Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
A few weeks back, someone at my office brought some scrumptious little bites of heaven to our Thanksgiving potluck. Word around the office was that they were made up of butter, sugar, and graham crackers. Well, that would explain why I could NOT stop eating them!
When I saw this recipe in Southern Living earlier this month, I had a feeling if I attempted it, the resulting product would be pretty close to those same little bites of heaven that I ate that day at the office. Guess what? I was right!
These can be made a couple of different ways- with and without chocolate- so of course I had to make them both ways to see which was better. Honestly, it’s a toss up. My husband likes them best without and I like them with. But I also like them without. Basically what I’m telling you is that you can’t go wrong with either!
Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
Makes 4 dozen. From Southern Living.
1 cup chopped pecans
12 whole graham crackers
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Line a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper; lightly grease foil. Arrange graham crackers in a single layer in prepared pan, slightly overlapping edges.
Combine sugar, butter, and cream in a medium-size heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and pecans. Pour butter mixture over crackers, spreading to coat.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Immediately sprinkle with salt, and slide foil/paper from pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely (about 30 minutes). With a knife, cut into bars.
Chocolate-Pecan-Caramel Bar Variation: Prepare recipe as directed until removal from oven. Once removed from oven, top warm bars with 1 cup dark chocolate morsels. Let stand 3 minutes, and spread chocolate over bars, then sprinkle with salt and proceed with recipe as directed. Chill 20 minutes before serving.
drool! I’d love some of that!
yay! you posted these just in time!
when vivek brought these home i couldn’t stop eating them and i’m definitely making them for a holiday dessert-swap party i’m going to this weekend!
So glad you liked them! I can’t keep them in my house because they are addictive! I’m going to weight two tons before the holidays are over ;-)
Yummy! I’ve made a version before with saltines…the salty accent was still there, but these sound much better! I’m making the your Peppadews for our Christmas Eve party, may have to make these, too.
yes, yes! I made some treat with saltines several years ago, but I have no idea what I did w the recipe. I know that it was very similar to this though, and also very good!
They look so good! What a perfect Christmas candy :)
These look delish!
These look Delicious!!! When are you going to have your own book or tv show??? i would buy and tune in every day (:
& THANK YOU so much for my sweet birthday comment!!
thanks sarah! hope you’re having a wonderful birthday :-)
I didn’t remember who made these, but they were one of my favorites from the holiday party. I told Chris that they weren’t all that good so I’d have them all for myself. :)
haha! That’s funny. Sounds just like something I would do to my husband!
i always say that i am going to try a recipe and for the first time i actually did!!!! these are delicious! thanks for sharing. i’ve shared the recipe on my blog and gave you credit ;)
So glad that you gave it a shot & enjoyed! I just finished making my 4th batch this morning to give as gifts :-)
Wanted you to know I made these for a cookie swap – very popular! I put both dark and white chocolate on the top. YUM! Thanks for the inspiration! Hope you have a great holiday – thanks for your great blog!
Awesome! Happy Holidays to you and your family too!!
How many calories?
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Made a version of these just recently! Have no idea where I got the recipe. Mine did not call for the whipping cream but that sounds like a great idea! They are amazing! Totally addicting – totally!! I think you have more butter too for more caramel – always a good thing! Can’t make these too often! They are light enough that you don’t feel as if you’ve eaten the whole plate! lol
Which chocolate you suggest ?
I’ve made something similar to this and it also tastes amazing with toffee chips sprinkled on top.
Holy moly these look wonderful. And dangerous. I don’t think I could be trusted with these around. But definitely pinning for the holidays!
I made these and they are so good, it’s hard to stop eating them! My only minor complaint is that the carmel did not setup as well as it could have… which just makes them “gooier”… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
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wow…all I can say is wow….I and everyone I’ve ever feed them to love them…great for holiday gifts.
oh, one thing…I’ve made all of mine with saltines or some kind of white cracker…the gram cracker is too strong a flavor in this situation.
Good Eats !!!
Hi Laurie, I’ve made the saltine version several times in the past as well, and I love them both ways!
How long do you cook the caramel mixture for? How do you know when it’s done?
You just want to bring it to a boil. At that point all of the ingredients should be melted and/or combined. That’s how you can tell it’s done!
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These get great reviews whenever I make them (we make the chocolate version), and are quickly eaten up! Would definitely recommend this recipe. Just a head’s up…you can use a glass Pyrex baking pan in a pinch, but if my memory serves me correctly, they are a little softer/less crisp when you bake them in glass.
I am making these for the third time today, also I shared this recipe with my best friend and she has made them 4 times and her co-worker is making her 9th batch today. Definitely a favorite, quick and enjoyable treat.
Wow! Glad you guys are enjoying these!!
This did not go over so well…. incredibly liquidy and the pecans do not need anywhere near 10 minutes to bake! Burnt them in 5. Won’t be doing this again…
Odd. No one else has ever mentioned having issues, and I’ve made these dozens of times with no problem. Perhaps your oven is hotter than normal?
These were soooo delicious!!! And very easy to put together :) My whole family loved them. I chose to leave out the chocolate and add a little more sea salt. Next time im thinking however i will use toasted macadamia nuts and drizzle with white chocolate since its favorite cookie around here.
Do you refrigerate these before taking the bars off I the pan? This may be where I messed up.
No, no refrigeration either. Just make sure they’ve cooled completely before you cut into them. Good luck!
I was thinking about making these for Christmas to put in little baggies for family.
I guess I am wondering what the “shelf-life” would be for these? Like, will they get soggy after one day? Would I need to make them the day before? Or would they be okay to be made a couple of days before? Thanks for your thoughts/help on this question.
