Monday, January 6, 2014

Salted Pecan Chocolate Squares


One of my favorite things in the whole world is a chocolate covered salted pecan. It's sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy. I came to know this level of deliciousness while I was teaching in Las Cruces. There was a sweet family who would buy the whole staff chocolate covered salted pecans. You have never seen a group of teachers so excited. These sweet and salty gems were amazing. So amazing that I had to hide them in the bottom drawer of my desk so I might forget about them for a minute or two. It didn't work. 

Heaven knows I do not have the patience to take a pecan half, dip it in chocolate and allow it to dry. It's doubtful it would even make it to the semi solid stage before I ate it. This being the case I have come up with an alternative plan with the same delicious flavor. Not only is this crazy addicting, it is very easy to make. 

Ingredients

3 cups of pecan pieces or chips
1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
1 teaspoon of salt
24 ounces of milk chocolate chips


Nuts purchased in the baking section of the grocery store are not toasted or salted. You could buy the nuts roasted and  salted, but I like to do this myself since the nuts can get rancid or be overly salty. This is a very easy process. Place the butter and nuts into a small pan and cook them for about ten minutes over medium low heat. Make sure you stir them every few minutes so they do not burn. After this has toasted for a few minutes, add in the salt. Make sure you mix this in very well. If you are not careful, the candy will have pockets of super saltiness. Eww!


After the nuts have been toasted, set them off to the side. Place the chocolate chips into a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate chips for thirty seconds. Stir the chips. Keep doing this process until the chips are mostly melted. Be very careful you do not overheat the chocolate. If the chocolate is overheated it will become gloppy and grey. You want the chocolate to be swimable and smooth!
 

 Dump the salty pecans into the melted chocolate. Mix this very well to make sure the chocolate and nuts are well combined. Try not to eat it all in this phase, it will be terribly difficult. At least be sure to wipe your mouth so no one knows you tested the product.


After the chocolate and nuts are combined, pour it all out on a big piece of wax or parchment paper. Smooth this out until all of it is about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure it's even so no one feels cheated. Let this cool and solidify. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour. If you are in a hurry, throw it in the fridge to cool. Cut the candy into sensibly portioned squares and enjoy!


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