Pecan Squares

Janet Hankins, when not riding her mountain bike 100 miles, enjoys baking. These are her delicious Pecan Squares. But be warned, no one can eat just one….or, two…. or….  Well, you get the picture.

Preheat oven to 350°F.


  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces. In a food processor or with a pastry blender, process all ingredients until mixture begins to form small lumps. Sprinkle mixture into a greased (or Pam sprayed) 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and with a metal spatula (or your fingers) press evenly onto the bottom. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 15 minutes. While shortbread is baking, prepare filling.


  • About 3 cups of pecans
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Karo dark syrup
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

In a food processor or other nut chopper coarsely chop 2 cups pecans, reserve one cup of whole pecans. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter and stir in brown sugar, Karo, vanilla and cream. Heat mixture until well blended and butter and brown sugar are melted. Stir in chopped pecans. After shortbread comes out of oven, pour pecan mixture over hot shortbread and spread evenly. Hand place reserved whole pecans across the top of the mixture, making sure they are well placed in the mixture.

Bake in the middle of the oven until bubbling, about 16 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into the size bars you prefer. I cut the squares small, only slightly larger than 1” x 1”.

The bar cookies store well at room temperature. Janet sent a care package to Afghanistan for service members and the bars not only survived the long shipment (about two weeks), but were greatly appreciated. You can freeze the pecan squares, too, after you cut them.

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