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Pecan Linzer bars

Sat, 17 December, 2022

Pecan Linzer bars, indulgent pastry studded with chopped pecans in the top layer, with apricot, raspberry or your favourite jam sandwiched in the middle. The ultimate jammy bars in a sophisticated form.

pecan linzer bars

Jam treats are the best

The best things are the simplest: that’s a truth so universal it sounds like a cliché.

But there is a good reason why kids like best the uncomplicated jammy dodgers out of all the possible biscuits. Jam and pastry – who would want more?

The jammy thumbprints are the ones that disappear the quickest from sad biscuit platters served at office meetings, because we know all the others will taste stale and musty.

Victoria sandwich may morph into sophisticated variations with buttercream or fresh fruit, but the sponge base spread with jam and cream can’t be beaten.

pecan shortcrust bars

Jam today

Butter and jam on toast is the ultimate comfort food, they can keep all their casserole and fancy fondues.

Hey, even untoasted bread, plain white supermarket sliced, spread thickly with butter and jam, is a source of immense pleasure and solace.

Jam is the best sweet, especially in combination with some kind of pastry.

linzer bars

Linzer bakes

Linzer tarts or Linzer biscuits are classic Austrian bakes, of the cannon described above.

It is shortcrust pastry filled with jam, baked as one large confection or little individual ones.

The only unique characteristic differentiating Linzer pastry from jammy dodgers is that the pastry uses ground nuts in the crust, usually hazelnuts, almonds or a mix. It has a delicious flavour thanks to that as well as a lovely, deep brownish colour when baked.

NY Times’ Sohla el-Waylly presents her version baked into bars, and it’s absolutely irresistible.

The nuts are pecans, suitably for an Americanised version, and the pastry is silly easy to make.

There is no rolling or chilling; the pastry is pressed into the tin, and the same pastry is used for the crumb topping. With a generous layer of best jam in the middle. Of course.

pecan nuts

How to make pecan Linzer pastry

If you own a food processor it’s a five minute job. Simply pulse the nuts into powder with sugar and spices.

nuts and dry ingredients

Then add butter to the machine and pulse it in, followed by egg and flour. Job done.

Those who have no space, no time or no use for a food processor (and I sympathise with them completely) can blitz the pecans in a clean coffee grinder or in the worst case bash them, encased in a sturdy bag, with a rolling pin.

mixing pastry

Blind baking and open-eye baking

Half the pastry is pressed into a square brownie tin or a round cake tin of similar capacity with an offset palette knife or spatula. It should be baked for about 20 minutes until set.

In the meantime the reserved half of the pastry mix gets bulked out with chopped pecans, to be used as top layer.

When the base is baked and cooled somewhat, spread the jam lavishly over it and then crumble the pecanned-up pastry in a more or less even layer.

Half an hour’s bake later it’s ready, and it will take a lot of will power to let the bar sheet cool completely before cutting.

assembling bars

Those bars are incredibly lovely. Probably a little too sweet for breakfast unless, like me, you persuade yourself that weekend breakfasts should be special and cake-based.

They will keep well in an airtight container but they won’t – with things as delicious as these, I don’t even know what the point of providing storage advice is.

pecan and apricot jam bars

More bar recipes

Date shortbread bars, shortcrust slices sandwiched with date, cinnamon and orange filling. Good shortcrust pastry with naturally sweet filling is great for a treat.

Plum crumble breakfast bars, cinnamon flavoured, reduced in sugar content, are just the thing for those whose sweet tooth is awake at breakfast time.

Pistachio lemon shortbread bars, another NY Times recipe for nutty shortcrust base and tangy lemon curd topping filled with more pistachios.

More pecan recipes

Maple and pecan sticky buns, baked upside down, flavoured with cinnamon and cardamom. It's a rich and sticky, sweet and spicy bliss, best enjoyed warm!

Date and nut squares, with chunks of Medjool dates and a mix of almonds, pecans and pistachio in rich, chewy batter. There’s a reason why these are called ‘food for gods’.

Tom Kerridge’s carrot cake energy balls with pecans and walnuts are no-bake, no sugar, no nonsense bites made from goodness itself. Sweet with no added sugar, satisfyingly filling and easier to make than mud cakes.

pecan nut shortcrust bars with apricot jam

Pecan Linzer bars

Servings: 18Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 120g (1 cup) pecan halves or pieces
  • 142g (23 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 tsp baking powder
  • 113g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 180g (112 cups) plain flour
  • 250g (4 heaping tbsp) apricot or raspberry jam
  • flaked salt
  • icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180C no fan if available/350F/gas 4. Line a square brownie tin (23cm/9 inch) with parchment.

2. Place half the amount of the pecans (60g/ 12 cup) in the food processor with the sugar, salt, lemon zest, cinnamon and baking powder. Blitz to fine powder. Alternatively, grind the pecans in a nut grinder or a clean coffee grinder; or place them in a bag and bash them to a powder with a rolling pin, then stir with the other dry ingredients.

3. Add the butter and pulse to combine, or beat it in with a handheld mixer. Add the egg and pulse/beat it in, add the flour and beat until just combined.

4. Scrape half the amount of the pastry (360g) into the prepared tin and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for 20 minutes until dry and set. Cool for 10 minutes.

5. In the meantime chop the remaining pecan nuts roughly and stir into the remaining pastry.

6. Spread the jam over the baked pastry base. Dot the pecan pastry over the jam in small clumps and sprinkle sparingly with sea salt flakes. Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and browned and the jam is bubbling around the sides. Cool completely in the tin.

7. Remove the bars from the tin with the parchment and dust with icing sugar. Cut into 18 bars with a serrated knife.

8. Store in an airtight container for a week.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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