Pecan Caramel Bark

Posted on by on November 24th, 2012 | 14 Comments »

An eerie silence fell over the city moments after  the news broke that Hamas’ military chief was assassinated. Parks were cleared out, schools and shops were closed and people took to their homes rather quickly. We sat and waited. When the first siren came it was almost a relief, the 2 hour waiting period for what we knew was coming was torture. From there it was a long night of hourly sirens. We lost count after the 15th barrage of rockets came in less than 24 hours. And after that, my husband and I packed up the baby and dogs and headed north to Jerusalem for a bit to escape the constant sound of the haunting red alert sirens. As impending war loomed over both Israel and Gaza, we sat tight waiting it out, hoping the violence would end sooner rather than later and all the bloodshed of both Palestinians and Israelis would stop.

As news broke out that rockets were hitting Tel Aviv and sirens went off in Jerusalem, we headed back south to be in the comfort of our own home, feeling safe in our little ‘safe area’ knowing it was better to be in a city with iron dome then one without. Days passed, and the IDF, Hamas and other Palestinian factions fought, smack talked each other over twitter (seriously) and kept the world on the edge of its seat waiting to see if full-war would break out. Talks of a ceasefire finally came to fruition; and just like that things went back to normal. Life continued on as usual. As the satirical publication The Onionso accurately put it, “Calm sense of impending violence returns to Middle East as ceasefire brokered”. Sad but true.

Due to the situation here, our yearly expat Thanksgiving dinner was cancelled, but, this year I feel I have more to be thankful for then ever. My family sent so much love and support and showed how much they really care and love us. Friends from near and far, those who I keep in touch with on a regular basis and some who I haven’t spoken to in years sent wishes of safety. Fellow bloggers and followers emailed to show support, which makes me beyond thankful to be apart of such a wonderful community. I’m thankful for my amazing, healthy baby girl, who was so unfazed by each siren and loud boom. Oh the innocence of youth. And my husband, who kept me calm and sane and made me feel safe through probably the most trying time we have had here in Israel. And lastly, I’m thankful that I was brought up with understanding, tolerance and love.

I regret not being able to post this before all the Thanksgiving baking and cooking took place. However, it’s a wonderful candy anytime of year. After all, who can resist the combination of dark chocolate, roasted pecans and chewy caramel? I mean, really is there a better combination out there?

If making your own caramel is intimidating, fear not. I failed many many times before perfecting my caramel making. The blog Endless Simmer has a basic caramel sauce recipe with step by step instructions and photos, which will make your caramel making a lot easier. Also, if you haven’t already, invest in a good candy thermometer. It will change your life.

This recipe can be adapted to many tastes and makes A LOT of candy, so make sure there is plenty of room in your fridge to store for a rainy day. Leave out the pecans and add marshmallows or go for milk chocolate instead of dark. I roasted the pecans with spices of the season such as cinnamon and nutmeg but feel free to spice things up with some chili powder or be adventurous and add some sweet curry in there.

Pecan Caramel Bark

Recipe Type: Candy
Author: Beth Ebin
Roasted pecans, chewy caramel and smooth dark chocolate make for a winning combination that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 20 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 tablespoons water
  • 8 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
  2. In a bowl mix together pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and maple syrup.
  3. Spread spiced pecans on prepared baking sheet and bake until nuts are lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. While the pecans are roasting make the caramel by combining sugar and water in a saucepan over medium low heat.
  5. Stir until sugar has dissolved, using a wet brush to dissolve any crystals that form on the side.
  6. Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to high.
  7. stir the mixture occasionally by using the handle and giving the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. DO NOT stir the mixture directly.
  8. After a couple of minutes the mixture will start to bubble and after 5-7 minutes the mixture will turn from a light amber to medium amber and then finally to a dark reddish brown.
  9. As soon as the mixture starts to smoke, add the butter and heavy cream. The mixture will bubble heavily.
  10. Whisk to combine and set aside to cool completely.
  11. Roughly chop the cooled pecans and set aside.
  12. Line a 9X9 inch baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  13. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler over medium heat.
  14. Pour half of the melted chocolate on the prepared baking sheet and spread out with an offset spatula.
  15. Sprinkle 3/4 of the chopped pecans over chocolate and place baking tray in the fridge and cool until chocolate has set.
  16. Once chocolate has set pour the caramel over the chocolate and pecans, spreading it out with an offset spatula.
  17. Pour remaining chocolate over the caramel layer and sprinkle with remaining pecans.
  18. Chill until candy is firm.
  19. Remove the candy from the baking tray by lifting the parchment paper and move to a cutting board.
  20. Break bark into uneven pieces using a sharp knife.
  21. Candy will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
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14 Comments

