I’m on a caramel kick this week. I have a few sticky, gooey, wonderfully warm and sweet desserts for you all, starting with these caramel pecan bars.
Wow. That’s all I have to say about this. Be warned; these are SWEET. If you’re looking for a seriously decadent and rich dessert to stave off cravings, this might be the one.
These little bars of heaven are gluten-free, low carb, and keto-friendly.
Gluten-free Caramel Pecan bars a wonderful fall dessert
Fall is one of my favorite seasons. It’s the season of warm drinks, warm spices, pumpkin, and caramel. Nothing better than a sweet treat with a hot drink in the evening as the nights start to cool.
That’s what these caramel pecan squares remind me of – fall. I don’t know why I associate caramel desserts with fall, but it seems like it’s the perfect flavor to add a bit of warmth.
A bit about the crust
This crust is a simple coconut crust sweetened with Surkin Gold brown sugar. The brown sugar replacement adds a hint of warmth to the crust. You can make the crust with other sugar replacements, but I love the way the Surkin Gold brown sugar pairs with the caramel and chocolate.
When you make this crust, it turns into a big gooey ball. You do not need to cool it first to work with it, but it is a bit difficult to spread around. My tip is to use the back of a wet spoon to get things moving.
To make sure the crust does not stick to the pan, I recommend adding a piece of parchment paper. Use a sheet long enough to drape over the edges. Removing the squares from the pan is much easier with a bit of parchment to lift.
A bit about the Salted caramel
Oh ho ho. Yes yes, thick and sticky, perfectly caramelly, this stuff is the bomb.
You do not need to add extra caramel to the top of these bars, but I highly (HIGHLY) recommend it. The drizzle of chocolate and caramel over the top takes these bars from good to great.
The salted caramel sauce is one of my favorite recipes. It does not get grainy or turn solid in the fridge. It tastes like a regular caramel sauce without any weird aftertaste. I’d make a small batch to drizzle over these bars and keep a bit in the fridge for other inspired drizzled caramel moments, like morning coffee, or evening ice cream.
The caramel sauce recipe takes 15 minutes simmering on the stove – it’s 15 minutes you’re going to want to give up.
What sweeteners are best for this recipe?
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If you make the salted caramel sauce, you’re going to need some allulose. That caramel sauce isn’t the same with any other sweetener. The allulose does not crystallize or turn grainy. The sauce maintains it’s sticky, gooey texture straight out of the fridge.
For the filling and crust, I recommend Surkin Gold brown sugar or any erythritol or xylitol brown sugar blend. The brown sugar flavor helps to create that warm sugar flavor that you do not get with other sweeteners.
Swerve and Stevia do not work well in this recipe, so I don’t recommend them. The cooling sensation of Swerve overpowers the caramel flavors.
Answers about Sweeteners, Low Carb Baking Tips and General FAQ
A quick bit about the ingredients
This recipe is all about the caramel and pecans. You can use other nuts, but the flavor profile will change. If you don’t like pecans, you could use toasted almond slices, but the texture of the bars will be very different.
Make sure you use raw unsalted, unroasted pecans in this recipe. Using roasted nuts will yield an over-roasted nut flavor that you won’t want in these bars.
I used dark chocolate chips for the bars and the drizzle, because finding Lily’s milk chocolate chips up here in Canada is proving difficult. But these bars would be even better made with milk chocolate. So if you have sugarfree milk chocolate bars or chips, I recommend using them. Don’t get me wrong, the dark chocolate is delicious, but the milk chocolate would be even better.
Storage & serving suggestions for your caramel pecan bars
These pecan squares store very well in the fridge, but you can also keep them stored at room temperature on the counter.
Straight out of the fridge, the bars are a bit firm (that would be all the butter!), but you can handhold them and eat them without them falling apart. If served at room temperature they tend to be a bit softer, and the crust loosens up considerably.
Guys, seriously, these are amazing with a small scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. Not only an excellent presentation but a drool-worthy dessert to boot.
The caramel pecan bars do not freeze well, unfortunately, but stored covered in the fridge they are good for up to 5 days.
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup butter (softened)
- 2 Tbs Surkin Gold Brown Sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbs heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 cups pecans
- 1/2 cup Surkin Gold Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (I like Lilly's)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup allulose
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbs melted sugar-free chocolate
- 3 Tbs sugar-free caramel
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grate the butter and add it to a large mixing bowl.
- Blend eggs, vanilla, and cream in a small bowl and whisk until well blended and pour into a bowl with the grated butter.
- Add salt, coconut flour, and Surkin Gold and mix until everything is well blended and comes together into a ball.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9x9 square cake pan.
- Bake in a 350F oven for 5 minutes and remove and cool before adding the filling.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Roughly chop pecans and scatter them over the crust.
- In a bowl, mix eggs, cream, melted butter, chocolate chips, Surkin brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and pour over crust.
- Bake for 25-27 minutes until the top is golden brown
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool until room temperature.
- Add all ingredients to a high walled saucepan.
- Turn the heat on low and allow ingredients to melt. Stir to combine before caramel starts to simmer.
- Allow to simmer on low heat for 15-16 minutes, or until the caramel turns a light amber brown. Do not stir while ingredients are simmering.
- Working carefully, pour caramel into a heatproof jar.
- Cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge to firm.
- Drizzle melted sugar-free chocolate and sugar-free caramel over the top of the bars.
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Hoosier Hill Farm ALLULOSE Low Calorie, Zero Net Carb Keto Sugar, Natural Sugar Alternative, Made in the USA, Granular Powder, 2 lb bag, batch tested gluten free
Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour
Anthony's Organic Coconut Flour
USA Pan Bakeware Square Cake Pan, 9 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, Made in the USA from Aluminized Steel
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 7.4gNet Carbohydrates: 3gFiber: 4.4gSugar: 1gSugar Alcohols: 7.5gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs (and sugar alcohols) are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fibre.