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If you like pecan bars, you will go “nuts” for this chocolate bourbon pecan bars recipe! These sweet dessert pecan bars are soft, chewy, crunchy, gooey, and absolutely delicious.
These chocolate bourbon pecan pie bars are a step above my also delicious pecan pie bars. With a layer of bourbon-spiked chocolate pecan pie filling sitting a top a chocolate cookie shortbread crust – these are so decadent and delicious.
Y’all know how much I love pecan pie flavored desserts. My original pecan pie, obviously, is a favorite. My mini-pecan pies are as cute as they are yummy. And my pecan pie cheesecake is totally over the top but worth every calorie.
Bars are so easy – they’re snack-able food you can eat with your hands. The recipe is also easy. I made a fairly small batch in a 9×9-inch baking pan, but I cut the bars rather large. Double the recipe or cut them smaller to feed more people if needed.
This recipe starts by making the chocolate cookie bottom. It needs to bake for about 20 minutes so that it’s sturdy enough to hold the gooey topping.
The filling is sticky, gooey and sweet – similar to traditional style pecan pie filling, but with bourbon and melted chocolate. The bourbon is optional, but I love the flavor it adds (and the alcohol is baked off when the bars go back in the oven).
It is absolutely crucial to let these bars cool completely before cutting them. I actually let mine sit overnight. If you’re in a hurry you can cool them on the counter for a few minutes and then pop them into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. They should be sturdy enough to cut by then.
Grab a tall glass of milk and sink your teeth into a soft, buttery, chewy, and crunchy dessert. Or serve it in a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. I mean, if you’re going to go for it, go for it. Enjoy!
- TASTE: Decadent – chocolate and nuts
- TEXTURE: Chewy and gooey with a crunchy pecan crust topping
- EASE: Easy!
- TIME: Just over an hour
What You’ll Need
- Unsalted butter: Melted for the crust, softened for the filling.
- Chocolate: Unsweetened cocoa powder (from the baking aisle, NOT hot chocolate) for the crust and semisweet or dark chocolate for the filling.
- Sugar: Both the filling and the crust call for light brown sugar.
- Flour: Use all purpose or gluten free flour for the crust.
- Baking powder: Just a touch of baking powder for the crust.
- Light corn syrup: For the pie-like texture of the filling.
- Egg: Adds texture and richness to the filling.
- Bourbon: For flavor (see tips below)
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla.
- Salt: Just a touch in both the crust and the filling.
- Pecans: Chopped, but not too finely, for the filling.
- Double boiler, if you have one. Not necessary
- Large bowl
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil
How to Make Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Bars
These chocolate bourbon pecan bars are easy to make and taste like a million bucks. They’re so rich and decadently delicious. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.
Make the Crust
- Mix the butter and cocoa. Combine the melted butter and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
- Mix the remaining dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
- Combine. Pour the chocolate butter mixture into the flour and toss together until evenly mixed.
- Bake. Press it evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Make the Filling
- Melt. Melt butter and chocolate together.
- Combine. Place the sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until combined.
- Add egg and pecans. Add the egg and whisk until fully incorporated. Stir in the chopped pecans.
- Assemble. Pour the filling over the hot shortbread crust.
- Bake. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges begin to firm up. (The center will remain wobbly like it is underdone. That is okay. It will firm up as it cools.)
- Cool. Cool the bars completely on a cooling rack, then lift the foil out of the pan to remove the bars and cut on a cutting board.
The bars need to be cooled completely before cutting – otherwise they’ll be a goopy mess. If you are short on time, put them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
Tips For Success
- Melt the butter and chocolate while the crust is baking. Either microwave on high for 30 seconds in a microwave-safe bowl, use a double boiler, or make one by putting a glass or metal bowl over a pot of hot water.
- To make these a little bit extra – sprinkle them with a bit of flaky sea salt right when they come out of the oven.
- The brand of bourbon doesn’t matter here – use what you like. My only rule about cooking or baking with alcohol is to only cook with something you would drink. So if it’s too cheap to drink, don’t put it in a recipe!
Storage & Freezing
- The bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
More Bar Recipes
Bars feel just a little more elegant and dessert tray worthy than cookies. I love to add bars to lunch boxes, dessert buffets, or dessert trays after dinner parties. Here are some of my go-to’s.
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