I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but where I am everybody is sniffing; allergies are in full swing. I was told that they’re so bad this year that most over-the-counter stuff doesn’t work. Who knows if that’s rumor or fact, but I tell you what, my drugs barely made a difference. My head felt like exploding and I was running a low-grade fever. I was the picture of miserable this past Thursday!
I had a party to attend on Saturday night, and I had volunteered to bring something sweet. I prepared these Maple Pecan Squares which had been a hit at a baby shower a few years ago and I knew they would be easy to transport and wouldn’t require any sort of utensils. Perfect.
However, Saturday night rolled around and I still wasn’t feeling so hot. Neither I nor my Maple Pecan Squares made it to the party. Major bummer. So, my coworkers are now indulging in the sweets and I’m feeling semi-better. I think eating a few of the Squares myself helped. In fact, they may have been more effective than the medicine.
Maple Pecan Squares
for the crust:
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 t salt
8 T (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
for the filling:
6 T unsalted butter
1/3 c pure maple syrup*
2/3 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 – 2 c coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a bit to overhang the edges for easy removal after baking. Butter the foil liner.
- Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt by hand. Using a pastry cutter, add the butter until coarse crumbs the size of peas form. (This can also be done in a food processor.)
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until the edges are lightly browned and the top feels firm, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- To make the filling, in a saucepan over medium heat combine the butter, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Stir until the butter melts and the brown sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in the cream, then add the pecans.
- Pour over the crust, spreading evenly. Return to the oven for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set. During baking the filling will bubble vigorously and then subside towards the end of baking.
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from pan using foil liner and cut into 25 squares. Store at room temperature.
*I have made these with both maple syrup and fake syrup (like Aunt Jemima). Both work fine. Calorie count will need to be adjusted accordingly.