Christmas Goodies

Salted Caramel Pecan Bars

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I’m a sucker for salted caramel.  Since I’m more of a salty snack kind of gal, that makes total sense.  I’d prefer a pretzel over a cookie any day.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love sweets, though!  I can appreciate salted caramel because it combines brown sugar flavors with saltiness. Throw a sweet, creamy nut like pecans into the mix, and you have a winning dessert!  These salted caramel bars are absolutely delicious and I got RAVE reviews after my first test batch!

I obviously love caramel, because I’ve created a few yummy treats featuring it:

Note: Keep a close eye on these when in the oven.  My first batch was a beautiful, dark golden brown around the edges, but I ended up have to cut the edges off of it to get to the good stuff. The bulk of it was still amazing, and the harder, crunchier bottom was a hit!  My second batch, I didn’t let it get too dark, and it worked out great, too, with a little less of the crunch on the bottom.  Either way, you’ll love these!

What you need:

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces

CARAMEL CENTER:

  • About 35 caramels (the individually wrapped caramels work best)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Make them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

Prep a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper that has been very lightly sprayed with oil.  Be sure the paper lays over the edges, so you can pull out the bars easily.

Cream the butter, both sugars, and vanilla in your mixer.

Add flour and mix until just combined.

Stir in the crushed pecans.

Separate the dough into halves. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and put in fridge.

Press down 1/2 dough into the baking pan.  

Bake for 20 minutes, then allow to cool for 15 minutes.

In the microwave, head the cream and caramel until melted completely.

Stir in vanilla and salt.  

Pour caramel mixture over the crust.

Crumble the remaining 1/2 of the dough over the caramel.

Sprinkle pecan pieces over top.

Bake 18-25 minutes, until it’s bubbling and cooked through in the center.

Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Pull out of pan by the parchment paper.  Cut into squares.

ENJOY!!

Try these fun recipes, too!

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Salted Caramel Pecan Bars

Creamy, salted caramel is hugged between layers of a deliciously nutty pecan bar for the ultimate caramel lover's treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 crushed pecans
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces

CARAMEL CENTER:

  • About 35 caramels the individually wrapped caramels work best
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prep a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper that has been very lightly sprayed with oil.  Be sure the paper lays over the edges, so you can pull out the bars easily.
  • Cream the butter, both sugars, and vanilla in your mixer.
  • Add flour and mix until just combined.
  • Stir in the crushed pecans.
  • Separate the dough into halves. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and put in fridge.
  • Press down 1/2 dough into the baking pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  • In the microwave, head the cream and caramel until melted completely.
  • Stir in vanilla and salt.
  • Pour caramel mixture over the crust.
  • Crumble the remaining 1/2 of the dough over the caramel.
  • Sprinkle the pecan pieces on top.
  • Bake 18-25 minutes, until it's bubbling and cooked through in the center.
  • Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • Pull out of pan by the parchment paper.  Cut into squares.

Jeni’s Disclaimer: I’m just a regular girl.  I love to drink wine while I bake.  I’m by no means a professional baker or pro photographer. My creations aren’t staged, they just are what they are, and that’s probably obvious from the pictures.  I create my recipes from inspiration of scents and flavors around me. I also repurpose my grandma’s old recipes. If you love to bake and your food ends up looking like REAL food, and not like something you’ll see on Instagram, you’re in the right place.

19 Comments

  1. Mary Gardner Reply

    5 stars
    There are some pecan pie lovers in my family that would really enjoy these. They look delicious!

    • Jeni Hawkins Reply

      YESSSSS, they totally have that pecan pie flavor!

  2. Dana Rodriguez Reply

    5 stars
    These look and sound amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  3. gloria patterson Reply

    5 stars
    ” I’m a sucker for salted caramel.” ME to! I just recently discovered Bailey Irish Cream Salted Caramel and it is so good . I can see me having these bars and some Baileys. They look simple and they look so good

  4. Melissa Storms Reply

    These sound amazing. I love salted caramel too and make it to drizzle on cheesecake.

  5. LeAnn Harbert Reply

    5 stars
    These look so good. I’ll try them out this coming weekend.

  6. This looks really yummy but I think I’d make my own caramels from scratch with sea salt!

  7. You had me at “salted caramel”– and adding pecans is just extra icing on the proverbial cake! This recipe looks delicious. 🙂

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