PECAN PIE BROWNIES

Don't Lose This Recipe

It’s Christmas time. I have visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. And by sugar plums, I usually mean these Pecan Pie Brownies.

During testing, I tried three different methods to adhere the pecan filling to the brownies’ top. The best by far is to pre-cook the filling quickly (3-5 minutes) on the stove to speed up the thickening. It is effortless but requires a strainer. Please don’t let this stop you – I hate sifting things, but this is pretty painless, and it’s a damn shame to slice your brownies only to find bits of scrambled egg or a thin layer of pecan goose skin underneath.

Once you finish the 15 seconds of sifting, you can stir in toasted pecans and pour over some soft set brownies and bake until… divine. Yes, that’s the only word for them. Chewy, fudgy, nutty, and sticky-sweet yet without having to be cloying; let’s say these are hard to resist. I took a box on my family vacation to DC, and we chose them over a chic dessert at the restaurant for all but one night. That’s really saying something – we love fancy restaurant dessert.

As if these needed more support, Pecan Pie Brownies are also gluten-free. No unusual flours or gums here – this recipe doesn’t call for any gluten-containing ingredients. Includes vacation treats for the win!

Pecan Pie Brownies are great as part of a cookie jar or holiday party or to enjoy during a cozy Christmas movie night at home. I’m sure they would work great for Santa too! As a childless adult, I will say that they are just right when eaten in PJs as they watch The Crown and count down the days until they go home for the vacations. You know, in case you were wondering.

PECAN PIE BROWNIES

Servings 20 Brownies

Ingredients
 

Brownies:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pecan Pie Filling:

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with butter. Line with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal. Set aside.
  • Sprinkle pecans on a dry sheet pan. Roast for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside.
  • Make the brownie batter. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt and use a fork to combine. Set aside.
  • Fill a small saucepan with 1 to 2 inches of water. Place a heatproof bowl over the top, making sure the water does not touch the bowl's bottom. Remove the bowl and bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the butter and chocolate to a heatproof bowl. When the water is boiling, turn the heat to low and place the heatproof bowl over it. Use silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix frequently until melted and smooth. Add sugar and whisk for 1 minute. Take off the heat. Stir in dry ingredients.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs and vanilla. Beat with a whisk or fork until slightly bubbly, about 1 minute. Stir into chocolate mixture until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the full pan on the countertop five times to release air bubbles. Bake for 15 minutes until the top has set.
  • Fill pecan pie. In a medium saucepan, whisk together maple syrup (or corn syrup), brown sugar, eggs, vinegar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Add butter. Whisk constantly over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges (about 3-5 minutes). The mixture will barely thicken.
  • Place a strainer over a heatproof bowl. Pour the filling mixture through to remove any bits of cooked egg. Fold in pecans.
  • Spoon pecan pie filling over partially baked brownies. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes or until center, barely jiggles when the pan is jostled.
  • Let brownies cool completely in pan on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to cut cleanly.
  • Use a parchment overhang to remove brownies from a cutting board. Cut into 16-25 pieces and serve.
  • Leftovers will keep an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator. These can also be covered with wax paper or parchment and frozen.
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Don't Lose This Recipe

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