Cousin Laurie’s Disappearing Pecan Pie Bars

One Thanksgiving my cousin Laurie showed up with the usual pies plus a new addition to the dessert line up– these amazing pecan bars. During the appetizer hour, someone sneaked into the kitchen and took a taste of the pecan bars. Quickly, the word spread about these irresistible, gooey, flaky, crunchy pecan bars. There was a lot of whispering and sneaking going around. In a flash, all the pecan bars disappeared before dinner. Eating dessert before the meal is very unusual behavior for my family, but these pecan bars were just too irresistible. When Laurie went to serve dessert, much to her surprise, the container for the pecan bars was completely empty. Laurie was a little miffed, but actually she was flattered.

Since it’s my mission in life to collect amazing homemade recipes, I HAD to have this recipe. After Thanksgiving I emailed Laurie a number of times, and finally, she relinquished the prized recipe. I have tinkered with the recipe and dubbed it the Disappearing Pecan Pie Bars. They are rich and addicting, so make them at your own risk.

Here’s what the batter looks like at various stages:


Recipe for Cousin Laurie's Disappearing Pecan Pie Bars
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (equals 1-1/2 sticks) Take out of refrigerator 20 minutes ahead.
  • ¾ cups dark or light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped toasted pecan pieces, about 6 oz. (I got mine at Trader Joe’s.)
  1. Adjust the oven rack to the center, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (Use 325 degrees for a convection oven.) Lightly butter 13x9 glass Pyrex pan.
  2. To make the crust: In a medium bowl, put in the flour and granulated sugar, and stir to combine. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mixture looks a little dry. Using your fingers, press the crust mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan and a ½ inch up the side of the pan; do not go too high up the sides. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Set pan on a cooling rack, and leave the oven on.
  3. To make the filling: In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat the corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until blended. Stir in the pecans.
  4. To Assemble: Pour the filling over the crust. Make sure the filling evenly covers the crust bottom. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes- until the crust is golden brown and the filling is just set. Do not overbake. The filling will continue to set as it cools. Let cool for a few hours before cutting.
Cut into small squares because they are rich and delicious. I love to eat them the same day they are made. However, they can be stored in a container or frozen and then warmed to serve.

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3 Responses to Cousin Laurie’s Disappearing Pecan Pie Bars

  1. Mary February 9, 2016 at 9:05 AM #

    Hi Dana, I made these for a superbowl party and while they looked great, they were missing something. Some thought it was not enough sugar, but I honestly think they needed a little salt to bring out more flavor. Did you omit all salt intentionally? I used unsalted butter and maybe should have added 1/4 teaspoon of salt or at least salted the pecans while roasting them. Has anyone else complained about the lack of salt? They are good enough that I will freeze them and have with tea or coffee, but they were not something I would share with guests. I followed the recipe as posted. Did I miss something or have you gone so healthy that you don’t notice the lack of salt?

    • Dana @ Foodie Goes Healthy February 9, 2016 at 10:12 AM #

      Hi Mary- so sorry these were not successful for you. Definitely trust your own palate. Feel free to add a little salt or up the sugar and make these your own.

  2. U know who November 21, 2012 at 9:22 PM #

    I remember when those bars vanished . No one fessed up……..I think we all had a hand making them disappear. How about that, a magic trick at Thanksgiving!

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