Lately I’ve been dusting off some of my favorite cookbooks. They’re like old friends. I go back to them again and again. Sometimes just to turn their pages. I tend to be picky about the Cookbooks that I really like. Beautifully done color photography is a must. I don’t understand cookbooks without pictures (Rachel Ray that would be you).
My very favorite cookbooks have pictures not just of the food. They include pictures of tablescapes, people, pictures of nature and buildings. They use photography to set the scene and tell a story. It is oftentimes the photography in a cookbook that really inspires me.
The photography in the Pastry Queen Cookbooks is exceptional. Not only does it show off the amazing recipes of Rebecca Rather, it provides a glimpse at life in Texas Hill Country. It makes me want to hop in the car and drive to Texas. But it’s too far. So instead I turn the pages in the cookbook again and again.
This recipe is from Pastry Queen Parties and it’s a winner. All of the Pastry Queen recipes I’ve tried have been exquisite. The recipe produces a huge batch of Brownies and they keep really well. The icing helps prevent them from drying out. We were eating them for a full week and they still tasted great.
I altered the recipe just ever so slightly, using 1 1/2 cups of pecans instead of the 2 cups the recipe calls for. I like nuts, but not an overwhelming amount. Plus they are expensive!
Butterscotch Brownies with Brown Sugar Icing (adapted slightly from Pastry Queen Parties)
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 cups packed brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a half-sheet (13 by 18-inch) pan with foil and grease with butter or cooking spray.
- Beat the 1 cup butter and 3 cups brown sugar using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until fluffy (approximately 2 minutes).
- Add eggs one at a time while beating on medium-low speed and then add vanilla extract. Beat for 1 more minute and scrape down sides of bowl to make sure everything is even in consistency.
- Combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Beat flour mixture into butter mixture at low-speed.
- Stir in pecans and pour into prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Bars should be set and slightly puffed. Cool completely.
- Melt 1 cup butter and 2 cups brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Once mixture starts to bubble, decrease heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place powdered sugar, half-and-half, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and using a paddle attachment beat on medium speed until creamy.
- Add melted butter mixture and beat to combine.
- Pool over cooled bars and let icing set for 30 minutes before cutting
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen 2 by 3-inch bars
Linking up at Sugar and Dots