Maple Pecan Shortbread Bars

My brother works with a man who has a lot of maple trees; 30 acres to be precise. He actually taps the trees and makes maple syrup. I am very grateful to this man for all his efforts, because my brother was kind enough to send me two – one quart bottles of syrup. I am so lucky!

So what to do with this special gift? Of course, we will have lots of pancakes and waffles, but this gift also presented itself as a chance to try some new recipes, the first of which is a little baked treat. I know many people associate maple with autumn, but I have the syrup now and I can’t say that I will when September rolls around! So stay tuned to this space for some more maple recipes in the coming weeks!

Maple Pecan Shortbread Bars
Cookie Base
1 cup butter (two sticks), softened
2 cups flour (I used half white and half wheat)
2/3 cup brown sugar

Maple Pecan Topping
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Cream the butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar.
2. Add the flour and blend until dough forms into a ball
3. Press into an ungreased square baking dish (8×8 or 9×9)
4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until golden brown

While the cookie base is baking:
1. Combine the eggs, the rest of the brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup
2. Stir in the pecan pieces
3. When the cookie base is done, pour the pecan mixture over the top of the hot shortbread and spread the pecans out evenly
4. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes more, until firm.

These bars are pretty sweet, so cut them small, maybe one inch square. They’d be great served with some vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.


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