From the Chronicle Kitchen
Blue Ribbon USA: Pecan Fudge Caramel Squares
For these sinfully delicious candies, Diana Doughty of Merritt Island won First Place and Best in Section awards at The Space Coast Fair in Cocoa. Beware: they are truly addictive! Cut into small pieces and share them with coworkers or neighbors. Covering seventy acres and offering more than two hundred rides, games, and shows, the ten-day fair presents a wide range of 4-H and farm exhibitions, cooking and crafts competitions, a rooster-crowing contest, bull riding, a monster truck show and race, demolition daredevils, and beer garden bands.
3 cups (12 ounces) pecan pieces, finely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
One 14-ounce bag caramels
2/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350ºF. Combine 2 cups of the pecans with the granulated sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Mix with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 7-by-10 1/2-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes to toast the pecans and set the crust. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Combine the caramels and 1/3 cup of the cream in a small bowl and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and microwave for another 1 1/2 minutes, and stir again until smooth. Pour the caramel mixture over the crust in the pan and tilt the pan slightly if necessary to form a smooth layer. Scatter on the remaining 1 cup pecans.
Combine the chocolate, the remaining 1/3 cup cream, the confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour evenly over the nut layer in the pan. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set. Cut into 1-inch squares. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
Makes about 42 pieces
Purchase Blue Ribbon USA
Check back each Wednesday for more new recipes!
Pasta by HandMarch 27th, 2015
Lollipop Love!March 12th, 2015
Ciao, Biscotti!March 9th, 2015
Delicious Dumplings for Chinese New YearFebruary 19th, 2015