These bars are a product of my beloved Treat Bake Shop. A spiced and candied nut company by day, we transformed into a cookie shop every Friday and it was absolutely magical while it lasted!
This quintessential fall recipe was inspired by the crisp autumn air - and living and breathing all things pecans for the past 5+ years.
Adding romance to memory, I still reminisce about the late-afternoon drive along the country roads to a favorite orchard where I hand-selected a diverse variety of apples that would go on to fill our kitchen with the heavenly aroma of slow-cooked apple butter.
(Adding reality to memory, I only got my daughter to partake in this after school field trip by bribing her with the promise of an apple cider donut.)
Happy Fall Baking! 🍂Print
Apple butter is available at most well-stocked grocery stores.
- 1 cup pecans, toasted (120 g)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided (120 g)
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats (120 g)
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar (160 g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 g)
- 1 tsp fine-grain salt (like table or sea salt)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (12 TB, 6 oz)
- ¾ cup apple butter (225 g)
- 2 TB granulated sugar, for sprinkling (25 g)
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
- Butter a 9x13 metal baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the pecans with ¼ cup (30 g) flour until finely ground. Pour into a large bowl with the oats, stir to combine, and set aside.
- In the now empty (but still “dirty”) food processor bowl, blend together the remaining ¾ cup (90 g) flour, brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, salt and cinnamon. Then, add the cold butter and pulse until a dough begins to form. Transfer to the bowl with the pecan-oat mixture and, using your hands, knead until well combined.
- Reserve ¾ cup of the dough, then press the remainder evenly into the prepared 9x13 pan and spread the apple butter over it (it will be a thin layer). Crumble the reserved dough evenly over the apple butter and then sprinkle with the 2 TB granulated sugar.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven until golden and bubbling slightly around the edges, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.
- Grinding the pecans with the flour (vs. on their own) prevents them from getting oily and clumpy. Do be sure the toasted pecans are completely cooled before processing.
- If fully embracing fall, homemade apple butter takes these bars from great to OMG. Once a year, I'll go to the apple orchard and buy as many varieties of apples as available to make a huge batch of this overnight apple butter.
- These bars definitely highlight the salty-sweet flavor profile. If that's not your thing, just back off on the salt ¼ teaspoon or so.
Keywords: apple butter, pecans, fall recipes, apple recipes, fall baking, apple orchards