I made them to give as gifts in the past, and I don’t remember there being an issue with them getting soggy, especially after one day. My family lives in another state, so usually when I make goodies for the holidays, I make them a couple of days before Christmas to take with me when we go home. I feel quite sure they’d be fine to make in advance!
Hi Beth! I just have a couple questions. Do you recommend unsalted butter for this or does it not matter? Do you think there is anything I can substitute for the whipped cream that’s non-dairy? Thanks!
I don’t think it matters. I’m pretty sure I’ve always used salted because I keep that on hand more than I do the unsalted variety.
I’m not sure if it would work, but maybe you could try using coconut milk or coconut cream instead of whipping cream? If you do, let me know how it turns out!
Can you tell me about how much this recipe yields?
Never mind, of course I just saw 4 dozen after posting this :)
Hi, I’ve made these twice now and they are always well-recieved. My question is that they look so crisp in the pictures, and mine are soft. like, you bend a corner and they don’t snap, they just sort of yield and come apart. Is that the texture you have experienced, or are they more toffee-like?
Hi Michele, they aren’t toffee-like, but not super soft either. I would say they’re more like the texture of a cookie…
This looks so good and so easy to make. I will have to make it this holiday season! Thanks for sharing. :)
Just made these sans chocolate. They taste great but the caramel seems too thin. It was liquid when I poured it so it was runny and difficult to spread. The final product was graham cracker with a little bit of caramel and lots of pecans. What do you think I did wrong? Maybe I should have let the sugar combo set up before pouring?
It’s been over a year since I’ve made a batch of these, so I honestly can’t remember exactly what the texture of the caramel was like before I poured it, but I don’t remember it being too thin. Perhaps you should let it set for a little while before pouring the next time. Good luck!
These were an epic fail for me! The only thing I substituted was Using tub margarine because I didn’t have real butter. Caramel sauce was so runny and my graham crackers stayed super soft. There was no way to break them apart. I’m also at high altitude so not sure if this affected them. My pecans also started burning within 5 minutes so I guess my oven gets hotter than norm. Was so disappointed to throw out especially since pecans are expensive. Do you think margarine is what ruined them?
I’m sorry you had so much trouble! I don’t know if it was the margarine (I never use margarine so not sure how it affects things) and have never baked at high altitude, but I have to think that one or both of those things contributed to the issues you had.
Sorry that I can’t be of more help!
Love these! They are going to be my family “gifts” this Christmas. But,
my sons GF is allergic to nuts so switched out the pecans for peppermint chips and Andes mints and chocolate and it is equally yummy! Thanks for a great recipe!
Oh yum! I need to try your version – I LOVE Andes Mints! One of my favorite cookie recipes: http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2010/12/mint-chocolate-chip-cookies.html
Using tub margarine most likely will not work. It has a very high % of water. Melt some is a glass cup or bowl and see how it separates. If you are going to use margarine make sure it is margarine and not spread. Margarine is very hard to find, most sticks are spread. To find margarine the word spread cannot be anywhere on the package. Butter is just easier to find. Check it out on this website… http://m.landolakes.com/TestKitchen/Blog/is-it-a-butter-margarine-or-spread-they-are-not-created-equ
I made this with saltine crackers and it was delicious. Graham crackers sound yummy
Oh my gosh these look AMAZING. If only I could find a gluten-free alternative to graham crackers. :( I want to try this recipe so bad. Lol. Thanks for sharing!
Just finished making these and look so good. Used pecan halves and used more than called for. I let the caramel boil a minute or so and it was too thick to spread, so I made another batch brought just to boil and used that all, too. Put milk chocolate chips on one half. dark chocolate on the other. I see the directions say to chill 20 minutes before serving. My husband and I see no problem with double the amount of caramel, seems like one recipe wouldn’t be enough. Will let you know how they turn out later.
Do you think I could sun the whipping cream for half and half?
Hi Olivia – I wouldn’t suggest using half & half because I’m afraid the resulting caramel sauce won’t be thick enough and you’ll be disappointed in the results. There is a big difference in fat content between the two – half and half has 12% fat and whipping cream 35% fat.
Do you melt the chocolate before you put it on, or does the chocolate melt when it hits the bars?
No, you don’t melt the chocolate. Just drop the whole morsels on top of the hot caramel sauce and they will melt. Let them stand on there for 3 minutes, and then spread. Ta-da!
Caramel Pecan Bars!!! Wow!! if they taste as great as they look above and i know they do………..i’m having problem getting up right now and some how getting…making me some of those. Grab my pecan cracker and start cracking some pecans….need a pecan cracker? Check out these two that get you cracked pecans fast: http://www.rykeproducts.com/pecan-cracking
Great for the kitchen and other for those needing tons of nuts for those pecan pies and such.
Great work eat.drink.smile……….truly wish i had a bag full of them.
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Hi that recipe looks great. I live in Australia and have no idea what graham crackers are, are they sweet or savoury?
Hi Alida, graham crackers are sweet. Here’s a full explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_cracker
To be honest though, I also love this recipe with saltine crackers! They give it a slightly different flavor, more of a salty/sweet combo. Equally addictive! :-)
I didn’t look through all the comments. But what can I substitute for the whipping cream?
Milk is my mortal enemy.
Hi Cherri, sorry for the delay in responding. Unfortunately I’ve never used anything but the whipping cream, and I don’t see any comments saying that anyone else has tried a substitute either. I googled and it looks like coconut milk might be a good possibility. Here’s a link: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/nondairy-alternatives-heavy-whipping-cream-20627.html
If you try a substitute, please report back and let me know how it turns out!
I made these for a work picnic and they were a hit! People were raving about how addictive they were!
So glad to hear that! They ARE addictive!!!