Maple Pecan Chocolate Squares

Yield: about 16 squares
Recipe: 47/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 60

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     I had pecans. I had chocolate. The only logical thing to do was to make the delicious-looking maple pecan chocolate squares seen in Anna’s cookbook. They looked rich and buttery, and they were exactly that! Uncomplicated to make, rich, chocolatey, buttery and crunchy (due to the pecans, of course!), these bars make the perfect dessert when in need of a little boost of energy. The addition of  maple syrup provides the much desired sweetness and distinct flavour. 

Ingredients for base:

  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup *
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, making sure that the paper comes up the sides.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, icing sugar and salt until well combined.
  3. Cut in the butter using your fingers or a food processor until the mixture is an even and crumbly texture. Press this mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are golden. Cool the crust while preparing the filling.
  4. For the filing, stir together with a hand or stand mixer the cornstarch, baking powder and cinnamon.
  5. Whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, butter, vanilla extract and vinegar or lemon juice until the mixture is homogenous.
  6. Stir in the pecan halves and the chocolate chips and mix well.
  7. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust and bake for about 25 minutes, until the outside edges of the filling are bubbling and the centre still has some movement when the pan is moved. Cool to room temperature, then chill completely for a couple of hours before slicing.

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Note:

* I used plain maple syrup as opposed to pure maple syrup and the squares where still delicious. Probably less rich and sweet than if I had used pure maple syrup, though!

Valerie

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