Friday 16 December 2016

Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

These bars were the first thing I ever baked with pecans.
Can you believe it had taken me so long to use these nuts in my baking? It's probably because I don't really bake with nuts in general. But after these bars, I have been converted.

These bars are two things - a brown butter biscuit base and a caramel pecan topping. The base could not be easier. Begin by browning your butter, add the usual suspects to get a soft dough, press into a tin and bake.
For the topping, we'll make a simple brown sugar and maple syrup caramel. An egg is added to thicken things up before the chopped pecans go in. The topping is poured over the base and baked until set.
I love these bars because they're something a little bit different. The brown butter gives them the most beautiful buttery flavour. It definitely elevates these bars from your average pecan pie. And the topping is everything. It's nutty, sweet and chewy. Once you've made these, I can promise you that they'll become a regular feature in your winter baking.

Brown Butter, previously: brown butter cherry bars // double chocolate flourless cake with vanilla cream // cookie dough cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Brown Butter Biscuit Base:

1. Butter
2. Caster Sugar
3. Salt
4. Vanilla Essence
5. Plain Flour

For the Pecan Pie Topping:

1. Butter
2. Soft Dark Brown Sugar
3. Maple Syrup
4. Double Cream
5. An Egg
6. Pecans

Bismillah, let's begin!

Get the oven on to 180C.

Grease and line an 8x8 inch square tin. Make sure you leave the baking paper overhanging - this will make it much easier to pull your baked bars out.

First, let's make a brown butter biscuit base. For which we'll need to brown our butter.

Into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place 115g Butter, cubed.

Place over a low heat and let the butter completely melt.

Then, turn the heat up.

Stir and cook the butter until it's foamy, brown and has gone quiet.

The butter will be quite noisy when it's browning.

But once it has quietened down and the top is really foamy like this, it's done.

Remove from the heat.

And, pour into a mixing bowl.

Make sure to scrape out all the brown bits from the pan - that's where all the flavour is.

Let the butter cool for 5 minutes.

Then, take:
50g Caster Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Add to the butter.

And, beat everything in.

Finally, throw in 125g Plain Flour. If you are gluten-free, add in 200g Gluten-Free Plain Flour.

Grab a spatula and stir things up until ...

... you have a soft dough.

Pop the dough into the prepared tin.

Press it in evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes at 180C.

Once the edges are golden, it's done. Set aside until needed.

Next, let's make the pecan pie topping.

I like to prep my pecans first so that they're ready when needed. Take 150g Pecans and give them a rough chop.

I like to pop mine in a plastic food bag and bash!

Until they're roughly broken up! Set aside until needed.

Next, we'll make our caramel. Place 60g Cubed Butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Along with 50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar.

Next, maple syrup. My favourite! 

Pour in 60ml Maple Syrup.

And finally, 15ml Double Cream.

Place the pan over a low heat.

And, let everything melt together gently.

Meanwhile, crack 1 large Egg in a bowl.

And, give it a beat so that it's ready when needed.

Once everything has melted, turn the heat up.

Let the sauce bubble together for a minute or two.

Then, remove from the heat.

Carefully pour some of the caramel in a 1/4 cup measure.

We're going to use this to temper our beaten egg.

Slowly pour the caramel into the egg, whisking as you go.

If we had poured the beaten egg straight into the hot pot of caramel, it would scramble straight way. Here, we heat up the egg with a little caramel before whisking it into the pan.

Once everything is combined ....

.... pour the egg mixture into the rest of the caramel.

Whisk in the egg until combined.

If you see that any little bits of egg have scrambled, just remove from the caramel.

Then, throw in the chopped pecans.

Stir up.

Pour everything onto the biscuit base.

And, spread out evenly.

It will be a little liquid but will set when baked. 

Bake for 28 minutes until the top has set.

Allow to cool completely before pulling out of the tin.

Once cold, pull out of the tin.

And, slice. I sliced mine into 16 squares.

I love these bars because the combination of the brown butter biscuit and the nutty topping is the best. Once tasted, never forgotten.

Full Written Recipe:

Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes.
Bake Time: About 45 minutes.
Serves: Cuts into 16 squares.


For the Brown Butter Biscuit Base
115g Butter, cubed
50g Caster Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
125g Plain Flour (Gluten-free? Use 200g gluten-free plain flour)

For the Pecan Pie Topping
60g Butter, cubed
50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
60ml Maple Syrup
15ml Double Cream
1 large Egg, at room temperature and beaten
150g Pecans, roughly chopped

Prep the tin and get the oven on:
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 8x8 inch square tin. Make sure the paper is overhanging on the side - this will make it easier to get the bars out of the tin once baked.

Make the brown butter shortbread:
Place the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Use a saucepan that's lighter in colour. Melt the butter over the lowest heat then turn the heat up. Stir and cook the butter until it's foamy, brown and has gone quiet. This will take around 8-10 minutes. Pour it straight into a mixing bowl and be sure to scrape out the brown bits from the pan. Let it cool for 5 minutes.

Beat in the sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir in the flour before evenly pressing the dough into the prepared tin. Bake for 15 minutes at 180C until the edges are golden. Set aside until needed.

Make the pecan pie topping:
Into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and double cream. Melt everything together over a low heat then turn the heat up. Cook for a minute until everything is bubbling and the sugar has dissolved.

Carefully pour a little of the caramel into a 1/4 cup measure. Slowly, beat into the beaten egg until well combined. Then, slowly beat the caramel egg mixture into the remaining caramel. If any bits of the egg scramble, remove them from the caramel. Stir the chopped pecans into the caramel.

Assemble and bake the pecan pie bars:
Pour the pecan mixture onto the baked base. Spread until even - it will be on the liquid side but will set when baked. If you love all things sweet and salty, sprinkle over a little flaky sea salt. Bake for 28 minutes or until the top is set. Cool completely.

To serve:
Once cold, pull out of the tin. Slice into squares and enjoy!

{adapted from sally}

This Time One Year Ago:
lamb potato curry.

This Time Two Years Ago:
roast chicken with olives and grapes.

This Time Three Years Ago:

This Time Four Years Ago:
Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your pecan bars!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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