I was recently reading through an old recipe book that I brought back from Canada last year, 150 Delicious Squares. This book is by Jean Paré and dates back to the early 1980s. I read through the book and quite liked the look of several recipes. I also noted that almost half the recipes included chopped walnuts and/or almonds. I don’t mind either of those but I decided to vary one of the recipes, for Caramel Slices by using chopped pecans instead.
I also converted the ingredient to metric measurements (reducing the amount of soft brown sugar too), for my own comfort, since I am used to baking that way.
The recipe is simple, with just a base that is left to cool and then topped with a caramel frosting. The base, as well as having the chopped pecans, has coconut, brown sugar, egg and butter. So I just knew it was going to be very tasty.
Having baked the base it is left to cool completely before making the frosting and spreading over the base. Then it is just a case of cutting into squares.
Mine turned out very well indeed, with a nice firm base that is chewy inside. The aroma from the oven while the base was baking really whetted the appetite for what was to come. They taste great, extremely moreish.
I baked the base in my new mini oven, or toaster oven, since it is a convection oven and it comes to temperature much quicker than my main oven. Also since the mini oven is so small it actually needs less electricity to keep it heated to temperature whilst baking. Mini ovens. or toaster ovens, are not really common in the UK, but are becoming more available. They are ideal for cooking small dishes, so just perfect for this recipe.
Caramel Slice – Squares
Caramel Slice – Squares – Video
For the base:
- 56g unsalted butter
- 190g soft brown sugar
- 1 medium egg (large in USA), beaten
- 70g chopped pecans(you could use walnuts)
- 95g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 75g dessicated coconut
For the frosting:
- 56g unsalted butter
- 110g soft brown sugar
- 30ml milk(2 tbsps)
- 125g icing sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F and line a 9×9 inch baking tin with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter for the base and pour into a bowl.
- Add the soft brown sugar and mix to combine.
- Add the egg and mix again, until fully combined.
- In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, pecans and coconut.
- Add that mixture to the butter mixture and stir until fully combined.
- Scrape the mixture into the baking tin and spread evenly across the base.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the mixture is cooked and has slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- To make the frosting place the butter, brown sugar and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (you can speed up the cooling by pouring the mixture into a cool bowl, or dipping the pan into cold water).
- When the mixture has cooled add the icing sugar and stir into to make a nice frosting that is spreadable. (add a little more milk if too stiff, or more icing sugar if too loose).
- Spread the frosting over the base and allow to set before cutting into squares.
- Note: you can get 36 1 inch squares, though I prefer larger ones, you can cut them to whatever size you wish.