Friday, November 23, 2012

Pecan Squares


Upon searching my cookbooks for a nut-based dessert for Thanksgiving, I came across this pecan square recipe from Barefoot Contessa. I proceeded to read the description and learned that this was Ina's best selling dessert when she was in the retail business.  Then I knew we were all in for a real treat. These squares are absolutely delicious and I am thankful I can follow my own rule of having just 1 serving and sharing the rest amongst family and friends. {If you go the extra mile and dip each halfway in chocolate, you get a beautiful dessert}.

Pecan Squares

Crust
1 1/4 lbs unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c sugar
3 extra large eggs
3/4 t vanilla extract
4 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

 Topping
1 lb unsalted butter
1 c good honey (Hungary Bees Wild Acacia)
3 c light brown sugar
1 t grated lemon zest
1 t grated orange zest
1/4 c heavy cream
1 lb pecans, coarsely chopped
1 lb walnuts, coarsely chopped

 12 oz. good semi sweet chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 For the crust, beat butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients in the batter on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly on an ungreased 18" x12" x1" baking sheet. Sprinkle the dough and your hands with flour and make an edge around the outside, Bake for 15 minutes until crust is set but not browned. Cool.

For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar and zests in a large saucepan.Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cream and pecans. Gently pour over the crust keeping all the filling within the perimeter of the crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling has set. Remove from oven and cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and and refrigerate until cold. Remove from refrigerator and cut into squares.

 In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally.Dip each square half way into the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to harden.

 Keep well wrapped in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

{my photo was a bit dark so I borrowed the above online}

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Source:  Barefoot Contessa

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