On the Naughty List: Bourbon-Citrus Pecan Bars

Good God. Christmas is three days away, and I’m a long way from ready. I think most of my shopping is complete. I may know where the wrapping paper is. I vaguely recall an odd roll of scotch tape around here somewhere. Deep breath. Deep breath.

OK, so the present situation is out of control, but I do have my act together in the kitchen. In preparation for our Christmas Eve festivities, I whipped up a new creation this evening: Bourbon-Citrus Pecan Bars. I’m not going to pretend that these suckers are the slightest bit good for you. They are entirely naughty…so much so that I recommend behaving extra nicely while consuming them to offset the sin.

Two ingredients set these bars apart for your typical gooey holiday treat: bourbon (yum!) and fresh orange zest + juice (double yum). Be aware that the alcohol won’t entirely “cook off” when you bake the bars, so you may want to keep them away from the kids and your crazy uncle. But for all responsible adults present at your holiday soirée, these boozy bars should be a big hit. Hope you’ll give them a try!

— Sarah

Bourbon-Citrus Pecan Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes

Crust Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. coconut oil

Topping Ingredients:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 oz. bourbon
3 eggs
1 orange – zest and juice only
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans

large bowl
pastry blender (like this one)
9x13 baking pan
non-stick spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (I use the convection setting.)

  2. Cut 1 stick of butter into slices. Toss it into a large bowl with the flour, sugar and salt. Use the pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture becomes blended and crumbly. Then add the coconut oil and blend it in the same way.

  3. Spray a 9x13 baking pan. Then press the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan until it’s level and smooth.

  4. Bake for 15­ minutes until the crust starts to brown.

  5. While the crust bakes, wash out your bowl. Then combine the following ingredients: brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract, bourbon and eggs. Blend until smooth.

  6. Zest the orange. (This means lightly shaving off the outer layer of the skin.) Add the zest to the sugar mixture. Then squeeze the juice from the orange into the bowl.

  7. Stir in the pecans. Then pour the entire mixture over the pre-baked crust.

  8. Bake for 35 minutes until the bars are cooked through.

  9. Let the bars cool for 15 minutes before cutting them into squares.

Have a wonderful, merry, slightly boozy Christmas! ;)

­— Sarah