Eat pie like a cookie, and you may never look back.

Advertisement
Spiced Pecan Pie Bars
Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Thanksgiving confession: I don't really like pie. I realize this is quite the unpopular opinion. The raised eyebrows tossed my way when I politely pass each year are enough to make you think I'm the Thanksgiving version of the Grinch, but I'd rather pile on more mac and cheese than waste precious tummy space on a dissatisfying slice. We all have the right to design our own perfect Thanksgiving plate, pie or not.

While I've never been totally team pie, I am absolutely pro desserts. I could skip any meal in favor of a big slice of chocolate cake, if we're being honest. So where's the disconnect? For me, it lies somewhere in the pie crust, and luckily it's not even necessary.

From crustless pies to pie-inspired cakes, there are plenty of recipes that pile on the Thanksgiving flavor without the conventional crust container. My current favorite? Our fool-proof Spiced Pecan Pie Bars.

Don't let me blindside you—this recipe does have a bottom layer, but it's far from your traditional pie crust. More like a sturdy shortbread in composition and taste, the effortless press-in base is buttery and substantial with just the right amount of crumble. It's the ideal foundation to really let the filing shine.

Beyond the crust, these bars give you everything you'd crave from a pecan pie and more—a whole 13x9 pan size more. The filling plays up the classic combination of pecans, butter, brown sugar, eggs, light corn syrup, and honey by adding a touch of cinnamon and ginger. The result is a filling-first approach to the classic holiday dessert that lets you eat pie like a cookie. If you're planning for a crowd, you'll get more milage out of this full pan than any traditional pie plate can offer. I've also found that this recipe works well when halved for a smaller gathering or just-because treat.

Serve these beauties warm with a scoop of ice cream if you're feeling fancy, but you'll find me enjoying them as a handheld treat. Why dirty up even more silverware on Thanksgiving Day?