Maple Pecan Pie Squares

This makes a fantastic dessert to share in potlucks and gatherings.

Ingredients
For the crust
1 cup unsalted butter, to room temperature (2 sticks)
2/3 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup flour
1/4 tea spoon salt

For the filling
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 table spoon milk (or cream)
2 cups halved pecans

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Use a paper towel to spread on any missed spots and remove the excess.
foil

2. In a mixer or food processor, cream together the sugar and butter.
crust1

3. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed.
crust2

4. You want to have pea-sized chunks of butter. crust3

5. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
crust4

6. While the crust is baking, combine the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and milk into a sauce pot. Allow to simmer for 1 minute.
filling1

7. Stir in the pecans.
filling2

8. Remove the crust from the oven. it should barely be starting to get golden.
crust-cooked

9. Pour the hot filling unto the hot crust and spread the pecan as evenly as possible. Return to the oven for 12-18 minutes. It’s best not to overcook, the filling will thicken and set as it cools.
pour

10. Allow to cool fully.
cook

11. remove from the dish using the aluminum foil sling. Discard the foil.
remove

12. Cut into small squares and eat.
cut

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Pecan Buttercrunch

Almost painfully sweet but so good; eat in small doses. Recipe originally from the Culinary Institute of America book, it’s a good book, go look it up! The list of ingredients is quite short, so I tend to grab the best I can. The chocolate I use is 70% dark chocolate from St-Domingue. It is fantastic.

The first time we made this recipe with a regular candy thermometer, but the digital one makes everything a lot easier. So get your hands on either kind and on a good kitchen scale.

Ingredients :
450g unsalted butter
450g white sugar
1 tea spoon salt + some for the pecans
90g water
15g vanilla extract
680g dark chocolate
450g pecans
ingredients

***

1. Weight all the ingredients. I am not kidding. You want everything measured and ready, because you won’t want to mess with the vanilla extract while handling boiling sugar, for example.
weight

2. Put the oven to broil and pour the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer. Put in the oven to toast.
raw-pecans

3. Securely attach the thermometer to a thick bottom pot, making sure the rod doesn’t touch the side nor the bottom.
pot-prep

4. Take the pecans out of the oven, sprinkle with a little sea salt then set aside to cool.
toasted-pecans

5. Over low heat, melt the butter.
melt-butter

6. Add the sugar, water and the tea spoon of salt.
add-sugar

7. Stir well. Bring the heat to medium and stir the mixture constantly until it reaches 295F. It will bubble up, lighten and start to become more solid and stretchy as you go.
heat

8. Once at 295F remove from the heat. Carefully add the vanilla extract (it will splutter and bubble), mix well and immediately pour unto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
pour

9. While the sugar is cooling down, wash the pot and thermometer then set up a double boiler for the chocolate. Give the cooled pecans a rough chop at this point.
choco

10. Melt and temper the chocolate.
melt

11. Pour half the chocolate over the toffee. Sprinkle with half the pecan. Allow to set then flip and repeat on the other side.
cover

12. Allow to cool completely (overnight if you can, but at least several hours). With a sharp, sturdy knife cut and shatter into pieces.
shards

Baby spinach salad with berberé chicken

I like this salad. It’s flexible enough to become a /everything left in the fridge” kind of meal. You can add celery. I’ve swapped the apples for some blackberries in the past. The fruit gives it an touch of sweetness to balance the spice on the chicken.

Ingredients
Baby spinach (about 3 good handful)
4 carrots, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 fuji apples, sliced
1 1/2 lemon,juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 small pack of pecans
3 teaspoon of berberé spices
2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
olive oil
1/2 tea spoon of dijon mustard
salt and pepper

ingredients

***

1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon and orange juice, the dijon mustard and a good dollop of olive oil. Mix well and add salt and pepper.
vinaigrette

2. Rinse the baby spinach. Put in a large bowl with the carrots and bell pepper.

3. Put the pecans in an oven safe dish and put in the oven at broil for a few minutes. Remove when fragrant and allow to cool.
pecans

4. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet (add a bit of butter if you want). Add the  chicken and the berberé spices. Mix well to ensure all the chicken is covered.
spiced-chicken

5. While the chicken is cooking roughly chop the pecans and add to the bowl with the spinach. Slice the apples and add the to bowl as well. Mix together.

6. Put the salad in shallow bowl and spoon some of the vinaigrette over. Add a few strips of spicy chicken.
plate