Thank you CIA

First let me apologize for the long lag in between posts.  Last week I played hookie from class and had a fabulous 4 nights on the beach in Florida.    The days were spent lounging on the beach followed by nights of eating fresh seafood-I never wanted to leave!  Secondly, for all of you confused by the title of this post..no I did not leave Florida with an international incident in the airport in which the Central Intelligence Agency came rushing to my rescue.  Instead the Culinary Institute of America came rushing to my rescue to cure the sweet tooth craving.

It hands down has to be my favorite thing we have made in baking class this semester.  A lot of our Chefs at school graduated from CIA and their recipe for Pecan Diamonds was therefore able to be passed along to me!  So since vacation had to end (sniff sniff) I turned to pecan yumminess to fill the void and since my gracious hosts the Smith family must be feeling the post vacation let down as well… look forward to a little thank you showing up in your mailbox!

Pecan Diamonds

Yield: Four dozen 2-inch or eight dozen 1-inch diamonds

Dough:
1 1⁄4 cups (2 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 2⁄3 cups cake flour, sifted
Filling:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
7 1⁄2 cups pecans, chopped

Cream together butter and sugar in a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and light, 1–2 minutes. Gradually incorporate egg and vanilla, stopping mixer and scraping bowl as necessary. Add flour and mix on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds. Do not overmix.
Place dough onto parchment paper or a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat square. Wrap dough well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line bottom of a 15-inch x 10-inch jelly roll pan with
parchment.

Roll dough out to a rectangle 17 inches x 12 inches x 1⁄8-inch thick. Transfer the rolled
dough to the baking pan, gently pressing it to the pan. Trim the edges with a paring
knife, and prick the bottom of the dough with the prongs of a fork to prevent bubbling
during baking.
Bake until dough is firm but has no color, about 10–12 minutes. Cool dough while you
make the filling.

Place the butter, sugars, honey, and cream into a heavy-bottom saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove pot from the heat, add pecans, and stir until fully incorporated. Immediately pour into the pre-baked crust and spread
into an even layer.

Bake in 350 degree F oven until the filling bubbles evenly across the surface and the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool thoroughly before cutting. Remove from pan using a knife to release the edges and invert the slab onto the back of a sheet pan.

Transfer to a cutting board by flipping it over so it is right side up. Trim off the edges and cut into 1-or 2-inch diamonds.  The bars store well at room temperature, but can also be refrigerated or frozen as long as
wrapped airtight.

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One Comment on “Thank you CIA”

  1. Lauren Says:

    Mmmmmm….these are amazing, very rich. Glad to see they travel so well, too (thanks)! They would be good with coffee for any coffee drinkers out there.


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