Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds

Pecan Diamonds are a classic cookie bar that nearly every pastry chef learns to master in culinary school. The shortbread cookie base for these bars is rich and buttery with a crumbly texture. This really helps to balance out the sweetness from the caramelized pecan honey topping. This is my own gluten free version and the reason I love it is because once you know how to make these delicious buttery bars, you can swap out the pecans for other nuts or add in chocolate to really make it your own.

gluten free pecan diamonds sliced, overhead view

With a slightly salty caramel filling on a pastry base, these nutty bites are completely addictive. Cooking the filling in a pot first and then finishing it in the oven creates a foolproof confection, yielding plenty with minimal effort, making this a perfect holiday or group sweet. The filling will reflect the honey and nuts you choose — you can also try a mixture of nuts or adding a few tablespoons of sesame seeds. Instead of the cardamom here, try adding cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice. These cookies make a perfect dessert plate alongside tangerines and chocolate.

gluten free pecan diamonds, overhead view

Learning how to make a go-to cookie bar like these Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds will build your confidence with gluten free baking and give you some of the skills needed to start creating your unique recipes and bakes at home. This recipe as well as my recipes Chocolate Sugar Cookies and Ultimate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are all included in Module Five: Gluten Free Cookies of the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry School

gluten free pecan diamonds in baking tray

What Makes These The Best Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds

  • They make great homemade gifts! Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds have a shortbready cookie crust that’s topped with a sticky honey pecan filling. They are a real crowd pleaser and I personally love to share them to my family and friends around the holidays.
  • The shortbread cookie dough base goes straight into the tin which means no rolling, shaping, or messing around with sticky cookie dough. You gotta love an easy recipe!
  • Because honey is used to make the caramel topping and it’s an inverted sugar, you don’t have to worry about the dreaded crystallization that happens when you are making traditional caramel. It takes all the stress out of making this deliciously sweet sticky topping.
Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds stacked, side view

Tips For Making Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds

  • Don’t cream the butter and sugar: the goal for these cookies is to keep their shape when baked. to achieve this the most important thing to remember is not to incorporate too much air during the mixing process. that means when you are ‘creaming’ the butter and sugar, mix only until just combined and glossy.
  • Let the dough rest and chill: this dough is VERY soft and needs to solidify before the final rolling/shaping and then eventually slicing. Leave the dough in the fridge for at least 2 to 24 hours before rolling into the final cylinder shape. Once it is rolled, place it back in the fridge to chill for another hour before slicing and baking.
  • Add flavour: these cookies are great on their own but also work as a blank canvas for other flavours. experiments by adding orange or lime zest, chopped white or dark chocolate, or dried fruit and nuts.
  • Bake chilled dough: again, this step will help maintain the shape of the cookies. make sure your oven is preheated and pull the dough from the fridge right before you are going to slice and bake the cookies.
gluten free pecan diamonds close up view of baked top

PECAN DIAMONDS QUICK FACTS:

Origin: The Pecan Diamond was first created by Pastry Chef Dominique D’Ermo at the American Hotel in Miami. While on vacation in Florida, a Pastry Chef instructor from the Culinary Institute of American (CIA) came across this recipe and later brought it back to CIA where he adapted the pecan bars which are now a famous hallmark for the culinary school. Since the 1950’s the recipe for Pecan Diamonds has been taught at the culinary school and features in the their textbooks.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Type of Cookie: Bar Cookie (cookie made in a tin with a filling or topping)

Ingredients: Gluten free flour blend, almond flour, xanthan gum, butter, icing sugar, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, orange zest, eggs, honey, heavy cream, pecans, vanilla, and salt.

How to make Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds…Like a Pro!

gluten free pecan diamonds sliced, overhead view

Lets get baking! (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Mis en Place

Going back to the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry Principals, this is always our first step when baking as it not only helps ensure accuracy during the mixing process, but it also makes the whole baking process a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. It’s a win/win!

If I’ve said it 100 times, I’ll say it again. Measuring ingredients by weight not volume is the magic sauce to gluten free baking! I always do my best to provide the cup (volume) measurements where possible. If you are going to measure by volume, click this link for tips on the correct way to measure by volume.

Scale the following ingredients

Pecan Diamond Shortbread Crust

75g or 3/4 cup Icing sugar

150g or 2/3 cup unsalted butter (soft)

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Zest of 1 Lemon or Orange

4 Egg yolks (approx 70g)

260g or 2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend

30g or 1/3 cup Almond flour

1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Pecan Diamond Pecan Filling

225g or 1 cup Unsalted butter (cold/cubed)

215g or 1 cup Light brown sugar

50g or 1/3 cup Granulated sugar

170g or 1/2 cup Honey

60g or 1/4 cup Heavy Cream

435g or 3 1/2 cups Pecans (toasted and chopped)

Method for Shortbread Crust

Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside. 

Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or by hand with a wooden spoon, cream the room temperature butter, icing sugar and lemon zest for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Step 2

Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom on the bowl. 

Step 3

Add in the dry ingredients, and mix until you can no longer see any streaks of flour. 

Step 4

Press the shortbread dough into a 8×8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Cover with plastic wrap and rest the shortbread dough in the fridge for 1 hour.

Step 5

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F degrees.

Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and pierce the base 8-10 times with a fork (docking). Partially bake the crust for 10-15 minutes or until it is light golden around the edges.

Allow the base to cool completely before adding the pecan filling.

Method for Pecan Filling

Step 1

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter, sugars, and honey. Cook the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 240°F/116°C degrees. Alternatively, wait until the sugar reaches a rapid boil, then cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the heavy cream and pecans. Pour the pecan filling over the par baked shortbread crust and smooth the surface with a spatula.

Step 2

Place the assembles pecan diamonds on a large sheet pan (to catch any drips) and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until you can see the filling has bubbles across the whole tray.

Step 3

Let the Pecan Diamonds cool completely in the pan.

Step 4

Lifting up the parchment paper, remove the pecan diamonds from the pan and transfer them to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, trim the edges and cut the bars into 1 inch/3 cm sides.

Turn the entire batch out of the pan onto your work surface and flip to caramel-side up. Trim the edges with a very sharp knife. Cut 1-inch (2.5 cm) rows, then cut vertically into diamonds.

Storing Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds

Store baked Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds Bars at room temperature between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

Print
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Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds stacked, side view

Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds


  • Author: Kira McMullan
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3040 pieces 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These Gluten Free Pecan Diamond Cookie Bars have a buttery shortbread crust and a sticky caramel pecan topping. Perfect for the holidays!


Ingredients

Scale

Pecan Diamond Shortbread Crust

75g or 3/4 cup Icing sugar

150g or 2/3 cup unsalted butter (soft)

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Zest of 1 Lemon or Orange

4 Egg yolks (approx 70g)

260g or 2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend

30g or 1/3 cup Almond flour

1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Pecan Diamond Pecan Filling

225g or 1 cup Unsalted butter (cold/cubed)

215g or 1 cup Light brown sugar

50g or 1/3 cup Granulated sugar

170g or 1/2 cup Honey

60g or 1/4 cup Heavy Cream

435g or 3 1/2 cups Pecans (toasted and chopped)


Instructions

METHOD FOR SHORTBREAD CRUST

Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside. 

Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or by hand with a wooden spoon, cream the room temperature butter, icing sugar and lemon zest for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Step 2

Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom on the bowl. 

Step 3

Add in the dry ingredients, and mix until you can no longer see any streaks of flour.

Step 4

Press the shortbread dough into a 8×8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Cover with plastic wrap and rest the shortbread dough in the fridge for 1 hour.

Step 5

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F degrees.

Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and pierce the base 8-10 times with a fork (docking). Partially bake the crust for 10-15 minutes or until it is light golden around the edges.

Allow the base to cool completely before adding the pecan filling.

METHOD FOR PECAN FILLING

Step 1

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter, sugars, and honey. Cook the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 240°F/116°C degrees. Alternatively, wait until the sugar reaches a rapid boil, then cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the heavy cream and pecans. Pour the pecan filling over the par baked shortbread crust and smooth the surface with a spatula.

Step 2

Place the assembles pecan diamonds on a large sheet pan (to catch any drips) and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until you can see the filling has bubbles across the whole tray.

Step 3

Let the Pecan Diamonds cool completely in the pan.

Step 4

Lifting up the parchment paper, remove the pecan diamonds from the pan and transfer them to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, trim the edges and cut the bars into 1 inch/3 cm sides.

Turn the entire batch out of the pan onto your work surface and flip to caramel-side up. Trim the edges with a very sharp knife. Cut 1-inch (2.5 cm) rows, then cut vertically into diamonds.

STORING GLUTEN FREE PECAN DIAMONDS

Store baked Gluten Free Pecan Diamonds Bars at room temperature between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Chill Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes

Keywords: pecan diamond recipe, gluten free pecan diamond recipe, gluten free recipe, pecan recipe, easy gluten free recipe, thanksgiving recipe, Christmas recipe, holiday recipe

Recipe questions? I’d love to help!

Connect with me @kirabakesglutenfree or info@kirabakesglutenfree.com

Gluten Free Pastry Chef Kira McMullan, eating slice of cake

Ready to try another Gluten Free Recipe? Why not bake my Gluten Free Sandwich Bread or Gluten Free Brownies.  



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