Nutty gifts…

I’m sure there was some point in your life when you got THAT gift. Not the gift that made you swoon, the one that made you scratch your head. And if you were still young, the one that made you live in fear because you know your mom was going to make you wear it out at least once while that relative was visiting. Now I have had a few of these, but we shall focus on my grandmother’s gift to me one year. Glow in the dark earmuffs.
Excellent.
I am 16 years old and I live in Phoenix Arizona where earmuffs are used all the time. :P And if I wasn’t going to look like an idiot enough, they glow in the dark that way if anyone missed me looking like a moron in broad daylight, they still got the chance to make fun of me at night.
Some years though you get gifts that make you say YAY.  This year I got a pre-Christmas gift from my Mother-In-Law to use in my holiday baking.
10 pounds of gorgeous Georgia pecans. That’s right, 10 pounds.
Pecans being my favorite of the baking nuts I quickly pulled out recipes that I had but never make because I don’t want to go out and buy all those nuts(so stinking expensive sometimes). So when I got them the first thing I wanted to make was Honey-Pecan Squares. Rich buttery base, similar to a shortbread. And a candylike topping studded with pecans. With 4 sticks of butter they are far from diet. So if you are one of the millions of people who will be giving up food that tastes good for the first 2 ½ months of the year you better make these quick or wait until March when you fall of the diet bandwagon. :)

Honey-Pecan Squares

For the Base:

8 ounces unsalted butter(2 sticks), at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour

1.Cream together the butter and sugar, about 3 minutes. Add egg and beat for 1 minutes. Scrape down the sides. And beat an additional 30 seconds. Add the salt and flour and mix at medium-low speed until combined and dough holds together.
2.Grease two 8-x-8-inch pans. Divide dough evenly among both pans. Press dough into the pan, making sure there are no cracks(the filling will leak through otherwise). Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
3.Preheat oven to 350f.
4.After 20 minutes, remove pan from freezer and blind bake it for 15 minutes.  Set aside and prepare filling.

For the Filling:

8 ounces unsalted butter(2 sticks)
½ cup honey(I used clover)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
5 cups pecans, chopped or whole

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter.
2. Add the honey, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Bring this to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and stir in cream and then fold in pecans.
4.Divide filling among both pans, simply pouring the filling onto the pastry base.
5.Bake for approximately 25 minutes(still at 350F)
6.Cool bars completely and then cut into squares. How many squares you get depends on how large you cut them. Keep in mind they are rich.

Comments

  1. You received 10 pounds of pecans?Your mother-in-law really loves ypu! This is a perfect gift for a baker/cook ……These pecans are gorgeous! This is a great shot,again! You do take such beautiful pictures…..cheers to you!

  2. So I take it we can expect numerous pecan treats in the next week and maybe even two. I’d best rush up to Seattle and help you out with these quick! They look oh so good!!

  3. Ten pounds of pecans is a fabulous gift — you have a wonderful mother-in-law! Looking forward to seeing more pecan recipes from you in the next couple of weeks. Happy holidays.

  4. They sound a georgeous sweet nutty treat. I love pecans too, ten pounds was very generpus, you are lucky.

  5. Very nice combination! I love pecans and honey… thank you for sharing the recipe.
    Margot

  6. So funny! My SIL made these for Christmas. I definitely ate about 7. Yours are so gorgeous though! Making me crave them again. :)

  7. Wow those look GOOD.

  8. Wow, 10 pounds! Even after living with my family for all these years, I doubt I’ve ever seen so many nuts in one place! ;)

    The bars look great though, so I have no doubts that you’ll put all of those pecans to good use.

  9. Sigh, I remember the year my great aunt bought me a black vinyl coin purse that was covered in pink puffy paint, rinestonees and gold holograms… I was 15. Yeah. But 10lbs of pecans??? What an awesome gift!!

  10. That’s a great gift from a lovely mother-in-law. Hope you had a great Christmas Peabody!

    I remember a few cringe inducing presents. Notably the old (I’m talking great grandma old) ladies handbag my husband bought for me a few years ago!!! Apparently my face said it all…

  11. Those look amazing. I LOOOOVE pecans. I can’t wait to see how you use the rest of your ten pound stash.

  12. What a great Christmas present! These look delicious!

  13. And I was just about to send you another 10 from my garden…kidding!! But if you run out, let me know!
    I love nutty gifts like that and the bars look delicious! It’s funny, I got a huge bag of pistachios frommy mother in law!!

  14. Earmuffs in Phoenix? Ha ha! Reminds me of some of my Gramma’s gifts. 10 lbs. of pecans is a much better gift! Your bars look so tasty. When I climb out of my sugar coma I’ll have to make these.

  15. I can’t wait to try these–they look like they have the perfect pecan to gooey sugar ratio. Yum.

  16. I’m drooling…I want to make these for gifts but save a good many for myself!

  17. These bars look divine! Now….should you like to get some of those pecans off your hands….You know where I am! :)

  18. These look so amazing! Bookmarked!

  19. glow-in-the-dark earmuffs??? how bizarre, haha – but at least your mother-in-law gave you a useful, great gift!!

    the honey-pecan squares photograph quite nicely!! I LOVE pecans :0)

  20. these look so beautiful… pity that i don’t like nuts… more for you i guess ;)

  21. Ten pounds of pecans!? I would love that kind of gift!!

  22. Oh you lucky woman…all those gorgeous pecans! And you did right by them, too. Yummy bars.

  23. What an amazing gift!! So useful too :)

    These look delicious!

  24. Sweet holy pecan – that’s a LOT of nuts! Now why can’t I get a nice functional gift like that? Not that I’m complaining about all the new cookbooks, mind you…

  25. these look sooo good, but may I ask why the (2) 8×8 pans? Won’t the recipe work in (1) 9X13?

  26. Yum! These look delicious. Plus, since it has nuts and nuts are good for us, then this is a healthy treat, right? Hey, whatever we have to do to get through the winter months. :) I’ll have to make these sometime.

  27. Oh wow these sound delicious. Currently I am studying in the culinary field to be a chef and I think I shall practice on this delightful little recipe right here. First I will try it out at home and then let my professor check it out. Thanks!

  28. first – peabody – your recipes and photos look simply delectable. i randomly stumbled upon website and am forever grateful i did.
    second – just made these. may i recommend letting the base blind bake perhaps a few minutes longer. and add a little salt to the pecan mixture. salty sweet – gets me everytime!

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