Pecan Bars – Nutty Salty Caramel Goodness

Here’s some really good advice. Do not make a batch of your favorite cookie if you are home alone on a rainy day. Do. Not. Holy shit, y’all. Seriously. I’ve eaten three of these and had to force myself to stop. Three doesn’t sound like much, does it? But these are buttery rich little tiles of heaven and one would be perfect for a normal person.

I’ve never made these before – so why now? We had a cookie potluck at work the week before Christmas; one of my co-workers brought in some of his girlfriend’s pecan bars. Oh, lawdee lawd. They were so good. Crunchy base, caramely salty pecan topping. I have not been able to get them out of my mind for three weeks. That, plus the fact that my mom gave me three pounds of pecans, and you can see why I had to make these.

The interwebs garnered many a recipe, and pecan PIE bars appears to be the preferred nomenclature. But I don’t want a gooey top, I don’t want a pecan pie. I want that toasty nutty chewy sticky caramel taste. I found an awesome recipe at Shockingly Delicious – which of course I had to tweak.

My one take away from this, though? Grease that pan. Then, when you think you are done, grease it some more. This is serious sugary sticky shit.

Pecan Bars

Preheat the oven to 350*. Heavily grease a rectangular cake pan – 9”x13”x2”. Line it with parchment or foil, à la Alton Brown brownie hammock. You’ll need those edges as handles to lift them out after baking.
In the mixer with the paddle attachment, mix:
2 c AP flour
2/3 c powdered sugar
1 ½ sticks butter
½ tsp salt
When it looks like crumbs, it’s done. Dump the mix in the bottom of the pan. Smooth it out. Then, cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper and use the bottom of a jar or glass to smoosh it down. Be sure to put a little lip up all the sides and especially the corners. Remove the wrap, and bake it about 20m until it’s set, but not brown. (This would also be a fun kid part – smooshing it down with their hands.)

While it is baking, combine in a heavy 2 quart sauce pan on medium heat:
½ c. plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 c. honey
¼ c. corn syrup
14 Tbsp butter (two sticks minus two Tbsp)
½ tsp salt.
3 Tbsp. heavy cream (I used coconut/almond coffee creamer)
Stirring frequently, bring the mix to a low boil – it will get all foamy and lighten a bit in color.
Remove from the heat til the crust is done.

When the crust comes out of the oven, spread out on top:
3 1/2 cups pecan halves or pieces
Even pour the caramel mixture over them. Make sure everything is well-distributed, then all back in the oven for another 25-ish minutes. It will be bubbly and a little darker when it’s done.

Cool completely, lift it out of the pan and slice in small squares. Sprinkle with some good flaked salt, like a kosher salt or fleur de sel.

These will keep in an air-tight tin for quite a while. If they last that long.

Velouté d’asperges et courgettes au thym et citron (it sounds so fancy for leftovers…)

Some parts of being a former French teacher I will not let go – the biggest being a serious French Food Fangirl, and proud of it. Why? Allow me to illustrate – they can take the bits of stuff we would have thrown out and turn it in to something extraordinary.  This is creamy asparagus soup made with asparagus butts. You know, those end pieces you trim off and throw away? 
VAC2med

This is a super simple recipe and you can discern every ingredient with each bite – the sweetness of the squash and onion, a faint note of celery, the earthiness of the asparagus, touches of lemon and thyme and through it all the gorgeous richness of that butter. Oh, my.

 

This beautiful, rich, fresh-tasting soup came to be because I was going to post about a roasted asparagus salad but wound up with some serious woody asparagus stems.
VAC4med

And that made me think of my last French host mom, and how horrified she would be if I threw that much food away. So, I put those, and a couple chopped up courgettes, a celery rib and a slice of onion in the steamer.
VAC3med

After twenty minutes, I puréed it with some warm chicken stock, pushed it through a mesh sieve, put in a ton of butter and a dash of lemon zest and fresh thyme and called it exquisite. Which it was. 

Asparagus Courgette Soup

The next time you have some asparagus butts, make this. You will be SO happy!

Asparagus Squash Soup with Lemon & Thyme
Serves 2
Fast, healthy creamy soup equally delicious hot or at room temp.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
217 calories
12 g
46 g
18 g
6 g
11 g
367 g
28 g
8 g
1 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
367g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217
Calories from Fat 159
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
28%
Saturated Fat 11g
56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 46mg
15%
Sodium 28mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
40%
Vitamin C
74%
Calcium
7%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of asparagus butts
  2. 2 courgettes (zucchini/dark green summmer squash)
  3. 1 small celery stalk
  4. 1 thickish slice of an onion (about 1/4")
  5. Chicken broth as needed
  6. 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  7. 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  8. 1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Instructions
  1. Steam the veg for 20 minutes.
  2. Purée in your food processor for a good bit with enough hot broth to get it going. You can add the rest of the ingredients here, or after you strain it - your choice.
  3. Strain the purée through a mesh sieve to get out the woody parts of the stem and celery strings.
  4. Serve with a lemon wedge, and if you're feeling truly daring another pat of butter.
  5. Now in your best Julia voice, say "bon appétit!"
Notes
  1. Serve with some garlicky croutons and Yum!
beta
calories
217
fat
18g
protein
6g
carbs
12g
more
Adapted from La Dinette de Crevette
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

moncler sale uk,ralph lauren outlet,louis vuitton uk,michael kors handbags outlet,,