Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am not cooking but that does not stop a gal from dreaming...

Well, that is if she could ever get any sleep.

If I was cooking I would definitely get out the flour and butter to make these. I think I can smell their sweet, nutty aroma but then I realize I am exhausted from insomnia and the scent is a mirage. Alas...

Pecan Bars
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

I cut the recipe in half for this attempt and used an 12 by 7 by 2 inch pan.. Be sure to note the proper pan size for the full recipe below (18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet), as it yields a whole lot of love.

For the crust:
1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, 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

For the topping:
1 pound unsalted butter
1 cup good honey
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the crust: Beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 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 18 by 12 by 1-inch 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.

For the topping: 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 the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 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 bars and serve.

Taken from one a my favorite blogs, East Village Kitchen, these have to raise the bar in dessert creation. I said the other day that I do not bake for neighbors but I am thinking if I show up to my new apartment building with these in hand I may have instant friends.

Wishing you and yours sweet dreams...


Katie said...

you can come make those in my kitchen any day :)

SJ said...

hey Stacey ... are you in D.C. yet?

I recently started my own cooking blog, Cooking 2.0 ... drop by sometime ...


East Village Kitchen said...

Glad you liked the recipe, even if making it is outside the realm of possibility for the moment. Good luck with your move!