Friday, June 13, 2014

Pecan Passion

Pecan Passion
Source: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (Random House, 1995 ed.), pg. 48.

These were sinfully good and easy-to-make but I thought there was too much butter in it (they were greasy). I don't know how they would do with less butter but I may try cutting it back for the bottom layer the next time I try it. Once you start eating them, it is hard to stop!

You can also make these with walnuts if you prefer.

Bottom Layer:
3 oz. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (Dutch process)
1/4 cup sifted unbleached flour

Pecan Topping:
1 TBS. dark rum or cognac
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3 oz. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
Scant 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups toasted pecan halves

Makes 24 bars

The bottom layer

Preheat oven to 375. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and brush the foil with a tablespoon of melted butter (this butter is in addition to the amount called for in the recipe). Set aside.

Melt the butter and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla.

Add the eggs. Beat to mix.

Mix in the cocoa...

and the flour.

Place the chocolate mixture in mounds in the lined pan. Take a spoon and smooth out the chocolate to cover the bottom.

Bake for 15 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed. Let it stand while you prepare the topping.

The pecan topping

Add the rum (or cognac) to the heavy cream. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Stir in the sugar, salt and corn syrup with a wooden spoon. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil.
Stir a few times and let the mixture reach 250 degrees (it will only take a minute or two). As soon as it reaches 250, immediately remove the pan from the heat.
Add the heavy cream mixture to the pan and stir.
Add the pecans.
Pour the mixture over the cake crust and spread evenly.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes (she says to time this carefully as baking too long with cause it to become hard).
Remove from the oven and let stand for a few hours until it is completely cool. Then invert onto a cutting board and peel off the foil. If the foil doesn't come off easily, then it is still too warm.
Use a sharp knife to cut the cake into squares. Store in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers. They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer but need to be served at room temperature.


Jen said...

its been ages since I checked my RSS feed and the two recipes you've posted in the mean time are going to HAVE to get made... they look so fantastic. Yum.

Elizabeth Nelson said...

Normally, our Guru Maida is right on target, but....Yes, I see what you mean about the butter-- the proportion of butter to cocoa and flour looks way off to me. Also, sometimes I have had separation of the butter from the rest of the filling when I've made a pecan caramel custard type filling.

Phillip Oliver said...

Thanks Elizabeth! I wonder if there was a typo in the book?

Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

How did you not eat ALL of that pecan topping before it made it on the brownies!?!?!? These look so delicious!