Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pecan Bars

Marc and Jimmy ready to cheer on the Wildcats!
Marc ready to cheer on Texas after removing his NU t-shirt.
Isa and Uncle Jonny celebrating NU's win!

Saturday was all about Northwestern beating the University of Wisconsin. It doesn’t get much better than that! It was an exciting game and NU held out till the end. We attended a Badger party just so we could talk trash and rough up their place a bit. It was lots of fun and I made some supper yummy pecan bars. I got this recipe from a cooking class I took at the Wooden Spoon in Chicago. This is the second time I have made it for a party and the reviews were awesome both times. I actually ate it for breakfast this morning and the crumbs as an appetizer to my lunch.

Mexican Style Pecan Bars (yields about 16 squares)

For Cookie Base:
6 ounces (3/4) cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons table salt
2 ounces finely grated bittersweet chocolate (1/2 cup)

For Pecan Topping:
10 ounces pecans (3 cups), toasted
¼ pound (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon table salt

Make the cookie base: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor (I just massaged it all with my hands because I don’t have a large food processor). Pulse until mixture is well combined, about 20 times. Scatter the dough in a 9*9 inch or 8 ½ *11*2 inch baking pan and press it evenly over the bottom. Bake the base until firm and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. When the cookie base comes out of the oven, sprinkle the grated chocolate evenly over the top. Set the pan aside. Leave oven on.

While the cookie base is baking make the pecan topping. Pulse the pecans in the food processor (or just bang them with a kitchen hammer). In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the dark brown sugar, honey, cream, and salt. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pecans. Pour the pecan mixture over the baked cookie base, spreading evenly with a spatula. Bake until the filling is bubbling (not just the edges), 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. When you are ready to serve, cut into squares. The bars keep for 5 days…assuming they last that long!

No comments:

Post a Comment