Monday, February 1, 2010

Praline Brownies

If you're ever in the Texas Hill Country, you must make a stop at my favorite bakery. Rather Sweet, located on Main Street in downtown Fredericksburg, is "the best little from-scratch bakery in Texas." Rebecca Rather whips up the most amazing treats, including scones, kolaches, cookies, cakes, sandwiches, and the list goes on.

Every Christmas, my mom gives my sister & I a cookbook that she has hand picked for each of us. This year, I received "The Pastry Queen" by Rebecca Rather. OH SO HAPPY! The week after Christmas, as The Hubs watched football, I sat on the couch and went through the cookbook page by page. At first, I did my normal routine of marking recipes I would like to make with a small post-it note. However, I soon realized I was putting a post-it on every page! So, I've made it my goal to eventually make every recipe in this book. (Yes, my goal is a bit far-fetched, but a girl can have high hopes, right)?

This weekend, we had some friends staying at our house, which meant I needed to bake something sweet. Any time we have company, I feel I must provide a tasty treat. (I come by this honestly. My mother is the exact same way). I flipped through "The Pastry Queen" looking for the perfect treat. I decided to make the Turbo Charged Brownies with Praline Topping.

My only problem was that I didn't have the ingredients, nor the time to make the from-scratch brownies in the recipe. So, I improvised and used my trusty go-to brownie mix: Betty Crocker Hershey's Original Supreme:

I lined a 13x9 pan with foil & greased it with cooking spray, then made the brownies following the directions on the box. While they cooled, I made Rebecca Rather's Praline Topping.

* 1 cup pecans
* 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
* 1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
* 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Break the nuts into large pieces.

2. Combine the cream, brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and the butter has melted.

3. Bring to a slow boil; boil without stirring about 6 minutes. (If the mixture starts to boil over, you’ve set the heat too high. Turn the burner down a notch.)

4. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and pecans.

5. Pour the topping over the cooled brownies, spreading it with a knife or spatula to cover evenly.

6. Let the topping cool at least 15 minutes at room temp. Lift the brownies, still in the foil, out of the pan and cut them into pieces.

My Tid-Bits:

* These brownies are super gooey & messy, but extremely tasty. Our friend, who doesn't particularly like sweets, at 4 of them - 2 of which were before breakfast.

* Be sure to line the pan with foil & grease it well. Otherwise, you'll have a mess on your hands...literally.

* Also, make sure the brownies are completely cooled before you pour the topping on. I put them in the freezer for 15 minutes to do the trick.

* When I make these next time, I will bake the brownies a bit longer than the recommended time. The praline topping soaked into the brownies, which made them a little too gooey for my taste.

If the rest of the recipes in The Pastry Queen are as good as these, my "healthy eating" idea may be in big trouble!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nancy!

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! I hope you are doing well. I love food blogs, so I look forward to following yours. It's super cute! Take care and keep in touch!