Make my gluten-free and vegan Pecan Pie Bars, then sit back and watch them vanish. But don't forget to eat one first!
The long Thanksgiving weekend has dissolved into thin air, and I've got the back-to-work blues. Except, I have these scrumptious gluten-free and vegan Pecan Bars to make life more bearable. A lot more bearable.
In case you haven't noticed -- or made some of my seriously delicious 20-minute Almond Shortbread Cookies or my White Chocolate Skillet Cookie -- I have become hopelessly addicted to gluten-free baking, especially cookies. And I am not the only one. Both Desi and Jay have been demanding more of my gf treats. In fact, Jay just finished begging -- successfully -- for his third vegan Pecan Pie Bar today.
"I could eat a hundred more," he declared.
They just are that good.
Besides these vegan Pecan Pie Bars have all this going for them:
- They are ridiculously easy to make. Honestly, it's child's play.
- They are naturally sweetened with maple syrup and turbinado, and there's barely any added fat, so they're kinda sorta healthy-ish?
- In fact, each has only 101 calories!
- They come together in just minutes, with the food processor doing most of your work for you.
- They have an incredible, addictive texture. The caramel is gooey, the pecans are crunchy, and the almond crust is melt-in-your-mouth delicious
- They are gluten-free, vegan, grain-free and soy-free!
You don't really need much to pull them off either. There are 10 ingredients in these cookies, minus the salt, and I bet you have most of them hanging around your pantry if you bake gluten-free even occasionally.
Here are the ingredients you need to make these vegan and gf pecan pie bars:
- Superfine Almond flour
- Turbinado sugar
- Maple syrup
- Vegan butter (just 2 tbsp)
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Nondairy milk
- Vanilla extract
Here are some tips to help you get the perfect vegan Pecan Pie bars:
- Make these bars at least a few hours in advance of whatever time you're planning to serve it, to give the topping some time to firm up and cool in the refrigerator before you take a knife to it.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper. Any time there's caramel involved, it's just a good idea to add some insurance in the form of parchment paper to make sure you -- or your cookies -- won't get stuck.
- If you don't have maple syrup, or don't want to use it, use more turbinado sugar or vegan cane sugar instead.
- You can vary your nutty topping. If you want to use cashews or walnuts instead of pecans-- what's stopping you? You could even use peanuts.
- Update: When I first posted this recipe, I recommended no oil in the crust, but some people found that this results in a dry crust. I've since updated the recipe to add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to the crust dough.
One more thing. Each batch makes 16 vegan Pecan Pie bars, which turned out to be highly inadequate in our home, so you might want to double up on the recipe. Just sayin'.
Looking for more vegan desserts?
- Vegan Brownies, no oil and wholegrain
- Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Bars
- Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons (gluten-free)
- Chocolate Strawberry Shortbread Bars
- Vegan Shortbread Cookies
- Vegan Orange Almond Biscotti
GF and Vegan Pecan Pie Bars
For the gf cookie base:
- 1 ½ cups superfine almond flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (can sub with rice flour)
- ½ cup sugar (Use an equal amount of maple syrup as a substitute. For a paleo-friendly bar, use coconut sugar or coconut palm syrup)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the pecan topping:
- 1 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
- 4 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp nondairy milk (I used almond)
- ½ cup turbinado sugar (vegan cane sugar is a good substitute)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare an 8 X 8 baking pan by lining with parchment paper.
- Place all of the ingredients for the cookie base or crust in a food processor and pulse a few times until the dough comes together. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan using your fingers, until you have an even layer. It can be a little annoying to work with the parchment paper sliding under your fingers, but you'll get there. Don't worry if the top isn't perfectly smooth-- you'll be pouring the topping over it.
- Place the baking pan in the oven and bake the crust for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, make the topping by placing all ingredients except the pecans in a saucepan. Stir to help the sugar melt. Let the mixture reach a boil, continue to let it boil for a minute, then turn off the heat and add the pecans.
- Pour the pecan topping evenly over the baked crust and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.
- Remove the baking pan and cool it thoroughly on a rack. You can cut the bars at this point, or transfer the baking pan to a refrigerator and let it cool for at least a couple of hours before cutting.