Today’s recipe is a classic ooey-gooey cake bar with layers of indulgent flavors. Caramel Pecan Dream Bars taste like a cookie version of a pecan pie with a hint of chocolate.
Caramel Pecan Dream Bars Recipe
These nostalgic classic cookie bars go by a variety of names:
- Magic Bars
- Caramel Magic Bars
- Pecan Dream Squares
- Butter Pecan Cookie Bars
- Caramel Pecan Cookie Bars
- or, as I’ve always known them: Caramel Pecan Dream Bars
No matter what you call them, there is no denying that these ooey, gooey dessert bars are decadent and delicious! Truly a dream.
The magic part comes in with how these easy cookie bars are cooked.
A simple graham cracker cookie base is pressed into a casserole dish before being covered with a mixture of condensed milk, pecans, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.
The bars are then baked until golden and crunchy, with a sweet, gooey sugary layer similar to that of a pecan pie. They are like the perfect pie-cake-cookie hybrid dessert.
You might be tempted to stir in the sweetened condensed milk because it looks a bit weird sitting on top of the cookie bars before cooking, but I encourage you to let the magic take place. Trust the process.
Caramel Dream Bar Variations:
- use a cake batter for a base
- swap out the chocolate chips and pecans for your favorite mix-ins, ie, shredded coconut, caramel bites, dried fruit, etc.
- use your favorite chocolate candy bar chopped up instead of the chocolate chips
- swap out the pecans for walnuts, cashews, etc.
Store these magic dream bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze pecan dream bars, wrap in plastic wrap before storing in ziptop freezer bags or your favorite freezer containers for up to 3 months. (This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.)
For this recipe, I used Millican Pecan’s Pecan Pieces. I didn’t realize what a difference there could be between pecan brands, but these are so incredibly fresh and flavorful. They also have delicious snack options like the Sweet and Spicy Pecans which are perfect for the holidays. My next order, I’m trying their Pecan Butter and the Caramel Pecan Coffee! (And by the way, this is not sponsored – I just really love them.)
More Dessert Bar Recipes:
Caramel Pecan Bars Ingredients
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Vanilla Extract
- Pecans, chopped
- Chocolate Chips
- Butterscotch Chips (can alternatively use toffee bits)
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: swap out the pecans and chocolate chips for your favorite magic bar toppings: coconut, dried fruit, etc.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Mixing Bowl
- 8″ by 8″ Casserole Dish
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
How to Make Caramel Pecan Dream Bars
Preheat oven to 350F
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 egg and butter together until well combined.
Press the mixture into a greased 8″ x 8″ casserole pan.
In a bowl, combine the milk, 1 egg and vanilla extract. Gently stir in the pecans and chocolate chips and then fold out over the graham crust.
Bake for 24-28 minutes, until the top is golden colored.
Let the crust set and cool for at least one hour before cutting into bars.
Grab your free printable recipe card for our caramel pecan dream bar recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 egg and butter together until well combined.
- Press the mixture into a greased 8" x 8" casserole pan.
- In a bowl, combine the milk, 1 egg and vanilla extract. Gently stir in the pecans and chocolate chips and then fold out over the graham crust.
- Bake for 24-28 minutes, until the top is golden colored.
- Let the crust set and cool for at least one hour before cutting into bars.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 6g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your family loves this easy caramel pecan cookie bar recipe as much as mine does!
For more decadent desserts, check out our full dessert recipe collection here: