Pecan Pie Brownies

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We had our annual Christmas party this weekend – the theme this year, as the past two, was polyester & cheese. As in, wear polyester (the cheesier, the better), and bring a chunk of cheese. It’s an idea we shamelessly stole from good friends who did it a few years ago. Polyester offers so many more options – and less itchy ones – than those tired tacky sweaters.

So. There was a lot of cheese. And crackers, bread, wild boar pate, and loads of Christmas cookies and squares. House parties are just the very best thing at Christmas, aren’t they? They remind me of being a kid and getting to stay up late with the neighbourhood kids while my parents were distracted, and of hiding under the dining room table-turned-buffet, reaching up to steal the occasional Hello Dolly. I’m still a little giddy that I’m the boss of me now and can eat as many Hello Dollies as I want.

I tried not to cook much, as my back is still a little choked at me – but I had to make Hello Dollies, and some spiced nuts, eccles cakes, rugelach, and a cheese ball. A cheese ball is a must at any Christmas house party, I say, and this year I made Lisa‘s (the Homesick Texan) bacon-jalapeño cheese ball, because I had the chance to meet (and even have dinner with!) her this year, and because it looked fantastic. And it had bacon.

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The recipe is on her site – the only thing I did was cut the jalapeño back to 1, and lazily mixed all the cooked bacon into the ball, rolling it exclusively in chopped toasted pecans. I also used far more grated cheddar, as I read “1 1/2 cups” rather than “1/2 cup”, and W was helping me and was enthusiastic about grating and adding even more to the bowl, but it’s a cheese ball – if it will hold together well enough to roll into a ball, you’re in good shape.

And then I made some pecan pie brownies, because after all that it seemed we were lacking in the chocolate department. They were Gwendolyn’s Pecan Pie Brownies, something she had found in an NBC Sunday Night Football Cookbook, of all places. I made a few changes – ditched the bourbon, not because I’m anti-bourbon, but because I don’t want it to interfere with my chocolate, caramel and pecans. Ditto the cinnamon. (Am I the only one that doesn’t appreciate the chocolate-cinnamon combo?) And I swapped Roger’s Golden syrup for the corn syrup, because I like the flavour far better. (Golden syrup is cane syrup, rather than corn syrup, but it has a similar texture, so I use them interchangeably.) You bake the brownies, then cool them, then pour the topping over top and bake them again. They will be uber moist and gooey and need some coaxing to get them out of the pan -which happily means a few mucked ones to sample as you cut. (Quality control is important.) If I had the freezer space I might have frozen it first – gooey bars always cut more cleanly when frozen.

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Pecan Pie Brownies

Brownies:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Pecan Pie Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Roger’s Golden or corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the cocoa over medium heat, stirring and removing from the heat as soon as the butter melts. Stir until smooth, then stir in the sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla until smooth, then add the flour and salt and stir just until combined.

Pour into an 8×8-inch baking dish that has been buttered or sprayed with nonstick spray; smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then let cool completely.

To make the topping, stir together the brown sugar, syrup, butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the pecans and pour over the base. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and set.

Let cool completely, then refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Makes 16-24 brownies.

And have you heard of our Random Acts of Cheese? We’ve had some fun this weekend, popping in on two people we’ve never met, showing up on their doorsteps with Mike in a Santa suit holding a box of cheese. Allyson and Michelle were the happy (and totally surprised) recipients this weekend, but we’ll continue to play Mr and Mrs Claus all week, spreading cheesy cheer all over the city. Have someone you’d like to acknowledge with a box of cheese? Say so here! (Or here, or on twitter (hashtag: #randomactsofcheese), or Facebook… we’re keeping tabs everywhere!

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December 18 2011 09:19 pm | cookies & squares and dessert

22 Responses to “Pecan Pie Brownies”

  1. H-woman on 18 Dec 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    My friend Laura really needs that box of cheese. She’s been having a tough time lately (physically, at home and at work), and let’s face it, cheese makes EVERYTHING better!

    =)

  2. Heather on 19 Dec 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Those brownies look heavenly! And I’m with you 100%, I do not like the cinnamon – chocolate combo. I like my chocolate straight-up with no distractions. I’ll definitely be trying these brownies soon!

  3. bellini on 19 Dec 2011 at 8:40 am #

    These would be far too hard to resist Julie!

