Friday, May 25, 2012

Pecan Chocolate Squares

Well since it is Friday, I wanted to make something that was tasty but not too difficult.  Something that would be good as an afternoon snack.  I started looking at the recipes for squares and bars.  Most of them I had already seen or tasted before.  That is until I landed on this one.

It was fairly easy to prepare, with a cookie base and a pie top.  Also, the squares do have a special twist of the cinnamon in the base with a thin layer of chocolate, which brings you back to the thought of Mexican chocolate.  The pie topping is made with dark brown sugar and toasted pecans.  Actually, 3 cups of pecans and the pan is only 9 inches square.  No skimping in that respect!

These are great served with coffee as well as tea.  Also, if you find yourself lacking in calcium, a dollop of whipped cream on top would also be good!

Pecan Chocolate Squares
adapted from Fine Cooking Cookies

Ingredients/Cookie Base
2 cups flour
2 oz grated bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter cut into cubes

Ingredients/Pecan Topping
1/3 cup honey
2 tbs heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 cups toasted chopped pecans
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Fill food processor bowl with all the cookie base ingredients except chocolate.  Pulse about 15-20 times until mixture becomes crumbly. Empty food processor bowl into 9 inch square pan.  Press crumbs into pan, forming an even crust over the inside.

Place pan in the oven and bake about 25 minutes.  Crust should be firm and golden when done.  Remove pan and place on rack.  Then evenly sprinkle the grated chocolate all over the top of the crust.  Set aside.

For the pecan topping, fill a saucepan with butter  and place over medium heat, stirring until melted.   Add heavy cream, salt, brown sugar and honey.  Mix together as it cooks, letting it come to a simmer.  Then cook for and additional minute, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and fold  in the pecans.  

Pour pecan mixture over the chocolate coated crust.  Smooth out so layer is even.  Place in oven and bake about 16-18 minutes.  It is done when you open the oven and see all the topping bubbling-not just the edges.  Place pan on rack and let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Tips and Notes:
The method of sprinkling the grated chocolate is not good enough for even distribution, I took a spatula and smoothed it out after it melted a little.

                           **LAST YEAR: Cajun Chicken Carter**