December 30, 2010

Pecan Treats

One of my dad's all time favorite desserts is pecan pie, of course in addition to sweet meats, cheesecake, and anything chocolate/peanut you see where I get my sweet tooth from :) Since we deprived him of one of his tasty treats this holiday season with no pecan pie at Thanksgiving or Christmas, I figured I'd make it up to him with a new recipe I found in one of my favorite presents this year, the Gourmet Cookie Book. Ever since my discontinued favorite cooking magazine announced the publishing of the cookie bible, I wanted it. Badly. There are so many recipes I want to make in there, maybe on will pop out of the oven today, who knows!

But back to the pecan treats, that is the point of this post right? Dad loves them. Mom can't stop eating them. And I, a pecan-hater (sorry all you pecan lovers out there, but I don't know how you do it) actually have had a few myself, so yup- they may have started my conversion to the pecan-likers. The shortbread base is to die for, I mean, who doesn't like short bread? To quote the book "the enormously rich and nutty squares will remind you of a French nut tart, but they require only a fraction of the effort" how easy and delicious is that??

Cloudt's Pecan Treats
From The Gourmet Cookie Book

For Crust
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour

For pecan topping
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 3/4 cups pecan, chopped

Make crust:
Preheat the oven to 375F and butter a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, or the base of a standing mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until well incorporated and the mixture is still light and fluffy. Gradually add in the flour with the mixer speed on low: when the dough begins to come together try not to over mix it, but transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and press it evenly over the base of the pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is light gold. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the pecans topping.

Make pecan topping:
In a large saucepan, melt the brown sugar, butter, honey and half-and-half over moderate heat, whisking continuously until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in the pecans and remove from heat. Spread the mixture evenly over the base and bake for another 15 minutes (still at 375F) or until the top is a bubbly little heaven. Allow to fully cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars and serving.

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