It’s a stunner

By Andrew Zimmern

These are my Aunt Suzanne’s famous Caramel Pecan Bars. She says she got the recipe off a butter box; I am guessing Land O’Lakes, in the 1980s. It’s a stunner, and addictive, so make two batches at a time. They are that good. Land O’Lakes test kitchen should be beatified simply based on this recipe alone. Enjoy.

Aunt Suzanne's Famous Caramel Pecan Bars

Total: 35M

Prep: 15M


For Crust

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 Cup pecan halves

Caramel Layer

  • 2/3 Cup salted butter
  • 1/2 Cup plus a tablespoon
  • Firmly packed brown sugar

OPTIONAL Chocolate

  • 1 cup Artisan chocolate (I love using the Mast Brothers Madagascar for this) cut in very small pieces


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all crust ingredients except pecans in large mixing bowl. Beat using a tabletop mixer with whisk attachment at medium speed until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Firmly press into bottom of  an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly over unbaked crust.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a nice boil. Continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over pecans and crust.

Bake for 20 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly (do not overbake). Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate. If you like, you can allow it to melt slightly over the next minute or so and then swirl chocolate with fork for a marbled effect.

Cool completely; cut into bars.

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