The other day, I was craving brownies, but happened to come across a recipe for pecan pie bars. So I set out to make a fusion, of sorts, of the two classic American desserts. I adapted an excellent brownie recipe from Smitten Kitchen, swapping out sugar for maple syrup, adding toasted pecans, and substituting a dark chocolate bar for unsweetened baking chocolate. The result is an insanely rich, fudgy brownie with a subtle, not-too-sweet maple flavor, and an earthiness from the pecans.
Maple Pecan Brownies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3.5 ounce dark chocolate bar, broken into pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment or tinfoil, allowing two sides to hang over the edge of the pan. Grease the parchment or foil with butter or oil.
- Heat chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (or in a saucepan directly over very low heat) until chocolate is nearly melted. Remove from heat, then stir until smooth and fully melted.
- Whisk in maple syrup, eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or spatula until just combined, then mix in pecans.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the center comes out free (or almost free) of crumbs.
- Let cool and cut into desired size. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. These are especially delicious eaten after sitting in the fridge for a while.