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Grandma’s Pecan Rum Bars

My grandmother handed down the recipe for these gooey bars, which we all love. The candied cherries are a must. —Deborah Pennington, Cullman, Alabama
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 1 hour + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 4 cups chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 cups red candied cherries
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped candied pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied citron
  • 1/3 cup rum


  • Sprinkle 3 cups pecans over a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour to creamed mixture, beating well.
  • Spread batter into prepared pan. Combine candied fruit and remaining pecans. Spread fruit and pecans evenly over creamed mixture; press gently to help mixtures adhere. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Sprinkle rum over the top; cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

Test Kitchen tips
  • This holiday treat tastes like a cross between rum cake, fruitcake and pecan pie.
  • For a decadent twist, serve the bars over a swirl of creme anglaise or vanilla sauce.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 bar: 401 calories, 22g fat (6g saturated fat), 51mg cholesterol, 123mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

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    • Baking
      Dec 31, 2020

      This sounded like a great recipe but I hesitated to make it because of the huge amount of expensive ingredients and the lack of reviews. I ended up making it exactly as written (I had all the ingredients on hand because I was in the middle of Christmas baking )and was very happy with the results. I used spiced rum to top it with… It was very much like a fruit cake consistency, very moist and very delicious.

    • L
      Nov 14, 2020

      Follow the recipe! Then review the recipe , not your creation tho we'd like to hear about that too.

    • Kim
      Dec 9, 2018

      These are good altho not very "rummy." I used dried fruit instead of candied except for the citron and soaked it in a little rum/cachasa since i had very little rum after I measured out the rum for the recipe, and cachasa is a sugar cane spirit so figured it didn't make much difference. I should have been more liberal and longer with the soaking for more flavor. Poking the "cake" before putting the rum on the cake and using more, maybe 1/2 c would have given more rum flavor. It might be fun to try a rum glaze. This is a keeper tho and I'll make it again; and lots of room for experimentation!