Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pecan Chocolate Cranberry Turtle Bars



Servings: 36 bars

Ingredients

For crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the topping:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1 and 2/3 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups pecans, toasted and cooled, coarsely chopped

For garnish:

2 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped

Instructions

1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 short sides.

3. Butter all 4 sides, but not the bottom.

4. Blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and pulse until mixture begins to form small lumps.

5. Sprinkle into baking pan, then press down firmly all over with a metal spatula to form an even layer.

6. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden and firm to the touch, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack.

7. For the topping: Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

8. Boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 8 minutes.

9. Carefully stir in cranberries, then boil until caramel returns to 245 degrees.

10. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then stir in pecans until well coated.

11. Working quickly, spread caramel topping over base, using a form to distribute nuts and berries evenly. Cool completely.

12. For the garnish: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.

13. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue stirring until completely cool.

14. Using either a pastry bag or using a spoon, lightly drizzle the chocolate over the bars; let cool completely.

15. Once completely cooled, cut the bars into 36 equal pieces and serve.

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