Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tribal Spirit Squares

One of the main ingredients in these squares is pecans.  In reading about the history on this nut,  I found out that Native American Indian tribes thrived on these, sometimes eating nothing but pecans for a solid two months. They also believed the pecan to have spiritual value.

Now that you know the origin of the name, the start of this recipe was an intention to make a breakfast type of dish. I came upon some butter pecan syrup in the store and  I could not resist, so I purchased it. Syrup on pancakes is not really that creative, so I went to work on trying to incorporate the syrup in a baked good and that is the starting point of the recipe.

In addition to syrup, there is ground toasted pecans as an ingredient.  The squares are baked in an 8x8 pan.  Due to the high amount of liquid, it sunk slightly in the middle.  That was ok, because it created a variety in the texture.  The servings cut from the edge were more fluffy while the inner ones turned out to be more moist, almost like a bar type of baked good. It is a cross between a cake and a bar.  If you like all things pecan, then I am sure that you will enjoy these squares.

Should you have another favorite nut in mind, feel free to substitute it along with the matching flavor syrup.  These syrups are the ones marketed for flavoring coffee, but I am sure they will do fine in this recipe.

Tribal Spirit Squares
by flourtrader

1 cup ground toasted pecans
1 cup of butter pecan syrup
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease the inside of an 8X8 pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease face up side of parchment.

Cream together butter and both sugars.  Then add the syrup, vanilla  and egg and beat until well blended and smooth. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour and the baking soda.  Then fold the flour mixture and pecans into the batter until just combined.  Pour batter into pan and smooth the top, so the batter is even.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or tester comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan for 45 minutes.  Then invert onto a platter, peel off parchment paper and flip cake back over onto a rack to finish cooling.  Once completely cool, dust with confectioners sugar.  Now it is ready to cut into squares and serve. 
                           **LAST YEAR:Steakhouse Beer Bread**