We’d tell you about our Easter traditions, only we have none. For more about what we celebrate in the springtime, check out these Matzoh Toasts, Mom’s Matzoh Ball Soup, last year’s seder post featuring brisket, kugel, and passover puffs, and our fabulous Matzoh Crunch Ice Cream.
Still, we can’t turn down a reason to have a party, especially if it involves a food pun. These (Sunday) sundaes are somewhat involved, which makes them perfect for a weekend cooking project. In advance, you can whip up the pecan squares and cool them so they’re ready to be chopped. Then we balance out the cloying sweetness of corn syrup in our ice cream’s pecan topping with an almost bitter chocolate ganache. We know you may be celebrating with other sorts of sweets today; if you are, bookmark these for later (they’re that good).
If you’re celebrating without your family, take a second to read this featured post from Small Kitchen College, all about Chrysanthe’s Greek Family’s Easter String Beans. It’s a good idea to take her advice–don’t try to recreate a whole feast complete with lamb if you’re working with limited resources. Choose string beans, or, if ice cream is more up your alley than vegetables, these Easter Sundaes are a great way to celebrate the holiday without going overboard. Invite your friends over for an Easter Sunday Sundae Session, and dig in!
From my kitchen, where sundaes replace Easter egg hunts, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Pecan Sundaes with Chocolate Ganache
For the Pecan Squares:
18 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 medium egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ pound pecans, coarsely chopped
For the Chocolate Ganache:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably over 65%)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pint good vanilla ice cream
Make the pecan squares at least a few hours, and up to several days, in advance. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine 10 tablespoons of the butter with the sugar, and beat until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat to combine, then sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt over the top. Mix in until just combined, then press the mixture evenly into an 8×8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just golden and firm.
To make the topping, combine the remaining 8 tablespoons butter with the honey, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, stirring often. Raise the heat to medium-high and let the mixture boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream (it may bubble up slightly—be careful) and the pecans. Pour over the crust, attempting to leave a bit of a crust around the edge. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling jiggles only slightly when you shake the pan. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until cold. Cut into quarters, then cut one quarter into small pieces, about the size of chocolate chips. The rest are leftover for you to eat!
Make the chocolate ganache: place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer either in a small, heavy pan over medium heat, or in the microwave in 20-second spurts. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir constantly until there are no chocolate chunks remaining. Keep warm, or reheat in the microwave in 5-second spurts (any longer and your chocolate will burn.
To assemble your sundaes, put out 4 6-ounce ramekins, small bowls, or ice cream cups. You can also use punch glasses or any other small tumbler. Pour in ganache to cover the bottoms, then sprinkle a few pieces of pecan square. Scoop a generous portion of ice cream on top, sprinkle with more of the pecan square bits, and drizzle with more ganache. Serve immediately.