These Vegan Gluten Free Pecan Pie Bars are a delicious alternative to traditional pecan pie. They're a bit healthier than the traditional version, and contain no eggs, dairy, or gluten products. You only need a few minutes to put them together, and they're an absolutely decadent addition to your holiday table.
I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour for the the crust in these bars, which contains xanthan gun. Xanthan gum is an ingredient that will help hold the crust together, leaving it a bit crumbly without completely falling apart. If your gluten free flour doesn't contain the gum, you'll want to add one teaspoon of xanthan gum to this recipe, or you can substitute with guar gum. Be aware that different gluten free flours produce different results, due to the ingredients varying by brand.
I made the crust for these bars using coconut oil, but you can also use your favorite plant based butter. I used virgin coconut oil, which has a mild, sweet, coconut flavor. If you'd rather not have any coconut flavor, you can use a refined coconut oil, or some plant based butter.
The Pecan Topping
For the topping, you also have the option of using either coconut oil or plant based butter. I've tested this with both options, and they both produced delectable caramel-like results. I'm using coconut sugar in my bars because I like its deep, caramel-like flavor that's close to brown sugar. You can use brown sugar here if you'd prefer, or if that's what you have on hand.
You'll want to stir this sauce as little as possible, or it may become grainy on you. I stir mine just until the sugar dissolves, then I avoid touching it again until I stir in the pecans. You'll also want to avoid chopping your pecans too much, because that can create a crumbly texture in your sauce rather than keeping things smooth.
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Vegan Gluten Free Pecan Pie Bars
For the crust layer
- 1 cup gluten free 1 to 1 flour
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup coconut oil can substitute vegan butter
For the pecan layer
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil can substitute vegan butter
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar can substitute brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecans half chopped, half whole
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together your crust ingredients until it forms a crumbled texture, similar to biscuit dough. You can use a pastry cutter if you'd like.
- Press your crust in to your prepared baking pan and bake it for about 15 minutes, until it's just turned golden on the top.
- Prepare your pecan topping while your crust is cooking. Combine all of the ingredients except for the pecans and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir your sauce just until the sugar appears to dissolve, and cook it just until it begins to bubble. Avoid stirring the sauce too much, or it will result in your sauce being grainy instead of a smooth caramel texture. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in your pecans.
- When your crust is done baking, pour your pecan topping in to the pan and spread it out evenly. Bake it for another ten minutes, until it is bubbling.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and let it cool completely.
- Once it's cooled completely, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave. I turn the microwave on in 15 second intervals, then stir, and repeat until it's all melted. Mix them until the chocolate is nice and smooth.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the pecan mixture, and refrigerate the pan for at least one hour before cutting in to them. You will want to store them in the refrigerator, and take them out to come to room temperature at least one hour before serving.