Salted Coconut Pecan Bars

Salted coconut pecan bars after slicing.

I should warn you right now that if you’re trying to “be good” these Salted Coconut Pecan Bars will have you slipping off that wagon in no time. They are the perfect sweet, salty, buttery, crunchy, chewy, caramel-y bites of dessert bliss on the planet.  I wish that were an exaggeration.

Adding melted butter to the dry ingredients.

In fact, I wish I had a modicum of self-control, but the second these came out of the oven, I knew I was done for.

Stirring the butter into dry ingredients to form the crust.

This recipe is based on the Pecan Bars from The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook and it starts with a buttery shortbread crust.  One that uses melted butter and a wooden spoon, followed by your clean hands to bring it all together.

Pressing the shortbread crust into the prepared baking pan.

Press the crust into a parchment lined pan and set it aside while you prep the filling.

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I made the caramel filling with butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.

More melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt create a glaze that binds the rest of the ingredients to the shortbread.

I am stirring flaked coconut into the caramel filling mixture.

Sweetened coconut flakes add a chewy component to these bars, but the key to this recipe is the toasted pecans.  Pre-toasting them gives them more crunch and flavor than if they were only baked once, so don’t skip that step.

We are adding whole pecans to the filling.

Evenly spread the pecan mixture over the crust and bake.  My oven tends to be hotter in the back than in the front — a design flaw that I discovered when I realized my oven didn’t have an on-off switch for the lightbulb in the back.  Consequently, I turned the pan 180° about halfway through the cooking time to get an even doneness.  If your oven has hot spots, I recommend the same technique for you.

Topping the shortbread crust with the pecan and coconut filling.

As soon as the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle them with a half teaspoon of sea salt (not regular or kosher salt).  I realize there’s not a shy amount of salt in the crust, filling and on top, but I assure you, it’s not too salty — in fact, it’s a perfectly addictive blend of salty and sweet.

Sprinkle sea salt over the cookie bars.

Let the bars cool to room temperature before cutting them into squares.

The coconut pecan bars cut into squares.

More bar cookies:

Coconut pecan bars cut into squares and served on a white plate.
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4.67 from 9 votes

Salted Coconut Pecan Bars

A crunchy, gooey, salty, sweet bar with a buttery crust.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bar cookies
Dietary Restrictions Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 15

INGREDIENTS:

For The Crust:

  • 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted

For Filling:

  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • cup corn syrup
  • 5 tablespoons butter melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 3 cups whole pecans toasted
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.  Place pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.  Set aside.
  • Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of an 11×7 rimmed baking pan allowing for 3-4 inches of overhang on each side. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with vegetable spray and lay the parchment in the pan, to create a sling.  Spray the parchment paper with vegetable spray and set aside.

Make the Crust:

  • In a small bowl, combine the flour sugar and salt and whisk.  Stir in the melted butter until it becomes hard to stir, then use your clean hands to finish combining the ingredients.  With your fingertips, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Set aside.
  • Mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the coconut and pecans and stir to combine.  Pour the pecan mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly in the pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the coconut is well-toasted. Sprinkle evenly with remaining sea salt.
  • Let the bars cool to room temperature, then carefully lift the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.  Using a very sharp knife, slice into 15 bars.  Transfer to a platter to serve or stack in an airtight container, layering a piece of parchment paper between the bars to prevent sticking.

NOTES:

Store coconut pecan bars in an airtight container at room temperature. Separate layers with parchment paper so they don’t stick together.

NUTRITION:

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Don’t Forget To “Pin It For Later!

Looking for the ultimate bar cookie recipe? These foolproof Salted Coconut Pecan Bars are the best of the best with a balanced sweet and salty bite.

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made them for an office potluck and there wasn’t a crumb left. Multiple people asked for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    These were amazing! I doubled the recipe for an 11×17 pan.

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing bars. wonderful flavor and chewiness. I love the bit of salt on top.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe, but made a change to the filling. I substituted 1/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk for the corn syrup and man did it make a difference. The texture of the filling was so smooth and buttery/milky ……. and once i had it all put to gether in the pan i added a top layer of sprinkled coconut flakes (Bakers brand) and set it to bake. once it was done, i drizzled Ghirardelli salted caramel topping on top and pre cut them before they cooled off. (pro-tip) They came out spectacular ~ !

  5. Oh my word! I have no words – your photos leave me in a puddle of drool – these bars are insane! Insanely delicious! I don’t think I’d be sharing these with anyone!

  6. These look just divine! And, isn’t there something just special about the combination of salty and sweet? Perfect in every way.

  7. 5 stars
    Your step-by-step pics are really helpful. This recipe looks great and I can tell right away that I want to make this from your pictures. This looks easy and amazing, I’m in!

    1. Thank you so much! Let me know how you like them!

  8. 5 stars
    Lisa, these bars are heavenly! I love anything pecan and this is the time of the year I have no shame in baking pecan treats like, 5 times a day! So this one is going to happen soon and I know we are going to love it!

    1. The key to these bars is the layers of salt — it gives them a fantastic balance of flavors!