These healthy maple pecan bars are just what you need for the holidays! A paleo and vegan pecan dessert that doesn't taste healthy, but is made from real, wholesome ingredients. These bars have an almond flour shortbread crust and a nutty maple and pecan filling. They're basically a pecan pie in cookie bar form!
Apparently Trader Joe's has a maple pecan shortbread bar recipe that's pretty popular. But they've got nothing on these paleo vegan maple pecan bars.
My recipe has an almond flour shortbread crust that's subtly sweet and buttery, but completely dairy free. The filling is made with canned coconut cream, maple syrup and pecan pieces.
It's basically a paleo pecan pie, but in bar form. So, if you love pecan pie then you'll love these maple pecan bars.
Here's what you need to know...
- paleo + vegan
- gluten free - no wheat
- dairy free - no butter or cream
- lower in sugar than most pecan bar recipes
- refined sugar free - made without corn syrup
- tastes AMAZING (no bias here - it's a fact!)
These bars are basically a pecan pie in cookie bar form. They have a grain free shortbread crust and sweet maple and pecan filling. Here's what you need:
The crust is a simple, Paleo shortbread. It is lightly sweetened and has a soft, buttery texture. It's made from:
- blanched almond flour
- tapioca flour
- coconut oil
- maple syrup
For an almond free version, the almond flour may be substituted with tigernut flour. Arrowroot flour works in place of the tapioca flour. And lastly, rather than coconut oil you may use non-hydrogenated palm shortening.
Maple Pecan Filling
The filling is free of corn syrup, dairy and gluten. Instead, the following ingredients are used:
- pecan pieces
- coconut cream
- maple syrup
- tapioca flour
- vanilla extract
Whole pecans can be used in place of the pecan pieces. Simply, chop them to desired size to use in the recipe. Again, tapioca flour may be substituted with arrowroot.
How to Make Maple Pecan Bars
These vegan pecan bars are super easy to make. Here's what you need to do:
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. (Double the recipe if you're using a larger pan.)
Make the Crust
Next, make the crust by combining all dry crust ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Then mix in the wet ingredients. The dough should be crumbly, but moist and easy to press together.
Firmly press the crust dough into the lined baking pan.
Make the Filling
Next, on to the filling. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine pecans, tapioca flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well coated. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, combine the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Cook the mixture on medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should start to simmer after a few minutes and continue simmering. Don't bring it to a boil.
Next, pour the coated pecans into the sauce pan and continue cooking on medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. It's important to constantly stir the filling so that it doesn't burn. While cooking, the filling should thicken.
Then, turn off the stove top and pour the filling onto the crust. With a spatula, smooth out the filling so that it is an even layer, coating the entire crust.
Place the bars in your preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Lastly, remove the pecan bars from the oven and cool them to room temperature in the baking dish. I recommend chilling them overnight prior to cutting so that they can fully set. After chilling, the bars are easier to cut.
These vegan maple pecan bars are best stored in the fridge or freezer. I actually REALLY like them frozen. They don't turn out rock-hard, but completely edible.
Place the bars in an air tight container or baggie. They will last well up to two weeks in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.
I'm not a huge pie person. Which, if you browse my site I'm sure you know! I prefer making bar recipes like these maple pecan squares because I find them easier to throw together. These would be a great Paleo Thanksgiving dessert addition, as they are similar to a pecan pie.
More Paleo Vegan Desserts
Looking for more easy paleo vegan desserts? Here are some great recipes to try:
These healthy Maple Pecan Bars have an almond flour shortbread crust and a creamy maple pecan filling. They are Paleo, Vegan and gluten free.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the crust: combine almond flour, tapioca flour and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix in melted coconut oil and maple syrup. (Dough should be crumbly but moist.) Firmly press dough into a parchment-lined 8" x 8" glass baking dish and set aside.
- For the Filling: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine pecans, tapioca flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well coated. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, combine coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Cook on medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. (Mixture should be simmering but not boiling.)
- Pour the coated pecans into the sauce pan and continue cooking on medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken.
- Remove filling from heat and pour over crust. Smooth out so that filling is an even layer, coating the entire crust.
- Place bars in the preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Chill in fridge overnight**
- Cut and serve.
- Store in fridge or freezer.
*Use just the cream that rises to the top of a can of full fat coconut milk. One can of full fat coconut milk should be produce about 1 cup of cream.
**These bars cut best after chilling in the fridge overnight.
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