The birthday countdown continues…….
Am I ready? Yes ……….. and no. Ready to celebrate with my family, of course, but not ready to turn another year older. I know, I know, I don’t have a choice, the years will keep a comin’ whether I want to them to or not.
However, let it go on record that I am protesting :)
Anyhoo, I am writing this betwixt and between making dinner and packing, we are leaving for VEGAS tomorrow morning to overtake my parents’ home for a wonderful long weekend filled with family, laughter, and of course, copious amounts of food and wine.
Did I mention that I am going to make this cake for my birthday?
Pecan Squares – adapted from Ina Garten
1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pound unsalted butter
1 cup good honey
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
For the topping, combine the butter, honey and brown sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.