  4. Vivian on 19 Dec 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Wine and cheese; a combo certainly served in Heaven and by all the gods in the Pantheon! In our realm, however, there are some benighted folks who seem hell-bent on pursuing JUST THE WINE, reds of all shapes and sizes! “Try some with cheese!”, I implore (if only to cut the copious consumption). Should “Kris and Julie Kringle”, bearing such a grand assortment of said cheese, slide up to the door of my pals Lonne and Ida, I’m sure they’d get the hint. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. (P.S. If you do choose them, please let them know that Auntie Vivi’s comments about the wine guzzling were all in fun! What’s a little ribbing where cheese is on offer?!)

  5. Linda on 19 Dec 2011 at 9:29 am #

    My Mom and Dad love cheese and this would be the best present ever for them. They have had a tough year; my dad broke his hip in January and my mom had her knee replaced in October. Needless to say their mobility has decreased. We are going to have Christmas at their house in Lethbridge. My mom is planning oyseter stew and curried carrot soup. Cheese would be the perfect accompaniment for this meal.

  6. sara on 19 Dec 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Those brownies look amazing! Yum – wow! :)

  7. Anonymous on 19 Dec 2011 at 11:29 am #

    OK, I love this party theme. That’s AWESOME.
    Have to say, I am with you on the chocolate-cinnamon combo – nothanks.

  8. mmac on 19 Dec 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I know a friend who would LOVE that box of cheese. Don’t want to reveal who because she reads here too and it should be a surprise, no? But I promise she and her family would be worthy and appreciative. And you and Mike would love meeting her/them.

    And Hello Dollies. I’d forgotten about them. Now I’m craving some. Badly.

  9. Shelley on 19 Dec 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    My boyfriend is the cheesiest (and sweetest) guy I know. I’m away for Christmas but would love to send him to his family Christmassing with that assortment. Who knows, it might even get me some points with them!
    :-)

  10. Erica B. on 19 Dec 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    Mike as Santa? hehehehe too cute! So glad the CIFB was on the receiving end of one of your random acts of cheese! Thank you!!! Best of luck with your cookie baking marathon (I’m about to start my own over here too) :)

  11. Betty on 19 Dec 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I know someone who could definitely use a pound or two of cheese. I would like to add my niece, Dr. Kyley as she has just come home for Christmas after volunteering as a Naturopathic Doctor on the island of Ometepe in Nicaragua since last January. She is 27 pounds lighter than when she left and I know she loves cheese so this would help put back a little of that much needed weight. (PS….I am trying to figure out how to send her back with my body for the last 3 months of her stint!!)

  12. Carol SB on 19 Dec 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    I loved Michelle’s story of Santa and the arrival of the Cheese (yesterday’s comments).
    Yay!
    And Julie… so, so glad to see your back has (mostly) forgiven you.
    I still think you oughta get yourself a serola (sacroiliac) belt. My physio talked me into one about 10 years ago… best thing ever. (mine’s almost worn out, but I still use it)
    Let’s hear more about the wonders and miracles of cheese! Hi, ho, the derry-o.

  13. Ashley on 19 Dec 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    That cheese ball looks delicious! And I’m with you on not combining cinnamon and chocolate.

  14. Merry120 on 19 Dec 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    These brownies are deeeee-lish! Dewey said that they were the best brownies he’d ever had.

  15. Sujata on 20 Dec 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Its like Turtles chocolate; love the pecan-carmel-chocolate combo. Heard you on CBC this AM; you are far too busy; take some time to heal your back. Merry Christmas.

  16. Cheryl on 20 Dec 2011 at 11:57 am #

    No, you are not the only one who doesn’t get the chocolate/cinnamon combo.
    Love your for these random acts!

  17. Emily on 21 Dec 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Oh my heavens. I LOVE pecan pie! These sound amazing!

  18. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen on 21 Dec 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Fudgey looking amazing thing you got there! a two-in-one pecan pie brownie! :)

  19. Sandy on 21 Dec 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Julie – Congratulations on being awarded a Gourmand World Cookbook Award for the best single subject book for English books in Canada!!! Well done!!

  20. Becky {Becky Bakes} on 22 Dec 2011 at 11:51 am #

    As if I needed to add anything else to my bake list! But there is no way I am passing up these!

  21. pecan pie brownies | Chocolate Moments on 28 Dec 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    […] dad loves pecan pie so for Christmas I made him some pecan pie brownies from a recipe I found here.  He loved them and said they were addicting (you have now been warned) but […]

  22. Dana on 07 Oct 2012 at 8:56 am #

    I made this for thanksgiving dessert and they were amazing!

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