  1. Posted on: 11-24-2012

    I was thingking how you do during that difficult time.Glad that it ended and happy to hear you and your family are fine.
    That bark looks so goood!!

  2. Posted on: 11-24-2012

    I’m so glad you’re safe and well and I hope that continues forever. Bummer about Thanksgiving going down the drain. It’s certainly one you’ll remember missing. Poor thing.

    I do love your bark – that will be perfect to make for a party I’m having next weekend.

  3. Posted on: 11-25-2012

    That sounds like an awful ordeal my friend though thank god you are safe and well. Also sorry that you had to miss your thanksgiving!
    On a brighter side though your bark looks deliciously addictive 🙂

    Hugs
    Uru

  4. Posted on: 11-25-2012

    So glad things are back to normal…for now. This bark was out of this world. So good.

  5. Posted on: 11-26-2012

    I am glad and happy that you are all safe and sound Beth! i can imagine the scare and being unsure what it happening around!
    Your Bark looks delicious and very tempting…i didn’t have a chance to congratulate you on your baby arrivel…so congratulations to you and your love!!!! xo

  6. Posted on: 11-26-2012

    Beth, I am relieved to read that all is well with you and your family – while following the news, I could not help but think of you and hope that everyone in your family and your friends were safe! Onto the recipe for the Bark, I have never made any Bark but it does look were tempting and delicious! Saving somthing sweet “for a rainy day” is always good! All the best and stay safe!

  7. Posted on: 11-26-2012

    I’m so glad you are back home and things are calm at the moment – the Onion quote really does sum it up quite well. We’ve been keeping in close contact with our friends and family in Israel. You’re right, there is so much to be thankful for…your sweet treat is one of them. Love the combo of chocolate, nuts and caramel! Hopefully you can have a make-up Thanksgiving dinner soon.

  8. Posted on: 11-29-2012

    This really is a winning combination! I love anything with pecan in it! And this would be magical!!! 😀

  9. Posted on: 11-29-2012

    Also, just wanna say, I’m glad everything turned out okay! I cannot even imagine what you guys must have gone through 🙁

  10. Posted on: 12-1-2012

    Can’t even imagine what you are experiencing. Stay safe.
    I was drawn in by the photo of this Pecan Caramel Bark, and will think about your story when I make it to share with friends and family over the holidays.

  11. Posted on: 12-5-2012

    Beth, I’m glad you and your family are safe, but it must be such a scary experience, especially now you have a baby. Stay safe. You are right – these barks can be enjoyed at any time, and Christmas is here. Thinking of you.

  12. Posted on: 12-19-2012

    Oh, how scary! I had the same feelings as Nami…even more frightening with a sweet babe in the house. SO glad you are OK.

    PS…your bark looks incredible! Pinning it 🙂

  13. Posted on: 12-19-2012

    Oh wow. This looks like such ooey gooey perfection! I’m pretty sure I’d eat the whole batch.

  14. Posted on: 1-5-2013

    Hi Beth, I know this was awhile ago, but glad you’re safe nonetheless. I cannot imagine how terrifying that must have been, especially with a small babe in the house! Hope the rest of your holidays were less eventful! Happy new year to you and your family!

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