Friday, November 20, 2009

Autumn Shower

My friend Jessica asked me to help her throw an autumn baby shower with a theme of pink and orange. I wasn't quite seeing it at first, but when I saw how everything came together, I was thrilled at the color combo. The guest of honor loved it too. I wish I could claim this diaper cake, but alas - that honor goes to my friend Kristi. She did the one at my shower too. I did do those little guest gifts around it though. I needed a fall cookie to fill the bags, so I made (of course) something from Ina. Pecan bars - so chewy decadent and worth the effort. I highly recommend them for your Thanksgiving dessert table.

Ina's Pecan Bars


Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup good honey
  • 3 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.

For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.


4 comments:

Katie said...

Your party looks so lovely and a fall theme always provides such pretty colors! Those cookies look great, we're having an Ina recipe for dinner...her chicken tortilla soup. But my favorite is a really simple fresh herb dip from her At Home Cookbook.

S Club Mama said...

wow what a great shower; I hope to get to throw a baby shower for someone someday!

Joy said...

LOVE the orange and pink together!!!

The little dragonfly said...

Is there anyway you can send me better pictures of the cake and any favors... I love the colors and think they would be great for my little girl's 2nd birthday party in Januuary.

thanks!

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