I recently made some lovely pecan squares that tasted so good. So I wanted to try a little improvement, with the addition of some chocolate. Hence these Millionaire’s Pecan Squares, or Bars.
Because I was adding the richness of the chocolate to the recipe I decided to increase the thickness of the shortbread layer too, to balance the flavours better.
The recipe is actually quite simple and makes 16 2 inch squares, though you can cut them as small or as large as you wish, obviously.
They are made up of a layer of shortbread, covered with a layer of caramel and pecans and then with a layer of chocolate on top. I only wanted a thin layer of chocolate, just enough to give an extra flavour but without dominating the other ingredients, so I used just 250 grams of chocolate. Those who want a thicker layer can simply add more melted chocolate on the top. Equally the choice of chocolate between dark, milk and white is a matter or preference. For mine I decided upon semi sweet(51 %) dark chocolate. Of course you could even mix dark, milk and white together if you so desired.
These square don’t take long to make but you do have to leave enough time for them to cool completely before removing from the cake tin, so that the pecan layer is firm enough to remove everything from the cake tin and to keep it intact. The chocolate layer needs to firm up but not entirely hardened before cutting. If the chocolate is completely set and hard it may crack when cutting.
For the base:
- 190g(2 cups) plain flour
- 63g(5 tbsp) caster sugar
- 95g(scant 7 tbsp) butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- 225g( about 2 cups) pecans(halves are best)
- 80g(3/8 cup) soft light brown sugar
- 60ml(1/4 cup) golden syrup
- 50g(3 1/2 tbsp) butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 250g(1 1/2 cups) dark chocolate chips(or whichever chocolate you prefer)
- Grease an 8 inch/20 cm square cake tin and line with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- In a medium bowl place and flour, salt and sugar and mix to combine.
- Add the melted butter and mix until you have a clumply texture.
- Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and spread over the base, evenly and then press down to compact until you have an even layer.
- Melt the butter.
- Add the brown sugar, golden syrup, salt and vanilla extract into a large bowl.
- Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the pecans and stir until they are all coated in the caramel mixture.
- Pour the mixture onto the shortbread base and spread them out so they cover the entire surface.
- Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, by which time the caramel should be bubbling around the pecans.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin(this will take at least an hour).
- Melt the chocolate in a bain marie, or in a microwave oven(in short bursts).
- Pour the chocolate over the pecan layer and shake to spread across the entire top surface.
- Allow the chocolate to cool and set, but not completely hard. ( you can do this by placing in the fridge for about 30 minutes)
- Cut into 16 squares to serve.
If you want a thicker layer of chocolate on top you simply have to increase the amount of melted chocolate in the recipe.