Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pecan Squares: the Vanishing Food of Choice

Some things just aren't made to last.

This is the thought that passes through my head as I watch the product of my baking labors disappear. It's Wednesday night; I'm sitting in my living room with three other people, sprawled about on the couch and the floor. It's getting late, and the warm air is making us drowsy, but we're diligently working or (in my case) pretending to work. Laptops are out, mugs of tea are within reach, and some buttered toast is on the way. Also out are my recently-baked pecan squares. These are the subjects of my observation.

I can't help but sigh. This is the second batch I've made. The first one didn't last as long as I would have liked, so I was hoping that this would survive the first day. Looks like that's just not in the cards.

Which is peculiar, really. You would think that these were too rich to be eaten in such a short amount of time. The base is a simple combination of flour, sugar, and butter, but the topping -- the glue that keeps the pecan chunks on -- is a decadent combination of melted butter, heavy cream, honey, and brown sugar. It makes for a succulent treat to accompany ice cream or somesuch, but not a snack that you would want to eat continuously. And yet as I sit here, I can see their number gradually diminishing.

This leads me to my next observation: man, these kids are going to get a sugar-crash soon!

2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups flour
2 sticks (1/2 pound) sweet butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9*12 inch baking pan.
Sift the sugar and flour together. Cut in the butter, using two knives or a pastry blender (or your fingers), until fine crumbs form. Pat crust into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20min and remove from the oven.

2/3 (approx. 11 Tbs) melted sweet butter
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbs heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
3, 1/2 cups shelled pecans, coarsely chopped

Mix the first 4 ingredients together, then stir in the pecans, coating them thoroughly. Spread the syrupy heaven-sauce over the crust. Return the whole thing to the oven and bake for 25min more. Let it cool completely before cutting into squares.

No comments: