Nuts seem to make an appearance in the colder months. We are all familiar with the traditional Thanksgiving pecan pie, fall flavored pumpkin and pecan bars, and Chestnut Praline Lattes. But I'll let you in on a little secret: nuts are delicious any time of year. And they can definitely be a healthy addition to any diet. That being said, I'm not going to make the argument that Granny's pecan squares, with their rich, buttery shortbread crust, are healthy. But we all deserve to treat ourselves once in a while.

And I promise, these squares are nothing short of heaven.

Pecan Squares

  • Prep Time:40 mins
  • Cook Time:40 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 20 mins
  • Servings:30
  • Easy


  • 5 sticks + 4 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups brown sugar packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 cups pecans
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream together 5 sticks of butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This should take 3 minutes with an electric mixer, or 5 minutes by hand.

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  • Step 2

    Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

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  • Step 3

    Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

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  • Step 4

    Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix only until just combined; a few lumps in the batter is okay!

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  • Step 5

    Using your hands, evenly press down the batter into the baking pan. The crust should be between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Make a crust along the edges to prevent the filling from sticking to the uncoated baking pan.

    #SpoonTip: Poke several small holes in the crust using a fork – this will help prevent a soggy shortbread crust!

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  • Step 6

    Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust has set. Remove the shortbread from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature, but keep the oven on. While the crust bakes, you can begin preparing the filling. Begin by heating a large saucepan or pot over low heat. Coarsely chop pecans.

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  • Step 7

    Place honey, brown sugar, orange zest and 4 sticks of butter into the pot. Cook until butter has completely melted, stirring as needed to prevent burning.

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  • Step 8

    Once the butter has completely melted, cover the pot and boil the mixture for 3 minutes. Stir once every minute to prevent burning.

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  • Step 9

    Remove the filling from the heat. Stir in heavy cream and pecans. The mixture should be thick, not watery.

    #SpoonTip: If your mixture is watery, it may be useful to check your ingredients again. As a last resort, adding cornstarch will help to thicken the filling. Start by adding 1 teaspoon, and work upwards from there.

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  • Step 10

    Pour filling evenly into pan, over crust.

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  • Step 11

    Bake for 25 minutes at 350°F. Allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours, or in the fridge for 1 hour.

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  • Step 12

    Slice and serve!