Maple Pecan Fudge Bars

This variation on the lowly brownie is well worth the plunge - buttery, full of chocolate, maple, and a lot of crunchy pecans. I created this recipe one day when I wanted to make Maida Heatter's Greenwich Village Bars, but I didn't have any corn syrup in the house. I experimented a bit with the sweeteners and came up with this maple variation. Make sure you use only pure maple syrup and the best baking chocolate you can find.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Yield: 32 wedges; use 2 9" round cake pans

Prepare the cake pans by spraying with a vegetable spray, lining with parchment paper, and again spraying the paper with vegetable spray.

Mix the flour with the salt, sift once, and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the vanilla and the white and brown sugars. Beat to mix well, scraping down the sides of the mixer. Add the maple syrup and beat until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth.

On low speed, gradually add the flour, scraping down the sides of the mixer. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Stir in about 2/3 of the pecan halves, reserving the remainder for the top of the bars.

Turn the mixture into the prepared pans, and spread to give a smooth top. Sprinkle with the reserved pecans.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean - definitely not dry.

Cool in the pans for about 1/2 an hour, cover with a rack, invert, remove the parchment paper, and then invert again to fully cool on a rack. Let cool for several hours and cut into 16 wedges per pan. Wrap tightly and keep for 2 days at room temperature or freeze for several weeks or a month.

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