Why You Want Pecans in Your Thanksgiving Desserts

Pecans are getting increasingly popular for Thanksgiving desserts. Their harvest cycle of September through late November makes them a favored choice for Thanksgiving recipes because of their abundance every fall.

This year, pecans have even more benefits than just their natural availability. Before a pumpkin or apple pie tempts you this holiday season, consider a few timely reasons why pecans are the leading choice this holiday:

  1. Support farmers. Hurricane Irma obliterated and damaged many pecan crops in the Southeast. When you buy pecans this fall, you help support the farmers struggling to re-build after the storm damage. Feel good this Thanksgiving by opting for pecans and know that your food choices are supporting farms facing environmental challenges.
  2. Nutritional benefits. Buying pecans is not only good for farmers, but also good for your health. Pecans are one of the most nutrient-dense nuts available. According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, pecans offer a number of antioxidants, more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, heart-healthy fats, are high in fiber, and cholesterol-free!
  3. Trendy. The pecan flavor is becoming more trendy this year. M&M’s® recently re-released their Pecan Pie Flavor M&M and Starbucks now offers a seasonal Maple Pecan Latte

Now that you know why pecans are so important this holiday season, we’re happy to share a few Thanksgiving dessert recipes featuring this special ingredient and Walkers classic Scottish shortbread:

Honey Pecan Tart

In this recipe, Walkers Shortbread transforms into a buttery crisp crust. The caramel-like filling packs the sweetness, while the pecans offer a layer of crunch. As mentioned above, your choice to use pecans helps support farmers, and if you opt for honey from your local beekeepers, you can support more local producers too!

pecan tart

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

You’ll skip store-bought pecan pie after tasting a slice of these bourbon-spiked pecan pie bars. Buttery Walkers Shortbread makes for the perfect flaky crust. As it often does, chocolate takes the decadence of this dessert up a notch. The cocoa flavor blended with the bourbon and sweet vanilla make a smooth satisfying filling complemented by the crunchy pecans and crust.

chocolate pecan pie

Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars

If you or a loved one has a gluten allergy, don’t miss out on sweet treats over the holidays with this gluten-free Thanksgiving dessert. The bars are layered with the soft classic pecan pie filling (a blend of fresh-cracked eggs, maple syrup, pecans, sugar and a dash of salt) over a simple crust made with gluten-free Walkers Shortbread. Like many crusts made with Walkers Shortbread, this is easy to make and only requires crushing the shortbread and adding butter before baking. Less labor and more to enjoy!

gluten free pecan pie

Maple, Pecan & Butternut Squash Shortbread Bars

If you’re looking to add more nutrients and fiber to your desserts this holiday, consider these bars that feature a butternut squash puree. The autumn-rich scents of roasted butternut squash, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg make this recipe a delight to smell and eat. Before you fill up on these treats, your home will be full of the rich aromas!

maple pecan shortbread

Leftover Desserts

All of the desserts above can be made in single-serving sizes, so you can easily load guests up with leftovers if you feel your kitchen overflows with food after the feast. And, while these are technically dessert recipes, we won’t judge if you pair one with coffee for breakfast!

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