Pecan Praline Bars

pecan praline bars

Pralines have a long and storied history in New Orleans. Originally, they offered enslaved women a way to make money on their own to secure their freedom. The tradition of making pralines has continued and expanded, with home cooks and chefs alike bringing the praline flavor profile (buttery caramel, brown sugar, and often pecan notes) to all manner of confections, from Bundt cakes and sweet rolls to ice creams and hot coffee. If you’d like to make your own pralines for this recipe, check out legendary chef Marcelle Bienvenu’s at

Pecan Praline Bars
Makes 9
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup plus ⅓ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ⅔ cup light corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2½ cups chopped pecans*
  • 1 cup chopped pecan pralines
  • Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray with flour. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla at medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour and ½ teaspoon salt, and beat at low speed until just combined. (Dough will appear crumbly.) Press dough into bottom of prepared pan in an even layer. Poke surface of dough with a fork.
  3. Bake until edges are just golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Leave oven on.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together corn syrup, brown sugar, egg, remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add melted butter and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in pecans. Pour filling over warm prepared crust, and spread to edges; top with pralines.
  5. Bake until edges are golden brown and filling wobbles slightly, 30 to 35 minutes; let cool completely in pan.
  6. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and cut into bars. Drizzle Salted Caramel Sauce on top as desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Salted Caramel Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, without stirring, over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until desired level of amber is reached, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully whisk in cream; add butter and salt, whisking until butter is melted and combined. Pour into a heatproof container, and let cool completely before using.
*We used Cane River Pecan Company Pecans.



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