Only one word for these...WOW! They were gobbled down at a charity bake sale (hence why no pictures of the cut bars) in aid of the ACF Action Against Hunger East Africa Appeal. In fact they were that WOW that 3 people have already asked me for the recipe.
Unfortunately I can't claim the recipe as my own though. It actually came from an amazing book I was sent to review last week (very timely!) by Octopus Publishing called Cox Cookies and Cake.
If you are not a London dweller you may not be aware of Patrick Cox and Eric Lanlard (although Eric in particular has been on many a TV show). They own a shop of the same name in Soho where they sell gorgeous cupcakes, cookies and bars (such as this) to celebrities such as Elton John and David Furnish (who provide the foreword to the book) and stars such a Liz Hurley who has hailed their creations 'the coolest cakes on earth'. They also sell to ordinary folk like you and I so don't let their famous clients worry you! If, like me though you live far far away from 'the mainland' as one of my Uni friends used to say, then this book allows you to create and bake their recipes from the comfort of your own home.
On first glance through the book I have to say my first reaction was 'there is no way mine will look as good as that'...probably not! But, in fact the 75 recipes contained in the book are extremely easy to follow and left me drooling - Irish Cream and Chocolate Cupcakes, Pistachio and Praline Cupcakes, Key Lime Cupcake's, Stem Ginger Cupcakes, Raspberry Sponge Fingers...and these Maple Pecan Bars are just a taster of the kind of delights you will find.
These bars are sweet but so moreish and probably more of an adult treat than child's. They suggest serving them with a big dollop of creme fraiche, which would cut their sweetness perfectly...but I just enjoyed them as they are.
STICKY MAPLE PECAN BARS
| Serves: 12 bars | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes |
- For the Filling:
- 175g Pecan Nuts, chopped
- 100ml Pure Maple Syrup
- 200g Soft Brown Sugar
- 2 TBSP Whipping Cream
- 150g Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract
- For shortcrust base:
- 100g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 75 Golden Caster Sugar
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 175g Plain Flour
- Step 1: Preheat oven to 200c/180 fan and butter a 23cm x 23cm baking tin.
- Step 2:Toast the pecan nuts in the oven for 5 minutes and set aside to cool.
- Step 3: To make base - in a free standing mixer (or by hand) beat together butter, sugar and egg yolk until blended. Add flour and mix until soft dough formed. Press dough into tin and bake for 18 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.
- Step 4: To make filling - in a saucepan combine all ingredients except nuts and vanilla extract. Bring to the boil, stirring until butter melts. Boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat and stir in nuts and extract. Pour filling over base and bake for 15 minutes.
- Step 5: Allow to cool completely then chill for 1 hour before cutting into bars.