Pie Cheater

I told y'all that I would be spending this weekend practicing (or test-driving as Lauren says) some Thanksgiving recipes.  As a true fan of Thanksgiving, I'm ashamed to admit that pie is the weak point in my baking repertoire.  Our Thanksgiving guests are made up of some of the most critical pie taste testers that you'll find outside of the State Fair and every year is a challenge to try and conquer their tastebuds.

For pie, I simply have no patience for the process - mixing with ice cold water, making sure the butter isn't too warm, trying with all my might to roll out frozen crust dough into a thin yet sturdy base.  I can never flop the unbaked crust onto the tin perfectly, nor can I crimp the edges so it looks pretty.  For those of you who are more like me, I found the below recipe for Pecan Pie Bars which I'm guaranteeing are going to be made at my house for Thanksgiving.  No crazy pie crust to bake.  No corn syrup (which means no sticky mess afterward) and best of all, pick your own serving size.  This recipe is certainly not as sweet and you could probably reduce the sugar more if you prefer a more savory crust.

So far the score for Rooth vs. Test-Drive Thanksgiving is 1-0.

Pecan Pie Bars

Adapted from Lindsay Moe's recipe

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pecan topping:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans (I bought the pre-chopped kind, to eliminate more prep time)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides.

For the crust, cream together butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until well incorporated and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.
Press the crumb mixture evenly into the foil lined pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, and heavy cream over medium heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a bubble, then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans.

Remove the pan from the oven and immediately pour the filling over the top, spreading it out to cover the entire surface.

Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the pan (try to resist, it's worth it). The bars will firm up a bit as they cool, do not over bake.  Use the foil to lift the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Remove the foil, cut into bars, and serve.


  1. I love to cook/bake/etc. but am totally intimidated by pie. In fact, a friend and I are taking a pie class just before Thanksgiving. I'm really excited about it! In recent years, my family has done a bourbon pumpkin bread pudding for dessert on Thanksgiving. It's sinfully delicious.

  2. YUM!! I will take a bar!. Hope your having a wonderful Monday.

  3. Wow that looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for the recipe - I will definitely be trying it out :)

  4. Oh wow. These have given me a sugar high just looking at them - I need them, I need them now!

  5. Your pie looks like it came out really well. I've never made one and had no idea they would have corn syrup in them. My uncle always makes one that is chocolate with some sort of alcohol and it's really one of the only ones I like {I'm admittedly super picky}.

    What are you trying next?

  6. Oh heck yeah. This looks great! I'm not a pie baker either; I save that job for my mom. But thanks for test driving this for us...we may have to add it! I'm sending the link to my friend now!

  7. Nice! I'm the same way with baking. Used to love it, but now I just don't have the patience or time for it. These look amazing, but I'm a little weird about the pecans. Not a big "nuts in my dessert" person. Would you still recommend for a person like me?

  8. Aaaaaaah....this looks tooooo good, Rooth! I've been using the Jamie Oliver recipe for crust when I bake pies, and it's the hardest part of baking! I like this recipe:D

  9. Oh, thank you so much for the recipe--I saw these on your Instagram, and hoped it might be on the way. Pretty sure these will be making my Thanksgiving as well!

  10. That looks awesome. I will veganize the recipe and try it too! :) Thanks for sharing!

  11. My mom makes a pecan pie every year and I don't know why I never tried a piece before the Thanksgiving two years ago. Holy delicious, batman! What's not to love?? I might try these, they seem to be in my wheelhouse of kitchen-skillz :)

  12. Yep. Now I am really wanting Thanksgiving to be here!!

  13. That looks amazing! Pecan pie is my favorite... actually, all pie. Good luck! I wish we lived closer so I could test-eat all your test recipes. :)

  14. Looks great and I bet it tastes the same! :-)


  15. Looks yummy! I have never attempted pie crust either. Seems so hard! Though I have pinned a recipe that claims it is foolproof & doesn't require chilling, etc. Maybe. One day.

  16. pie is my version of proof that if you teach children things early it will stay with them forever. my grandma was a serious pie maker. every year she'd make about 8-12 pies for thanksgiving and christmas, because everyone had a different favorite. so, for me, i get the term "easy as pie." it's so simple, but i guess it's because i learned early on. other simple things in the kitchen, like pancakes, grrr i still can't get those right! and might i add these look delicious!!

  17. I'm not a fan of pecan pie, but your bars look wonderful. I'm sure the members of the test drive team were happy.
    My mom got so frustrated trying to make a decent pie crust that she gave up. She bought frozen crusts for her butternut squash pies. Pie crusts and biscuits are really hard to make from scratch.

  18. I keep reading Pie Cheater as Pie Eater. :)

  19. looks delicious. my husband said no pumpkin pie this year so i'm trying to figure out which pie to bake. I thought maybe coconut pie but pecan pie also looks so good!


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