Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Inspiration - Bourbon Pecan Squares with Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce

i made a bourbon pecan pie a while back for an anniversary dinner party. it was such a big hit, i decided to try making bourbon pecan squares it as part of my thanksgiving inspiration series. since pumpkin pie isn't my favorite, i think pecan pie is a good substitute and these pecan squares may even be a bit better. these squares are chewier and more toffee-like than it's pie cousin. it's best just to pick it up and bite into it rather than try to eat it with a fork. go ahead, use your hands:)

after watching the pioneer woman throw down with bobby flay i had inspiration to make a cream sauce to drizzle over the squares. i followed her recipe on the food network site here but didn't have corn syrup (and don't like to use it anyway) so i used brown rice syrup. i also used bourbon instead of whiskey.

this recipe will not disappoint and it may just add one more this to your "thankful for" list.

Bourbon Pecan Squares
adapted from epicurious
makes 9 large, 14 medium, or 16 small squares

3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 small egg, lightly beaten

preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

combine butter, sugar, and salt in food processor. pulse until moist clumps begin to form. add flour and egg and pulse until dough forms. press dough into bottom of 8x8-inch baking pan. bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown. remove from oven.

5 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp bourbon
1 tbs cream
2 cups chopped pecans

melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. add sugar, syrup, vanilla, bourbon, and cream and stir until sugar has dissolved. remove from heat and stir in pecans. pour over baked crust and bake for 20-25 minutes. mixture will be bubbly all over. remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

drizzle with bourbon maple cream sauce before serving.

Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce
adapted from the pioneer woman

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
6 tbs real maple syrup
2 tbs brown rice syrup
1 tbs bourbon

combine cream, maple syrup, and honey in saucepan. whisk constantly over medium-low heat until contents come to a boil. keep whisking and allow to boil for 10-15 minutes until thickened and reduced by 1/3. remove from heat and whisk in bourbon. let cool completely. refrigerate until mixture is cold and thick. drizzle over pecan bars, pecan pie, bread pudding, chocolate brownies, anything, and everything!

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