Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bourbon-Pecan Turtle Brownies

This brownie is a creation that is evolving.

A few weeks ago, I was baking with my friend Andy, and I made a batch of Bourbon-Pecan Brownies, a recipe from Quick Chocolate Fixes by Leslie Weiner and Barbara Albright. Andy suggested dressing up the brownies a little. To be honest, while they taste really good, they are somewhat plain-looking, almost homely. So I glazed them with a bittersweet-chocolate ganache and sprinkled some chopped toasted pecans on top. Although that helped the appearance, Andy suggested a drizzle of caramel over the nuts and ganache. Since I didn't feel like making caramel, I left the brownies as they were, but I kept the caramel idea in the back of my mind.

For this week's Lost Lunch Thursday, I decided to work a little more with the caramel idea. I searched for a bourbon caramel recipe, thinking that it would be nice to have the bourbon flavor repeated in the final product. The first recipe I tried was too bourbony for my taste. Fortunately, the recipe made only a small amount. I then went back to a terrific caramel-sauce recipe from Fine Cooking. I've made this caramel sauce many times. For this version, I added 1/2 cup of bourbon to the warm caramel, then stirred in about 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans to 1-1/2 cups of the warm caramel. I poured this topping over the brownies, then glazed them with bittersweet chocolate ganache.

While I really like the flavors, I think I need a thicker caramel. I would like for the caramel to maintain a bit more shape after the brownies are sliced. I'm hesitant to dial back on the bourbon, though, because the 1/2-cup measurement (at least to the quantity of caramel sauce that this recipe makes) is just right for a hint of flavor. Still a little work to do ...

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