Help Protect Against Cancer

5. Helps Protect Skin Health

6. Alternative to Sugar for Improved Digestion

7. Supplies Important Vitamins and Minerals

8. Healthier Alternative to Artificial Sweeteners

9. May Enhance Antibiotic Effects

PECANS NUTRITION

According to the Healthline article, Are Pecans Good for You?, pecans have been associated with numerous health benefits. Those potential benefits are:

1. Improves heart health.

2. Stabilizes blood sugar.

3. Promotes brain function.

Pecans are also a good source of fiber, along with copper, thiamine, and zinc. Keep in mind, pecans are high in calories!

COCOA POWDER BENEFITS

Unsweetened cocoa powder adds deep, rich chocolate flavor to desserts, such as these Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars.

Not only delicious, but cocoa powder is also rich in theobromine, which helps to reduce inflammation and can protect you from diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

For more extensive information, check out Healthline’s article: 11 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Cocoa Powder.

ORGANIC FOOD

Choosing organic, quality ingredients is essential if you want to eat your cake (or in this case, pecan pie bars) and be healthier too. In Colorado.edu’s article, The Positive Impact of Organic Foods, they state: “A study done by Friends of the Earth showed that switching to an organic diet decreased levels of cancer-causing glyphosate – the main ingredient in a common pesticide – by 70% in participants’ bodies in only one week!”

Ingredients like sugar, flour, eggs, and butter don’t have to be as unhealthy as people make them out to be.

Organic Flour: According to goodearthfoodcoop.coop’s article: Organic All-Purpose Flour – Health Benefits & Recipe, “Nowadays, many people are shifting to using organic all-purpose flour because of the health benefits it provides. The good thing about this type of flour is that it is milled from grains that are absolutely chemical-free or have not been exposed to synthetic pesticides. As a result, organic flour has more nutrients and is a lot healthier for all consumers.”

Organic Brown Sugar: In the article: 5 Benefits Of Organic Brown Sugar, turnorganic.in states “Organic brown sugar has a lot of health benefits too. It’s rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and manganese. The minerals in it are easily absorbed by the body, which makes brown sugar an excellent alternative to processed sugar.”

Organic Dairy (Eggs/Butter): The article: What are the Benefits of Organic Milk and Dairy Products? written by www2.organic-center.org states: “By choosing organic milk, you can get the nutritional benefits of milk without exposing your family to chemical contaminants. Numerous studies have found that organic milk has a higher nutritional content, and even more healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and more disease-fighting antioxidants than non-organic milk.”

I find these subjects quite interesting, which is why I wanted to share it with you! It’s valuable information that not everyone is aware of, so why not spread the love? I hope you found it interesting too, and if you didn’t, well then, I apologize for boring you. 😂

THE RECIPE

CRUST FOR PECAN PIE BARS:

  1. Preheat the oven to three-hundred degrees Fahrenheit (one-hundred seventy-seven degrees Celsius).
  2. Spray the 9×9 inch square cake pan with avocado oil spray then place a fitted piece of parchment paper in the pan (ensuring the sides are sticking out so you can easily lift the bars).
  3. With your hands, mix the flour, two tablespoons of brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter with your pastry cutter (see: Pastry Cutter Substitutes if you don’t have one).
  4. Transfer the flour mixture to the prepared pan and continue to firmly press the dough into an even layer, and about half an inch up the sides of the cake pan. Make sure there is no loose flour.
  5. Par-bake the pie crust in the preheated oven for twelve minutes.

CHOCOLATE MAPLE PECAN FILLING:

Using a KitchenAid or a hand mixer, lightly beat the eggs with maple syrup, half a cup brown sugar, cocoa powder, melted butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Stir in the pecans. It couldn’t get any easier than that!

Dump the filling over the warm pie crust. Bake for another twenty-five minutes. Let the bars cool completely in the cake pan over a cooling rack before cutting.

I like to sprinkle a little bit of flaky salt on top for the perfect salty and sweet bite, and because it looks pretty (totally optional). Cut into sixteen bars and enjoy every single bite!

As always, I’d love to hear from you all! About your experience with this dish, any alterations you may have made and loved (or didn’t love), or just life and cooking in general. Please leave a review/comment/question below, reach out via email (jenna@heavenlyspiced.com), and/or stay connected with me on social media, which I have linked below!

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Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars.


  • Author: Jenna
  • Total Time: 2 hours 52 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These delicious bars are perfectly sweet and salty, which is essential in any good dessert. The 100% cocoa powder is rich and chocolatey, the pecans nutty, and the maple syrup offers the tastiest hints of caramel and vanilla. And let’s not forget about that layer of buttery and slightly sweetened shortbread pie crust (which consists of only a handful of ingredients and couldn’t be easier to prepare).


Ingredients

Units Scale

CRUST FOR PECAN PIE BARS:

CHOCOLATE MAPLE PECAN FILLING:

OPTIONAL FOR TOPPING:


Instructions

  1. PREPARE AND PAR-BAKE THE CRUST. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Spray the 9×9 inch square cake pan with avocado oil spray then place a fitted piece of parchment paper in the pan (ensuring the sides are sticking out so you can easily lift the bars). With your hands, mix the flour, two tablespoons of brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter with your pastry cutter. Transfer the flour mixture to the prepared pan and continue to firmly press the dough into an even layer, and about half an inch up the sides of the cake pan. Make sure there is no loose flour. *See more photos in the post above. Par-bake the pie crust in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
  2. MAKE THE CHOCOLATE MAPLE PECAN PIE BARS FILLING. In the meantime, using a KitchenAid or a hand mixer, lightly beat the eggs with maple syrup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cocoa powder, melted butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Stir in the pecans.
  3. FINISH PREPARING THE CHOCOLATE MAPLE PECAN PIE BARS. Dump the filling over the warm pie crust. Bake for another 25 minutes. Let the bars cool completely in the cake pan over a cooling rack before cutting.
  4. SERVE AND ENJOY! I like to sprinkle a little bit of flaky salt on top for the perfect salty and sweet bite, and because it looks pretty (totally optional). Cut into 16 bars and enjoy!!!

Notes

  • Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars are a great make-ahead dessert to save some time on busy cooking days like Thanksgiving and Christmas!
  • See article: The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Cookies and Bars.
  • The total time includes two hours of cooling time. You can also cool them overnight by storing the pecan pie bars (still in the cake pan to avoid damaging them before they’re cooled) in the cake pan in an airtight container. The bars take less than an hour to prep and bake!
  • You don’t need to use a KitchenAid for this recipe, but I always do!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 37 minutes
  • Category: Snacks & Desserts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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