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Maple Pecan Squares

What sweets do you associate with the holiday season? Apple pie? Gingerbread? Pumpkin cheesecake?

For me, it’s all of those, but nothing more so than pecan pie. That said, I often find a slice of this very rich dessert to be almost too much after a big holiday meal—which is why I’m such a fan of these petite pecan squares!

They have all the flavors of the traditional dessert, but with a thinner filling and a smaller, handheld size.

These squares would be lovely on a holiday dessert buffet (no slicing or silverware needed), the perfect contribution to a potluck celebration or great wrapped up as a “from your kitchen” gift.

Also, for those of us who are a bit apprehensive when it comes to rolling out that perfect pie crust, this shortbread crust—which is pressed into your pan—is a dream come true!

Maple Pecan Squares

  • Makes

    16

    16 squares
  • Meal
    dessert
  • Prep

    30 minutes
  • Cook

    40 minutes
  • Total

    70 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, divided and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) chocolate chips
  • Photos by Sheri Silver

Directions:

  • 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8" x 8" baking pan and a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • 2. Beat 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup sugar till light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and beat again. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt, and beat once more. Press into your pan (slightly damp fingers work best) and bake for 15 minutes. Set aside; keep oven on.

  • 3. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining stick of butter. Stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the pecans, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour over the crust and return to oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely. 

  • 4. Using your parchment paper to assist, transfer the bar to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Place on your prepared baking sheet, and keep in fridge to firm up while you prepare the chocolate.

  • 5. In the top half of a double boiler, set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate chips till smooth. Working with one square at a time, dip the bottom into the chocolate, shaking off any excess. Return to your baking sheet and repeat with remaining squares. Use a fork to drizzle any remaining chocolate over the tops. Keep chilled till ready to serve.

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