Years ago we went to dinner with someone my dad worked with and he told us about the Mont Blanc pen he had. Like there was a time I didn’t know there were shoes other than like Nine West and Steve Madden, I had no idea there were pens that put Bic and Papermate to shame.
Mom and I went to a local mall and bought a Mont Blanc pen for my dad for Christmas that year. But he didn’t want it. It wasn’t something he wanted to take to work, or anywhere really, for fear of losing or breaking it.
Instead of simply returning the pen, my parents said I, at all of twelve years old, could keep it. So I had my name engraved into it, and I have had that pen ever since. Mostly, I journal with it, and I rarely take it out of the house. I don’t want to lose it either.
Over the years it has been repaired twice. Once when the ink refill inside exploded, and once very recently when the clip broke off. It has now been restored to its original glory and then some. I love that pen the same as I did over twenty years ago when it became mine. When I picked the pen up following the repair, I learned they no longer make this style, so now I love it even more. It’s such a classic that as a writer, I love to have on hand.
And these brownies are a classic I always want to have on hand as well. They are gooey and rich and decadent and absolutely perfect brownies. I don’t always love nuts in my brownies, but with the praline, these pecans stay crisp after baking (and after freezing and thawing), and they add an additional layer of complexity that takes these brownies to the next level entirely. I’m always on the hunt for perfect brownies, and these may just be it.Print
Rich and decadent brownies loaded with sweet, caramelized, and crunchy pecan praline.
1 ½ cups pecans
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
6 tablespoons coconut oil
¾ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ¼ cups tapioca starch, ¾ cup coconut flour)
2/3 cup carob or cocoa powder
¾ cup coconut sugar
½ cup maple sugar
¾ cup coconut oil, room temperature
2 cups carob or dark chocolate chips
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Make the pecan praline. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pecans on a sheet tray and toast about 10 minutes until fragrant and crunchy.
In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, syrup, oil, and cream. Place over medium heat, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes, until mixture has reduced and thickened slightly. Add the pecans and salt and cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Stir the mixture vigorously for about 5 minutes, until it thickens greatly and becomes glossy and lightened in color. Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spread into an even layer, and allow to cool completely. Praline may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/ 325 degrees F convection. Oil a 9 by 13 inch pan.
In a large microwave safe bowl, place the oil and chips. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in the sugars, vanilla, and eggs, one at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy. Stir in the carob or cocoa powder as well as the flour until just combined.
Coarsely chop the pecan praline and stir into the brownie batter. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth into an even layer, and bake 30-35 minutes, until set on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with crumbs, but not batter. Cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving. Brownies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 30 seconds.
Recipe adapted from Kelly Fields via Food and Wine
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes