~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pecan Blondies( with maple syrup sauce)...#6 in a series of desserts.

Pecan Blondies(with maple syrup sauce)... I love brownies. I like them chewy and chocolate-y, with or without nuts, and with all sorts of flavors...mint, orange, raspberry, etc. But somehow, I tend to forget about its cousin the blondie. The blondies are equally delicious... they can be chewy, nutty, and have all sorts of flavors. While the blondies don't have a chocolate flavor(especially if you don't use any chocolate chips), they do make up for the chocolate flavor in that they have a delightful caramel-y taste. If you really want some chocolate flavor, the blondies can adapt....simply by adding some chocolate chips/chunks to the batter:).
I've been holding on to an older Taste of Home magazine that I've had for some time... the issue featured all sorts of brownies. But it was the grand prize winner that caught my attention... a pecan blondie a la mode with a maple syrup sauce. It looked so good that I had wanted to try it... but eventually other recipes had priority, and the magazine sort of got forgotten. But since I had the perfect opportunity to make them for the youth retreat, I dusted the magazine and finally got the chance to make the blondies. And they were so delicious! Nutty. Caramel-y. A cookie... in bar form... and simple to whip up.
I can easily see how it won the grand prize. So here is #6 in a series of desserts. Hope you enjoy...

Note: I skipped the sauce and ice cream... but posted the maple syrup sauce below, for those of you who would like to try the a la mode version. And you don't have to add chocolate chips... that was simply my addition. Oh, and I divided the pecans so that I could sprinkle some on top... but you can simply add all the pecans to the batter, if you wish.

Tip: The brownies can be chewy or cake-y depending on how long they are baked. So check the blondie at the 22-25 minute mark( or so) for a chewy blondie and 30 minutes for a cake-like brownie...

You will need: adapted from Taste of Home

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract*
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
* I usually add a bit more... love vanilla

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt
4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter. Stir in 1 cup pecans.
5. Spread the thick batter unto a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. You may need to use the back of a spoon to level the batter out. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup pecans and chocolate chips(if using)...over the entire batter.
6. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Do check it at the 25 minute mark for a chewy blondie... a few more minutes in the oven will make the blondies more cake-like. Cool on a wire rack.

In case you would like to make an a la mode brownie, here is the recipe for the sauce.

MAPLE CREAM SAUCE: I skipped this
1 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
Vanilla ice cream and chopped pecans

1. Combine syrup and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in milk. Cut brownies into squares.
2. Place brownie square on dessert plates and top with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle some of the sauce; sprinkle with pecans.

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