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Three layers of heaven: pecan shortbread cookie, vanilla pumpkin pie filling, and maple caramel.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
For the pecan shortbread crust layer:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the dry ingredients and the pecans and pulse until well combined. Add the butter and pulse until the dough has become uniform and smooth.
Pour the dough out into an 8×12 inch baking pan (a 9×13 will work too). Evenly spread the dough over the bottom of the pan.
Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and press down firmly with the back of a metal spatula.
For the pumpkin pie layer:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until well combined and smooth.
Pour the filling over the pre-baked shortbread crust. Bake the pumpkin pie layer for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the maple caramel layer:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar until it all begins to melt and turns an amber color. Stir it with a spoon if you need to.
Add the cream to the sugar. It will seize up completely, but just keep stirring until the sugar has melted back into the cream and thickened the caramel. Stir in the salt and maple extract.
Pour the caramel over the pumpkin pie layer. Let sit until warm, then refrigerate for a few hours or up to overnight.
Using a sharp knife, slice the pan into 16 bars. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
The ‘pots’ for pots de crème au chocolat are not a requirement for making this dark chocolate cream. The dessert may very well be made in ramekins and it will taste every bit as good.
In taste and texture the baked cream resembles a dark chocolate truffle which is why a small ‘pot’ goes a long way. However the special charm of the dessert is in the tubby little lidded ceramic ‘pots’ in which it traditionally is baked.
I chose to use semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate, so that the chocolate flavor would really punch through. This provided the perfect balance of chocolate to make the whole frosting completely “milk chocolate” in flavor.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!