Pecan Squares With Dipped Chocolate Ganache
- Ready In:
- 1hr 15mins
1 platter of great bars
- 1 1⁄4 lbs unsalted butter or 1 1/4 lbs unsalted margarine, room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 3⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb unsalted butter or 1 lb unsalted margarine
- 1 cup good honey
- 3 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 2 lbs pecans, coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces good semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- MAKING THE CRUST:.
- Beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approxiamtely, 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs and the vanilla, and mix well.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
- Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18x12x1" baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
- Combine the butter, honey, brown sugar and zests in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir.
- Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. BE VERY CAREFUL - IT IS HOT CARAMEL!
- Stir in the heavy cream and the pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into small bars(as they are rich).
- MAKE GANACHE:.
- Cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee(if using) in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until very smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
- Dip only one end of pecan bars in the ganache, & place on white muffin cup liners; smoosh(for lack of a better word - this word is mine, not Ina Garten's) to open and place the dipped pecan bar in it. This way it can drip into the liner! Serve with or without liners.
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This makes a whole lot, so if you're having a bake sale - perfect! I made the recipe as is. It came out good, but I should have made it in a larger pan as the crust was a tad too thick for my taste. Also, 2 lbs. of pecans were a bit much - you could get away with probably half as much. One last thing - it's really important to refrigerate as stated in step 13 to make sure the bars have enough cohesion. It really impacts the flavor. After dipping them in ganache and refrigerating overnight, the bars tasted vaguely like a Snickers bar. Give it a try, but make sure you share all your hard work!
RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
<p>Hello all, thank you for visiting My Page but forgive me for it is a work in progress! :) As I am sure you have noticed I changed my Chef Name to Manami which means love & beauty. ;) Just thought I should get with the program - my geisha & my icon! :) Don't fret, I won't change it again! <br /><br />I am 70 years young and I live in a nursing home, which is out of this world, I am treated like a princess and the world is my oyster! I have a private room and during the season I do taxes for most of the staff, as well as my personal clients that have been following me since I left the business world about 25 years ago. I was rear-ended by a van and it turned my whole world upside down. Why dwell on that? <br /><br />I am an American Jew (from NYC) who moved to Havana, Cuba when I was 2 1/2 years old, lived there until a few days after Castro took over and vamoosed it out of that country as fast as my legs would carry me! I was on a forced hiatus from the UofM, due to illness. <br /><br />From there my sister, mother and I went to NYC to work and my father went to Haiti in Port-Au-Prince, where he and my uncle had purchased some tiny cocoa plantations & a chocolate factory - for the choccolate liquer - to make baking chocolate (the real bitter stuff). We joined my father about 2 months later where I spent 2 of the most carefree & wonderful years of my life! It is the stuff that movies are made of! (A la Grace Kelly - even my clothes were like hers)> </p> <p>I then continued my studies in upstate NY and hated it because it was too, too cold!:( Went back to NYC to work and see what I wanted to do with my life - I was all of 20 years old and had to drop out of school because of illness and then because of the weather! Yuck - so I got a job in a Textile Buying Office as a receptionist and soon I found myself buying trimmings! Loved it and was very happy with the work I was doing. <br /><br />However, I got an offer from two young guys who had a factory in Cleveland, Ohio, where they made Maternity Clothes and they wanted me to be in charge of the shipping dept, keep inventory and in my spare time - help with the designing!! I couldn't pass it up - the offer sounded so great and the salary was twice what I was making in the NYC. So I went to Cleveland, got married, had both my children and got a divorce 15 years later. <br /><br />Then my children and I moved to South Florida and have been here since 1978, I can't count that far back :) <br /><br />Learned how to do taxes with H&R Block and worked simultaneously as a Supervisor in 2 offices for them for 15 years. Then after the accident everything went spiralling downwards until I could no longer walk alone even with a walker - so the next step was a wheelchair. Stayed at home with a lot of help (nurses, PT therapists) fixed the bathroom so I could bathe myself and fixed the kitchen so I could help warm-up meals (was taught how to cook in rehab) and so forth and so on. <br /><br />However, the fire department had other plans for me, I called them too often to pick me up off the floor - how embarassing! So they gave me a choice - either a home or they would have to call HRS! :( (very sad) <br /><br />It was there, in my home where I was robbed! <img title=Cry src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-cry.gif border=0 alt=Cry /> All my cookbooks (all my Julia Childs Cookbooks, my Settlement Cookbook which had been my mothers - published in 1939 - with all her notes) my mother's cookbooks from Cuba & Haiti, all my handwritten recipes. They also took all my Delft collection, some antiques that I had in the kitchen like my rolling pin, a beautiful old & used wooden bowl, a charcoal-iron that was brought north when my parents left Haiti, it was hand-painted & was gorgeous, as well as all the other things that are too numerous to mention! <br /><br />That proved to be the last straw & from there it was an ALF,<img title=Yell src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-yell.gif border=0 alt=Yell /> which was horrible, and then on to another home where the administrator of that home became the administrator here and voila, here I am. <img title=Smile src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-smile.gif border=0 alt=Smile /></p> <p>I have a beautiful large private room with a private bath, furnished to my liking: eclectic! <img title=Wink src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif border=0 alt=Wink /> My room is large enough to house my office and all the other odds and ends with which I like to surround myself.<br /><br />During tax season, mostly, my room is always full (of course I love it that way)! I have a blanket my daughter bought for me in New Mexico and that is on my bed. You guessed it - that is where everbody sits or on my great grandfather's arm chair which is in great shape. <img title=Smile src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-smile.gif border=0 alt=Smile /> Update 01/11/2008 that time is here again :) Have started doing taxes already and not just regular taxes but corporations, partnerships and 1040X - ammended returns! Whoopee! I love the feeling I get when this time comes around and I get into gear!!! I love it! :) <br /><br />The head chef, the kitchen supervisor & the dietician enjoy the recipes from Zaar; the ones that I post, as well as, the others. We are in the process of changing the menu right now - so we have been doing a lot of figuring. The administrator is so cute because every once in a while she asks for a recipe and then she gives me a pack of paper so I can print them. <img title=Wink src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif border=0 alt=Wink /><br /><br />I am president of the resident council and most of the family members come to me to take care of their grievances - this way I do my part - and the staff can take care of the larger problems! It has been working for 10 years - why change if it ain't broke?<img title=Wink src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif border=0 alt=Wink /></p> <p>Well, it's time to say hasta luego folks. <img title=Laughing src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-laughing.gif border=0 alt=Laughing /><br /><br /></p>