Chocolate-Caramel-Pecans : Compromise in a Square

Saturday, March 31, 2007



Turns out that we are not very much in sync these days with what we want for dessert. I thought B. would be happy to have more fruits and light mousses to eat after dinner since Spring is here and the weather is very clement but it seems that I was wrong given the response I had this afternoon with my lemon dessert...
"Is there any chocolate in the house, I think I saw some caramel sauce in the fridge, what could you make with that?"...Arrrghhhh! I could have told him to whip something up himself but for one thing he can't cook and for another, the kitchen is my territory. A few looks around and a few clicks on the computer later, I had these Chocolate - Caramel and Pecan Squares chilling in the fridge.

There's nothing grand to them, just simple home baking, but making bars or squares is still relatively new to me. This is not the kind of treats we make in France and I am still quite intrigued by the multitude of recipes for all kinds of bar and squares, from fruity to nutty, cakey to crumbly. The novelty has not worn of yet and I really appreciate this kind of down home baking that I first encountered visiting family in Canada and then after settling in the States. I must have 50 recipes bookmarked here and there already and the list grew just trying to find a recipe for these! I used salted butter caramel sauce I had leftover from a cheesecake, but the following recipe gives you the instructions to make your own.

Chocolate, Caramel and Pecan Squares, adapted from several recipes at allrecipes:

Crust:

1 cup Graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tb. sugar
1/2 cup ground toasted pecans

Caramel Chocolate Layer:

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tb. heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl combine the crackers crumbs, butter, nuts and sugar. Mix well and pat in a 8x8 baking pan, lined with aluminium foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
While the crust is baking. Prepare the chocolate-caramel filling: in a heavy saucepan combine the butter and brown sugar and cook on medium heat until bubbly. Add the cream and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and measure 1/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the chocolate to the remaining caramel and stir until melted. Pour it over the crust, bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes and drizzle the reserved caramel and sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Chill until set (easier to cut that way too).

I truly wish I could have these breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are the right combination of crunch and smooth. I did not put a certain number of serving for the simple reason that in my house it serves 2....especially on the weekend....On a more serious note, you are in charge of the size of the squares....I will not be held responsible for expanding waistlines!!

15 comments:

eliza said...

helen, i've made similar bars like this at christmas, i don't think if we didn't restrain ourselves, they'd be gone in a day! these type of bars are the best snacks!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Amazing...you could really convince me that you have a magic wand.

Ellie said...

*groans* Oh Helen, you drive me crazy with this constant flow of deliciousness! How am I supposed to cope? I am meant to be writing an essay, and yet now all I want to do is go into the kitchen and make something that will probably not taste even as half as good as these! *sobs*

Meeta said...

magic! thank god you make these far away from me and I get a glimpse of these virtually. if you were anywhere near me i would probably be 10 kilos heavier LOL!
Hugs!

Lis said...

Holy cow.. I CAN MAKE THESE!! WOOOOOO!!! hehehee

And I shall, my friend.. I shall :D

I'm so glad Bill wants chocolate! Har!

Brilynn said...

I think dessert wants are off in my house lately too... It seems like nobody wants the same thing.

Barbara said...

Hi Helen Congratulations on winning HHDD. Can you email me so we can discuss next event. Thanks.

Claire said...

The top of these makes me think of my mom's Nueces toffee that she makes at Christmas...except with a shortbread crust insetad of toffee. MMmmmmm.

Ivonne said...

My mouth is watering!

Cheryl said...

I love how you just go in a kitchen whip something like this together. That is the sign of a real good baker.

These are incredible looking. Another success!

Kristen said...

I must stop looking at your photos. Oh my!

fanny said...

Hi Helene, I want one of those squares *rigth now*.
They look sooooooo yummy.
And with such gorgeous pictures how is it possible to resist?

Love
- fanny

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