Thursday, August 19, 2021

Charred Corn Salad with Hatch Green Chiles

As the new school year begins, I can't help but think about the lessons learned in kindergarten.  Why stop at kindergarten?  Practice them every day.  All of us – young and old.  It doesn't hurt.  I promise.  What a better world this could be if we just remember the basics. 

  • Be kind.
  • Share.
  • Be honest and trustworthy.
  • Exhibit strong character.
  • Be a courageous bystander.
  • Put on your listening ears.
  • Apologize.
  • Compromise.
  • Wait your turn.
  • Be helpful.
  • Have a growth mindset.
  • Show gratitude.

My friend at the Saint Michael’s Farmers Market said that they would have hatch green chiles roasting this weekend so stop by (Saturday 8am-12pm), get your chiles and try this recipe (adapted from Chili Pepper Madness)!


  • Olive oil as needed
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 8 ozs roasted hatch green chile peppers
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 handful cilantro, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • Juice from 2 small limes
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates.

Brush the ears of corn with oil and set them on the grill. Grill, turning often, until they are nicely charred and vibrant yellow in color. Remove from heat and cool.

While the corn is cooking, lightly oil the cherry tomatoes and set them onto the grill. Cook until they are charred and start to soften, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice the kernels from all of the corn and add to a large mixing bowl.

Coarsely chop the hatch chiles and add to the bowl.

Add cotija cheese and cilantro and toss.  Squeeze in lime juice and add vinegar. Toss.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, if necessary.  

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Panzanella with Mozzarella Salad

“The only constant is change.” – Heraclitus.  A year of change is ahead.  Travis is a senior in high school.  Elizabeth and Andrew will start driving.  The woman who cuts my hair even convinced me to change the way I style it.  I’m trying hard to embrace change.  I’m forever a work in progress. The road of life is unpredictable and the only constant in life is change, but if nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.  

Summer, summer, summer and all its fresh bounty.  Mix it all together and you can make this panzanella salad.  There are so many variations of what you can include – the basics are tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, red onion, herbs and a vinegar based dressing.  This recipe from Melissa Clark at NYT Cooking adds in mozzarella.  Plan a few hours ahead as it needs to soak in the dressing.


  • 4 ounces ciabatta or baguette, preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, about half a small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or a combination)
  •  Large pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  •  Black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup thinly sliced Persian or Kirby cucumber, about 1 small cucumber
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained

Heat oven to 425. Toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons oil and a pinch of salt and spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until they are dried out and pale golden brown at the edges, about 7 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add mozzarella, onions, garlic paste, 1 tablespoon vinegar, oregano or thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes if using. Toss to coat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, ½ teaspoon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and some black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Stir in cucumbers, basil and parsley.

Add bread cubes, cucumber mixture and capers to the tomatoes and toss well.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving.  If needed, toss with a little more olive oil, vinegar and salt just before serving.   

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Watermelon Lemonade Slushie

The kids love watermelon season.  They can finish off an entire watermelon within a day which poses a challenge – and an opportunity!  

Summer workout 101:

  • Place 2 watermelons in your shoppping cart
  • Add a case of bottled water and three 12-packs of Fresca (because why buy just one when the sale is must buy 3, plus Daddy enjoys his Fresca + vodka beverage in the evenings) 
  • Push (heavy) cart around grocery store
  • Go through self-checkout so you have to lift items in and out of shopping cart
  • Load car
  • Unload car
  • Voila – workout complete!

Baby it’s hot outside!  With this triple digit heat, you need something, anything, multiple things to keep you cool on the outside and inside!  Try this for a brain freeze. 


  • 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • Vodka, optional

Cut the watermelon into cubes.  Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze until completely frozen, like ice cubes, for at least 2 hours.

While freezing the watermelon, cook ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely melted, which takes about 5 minutes.  Cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.

When the watermelon is completely frozen, put half in a blender. Pour the syrup into the blender. Add the lemon juice, and blend until the mixture is mostly smooth, pushing it down with a wooden spoon or spatula if needed. Add the remaining watermelon, and continue to blend until the mixture is completely smooth.

Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

David is such a softy.  Today he went for a run and crossed paths with a large turtle crossing the road. 
He had a huge quandary – does he help the turtle cross the road (no, this is not the beginning of a joke) and if so, how?  With his hands? With his foot?  He decides to let the turtle be and figure it out for itself (sounds like his strategy for parenting teens).  As he returns from his run, he is relieved to not find the turtle (or turtle parts) in the place where he first saw it.  But he can’t stop thinking – or talking – about the turtle.  So the experience has been memorialized in this blog post.

It’s summertime and fruit is at its peak.  While peach cobbler is the #1 peach recipe, this one from Two Peas & Their Pod should be a close second.  It’s sweet and creamy and a little salty and it tastes good together spread over a crusty grilled piece of bread. Burrata has become one of our favorite cheeses (if you live in Dallas, go try the burrata salad at Il Bracco – yum!) 

Happy summer y’all!!


For the garlic toasts:

  • 1 loaf crusty bread
  • Olive oil or butter, for brushing on bread
  • Sea salt

For the burrata:

  • 5 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • Canola or grapeseed oil, for brushing on peaches
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 12 ounces burrata
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios

Slice the bread into 3/4″ slices. Gently oil or butter both sides of the bread.

Heat grill over medium-high heat. Place bread slices on the hot grill and cook until grill marks form and the bread slices are lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn the slices over and cook them on the other side until grill marks form, another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with sea salt. Set the bread aside while you grill the peaches.

To grill the peaches. Preheat your grill to medium-high. Brush the cut side of the peach halves with oil and place on the grill for 4 minutes or until grill marks appear and the fruit starts to caramelize. Use a pair of tongs to remove the peaches from the grill. Let the peaches cool for a few minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Slice the grilled peaches.

When ready to serve, place the burrata on a platter or serving dish. Place the sliced peaches around the burrata. Drizzle honey over the burrata and grilled peaches and season with a little sea salt. Garnish with chopped pistachios. Arrange the bread slices around the cheese and peaches and serve.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Beet, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

The ties that bind.  In a time when there are so many forces trying to tear us apart, highlighting our differences, pitting us against one another – isn’t it time to focus on what we have in common, what we like and appreciate about one another, and what binds us together?   

When I partnered with the Saint Michael’s Farmers Market, Tricia asked if I had a beet recipe, because they are in season.  I have never cooked a beet; I have eaten them and will admit that I wasn't the biggest fan.  They are so “red” and seem to turn everything red.  With a little encouragement, our family tested a few baking methods and recipes and this combination bound us together to declare it a winner.  This Saturday’s recipe at the Farmers Market: strawberry drop biscuits.


  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4-6 beets, tops removed and scrubbed
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted Marcona almonds
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 3-4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 400.  Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and place them on a sheet pan. Roast them for 50-60 minutes, until a small sharp knife inserted in the middle indicates that they are tender. Unwrap each beet and set aside for 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Peel the beets with a small, sharp knife and cut into bite size slivers.  To prevent staining, consider covering your cutting board with parchment paper and wear gloves.

Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Toss the arugula, almonds, and cranberries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the salad onto plates then arrange the beets, sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Strawberry Drop Biscuits

For the second year in a row, you do NOT owe taxes today (and before you try to nit pick me on the detail of estimated tax payments are still due… I did my research.  I am aware.  You’d think I have an ex-accountant and tax lawyers in my family or something).  There is still reason to celebrate today.   

And let’s celebrate that the weather is warming up which means more fruit!  This recipe was published in New York Times Cooking.  It’s part scone – part biscuit – part muffin top - all yummy.  Strawberries hold up better during the cooking process but the raspberry version was a family favorite too.

Something else to celebrate today – the Saint Michael’s Farmers Market turns 10 this year.  Opening day is this Saturday, April 17, 8am-noon, and runs for the next 24 weeks.  How would I know?  The Baker’s Mann is honored to partner with SMFM and will be providing weekly recipes which include items sold at the market.  Be sure to stop by and check out all of their wonderful vendors!  This Saturday’s recipe: orzo salad.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes or grated
  • 4 medium strawberries (about 2/3 cup), cut into small 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch pieces, or whole blueberries, raspberries or other diced stone fruit like peaches
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more if needed (divided: 4 T, 1 T, 1 T)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsifted confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment.

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Toss the butter into the flour mixture to coat. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture is mealy and small pieces of pea-size butter remain.

Add the diced strawberries and toss with a fork to combine. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add 4 tablespoons of the heavy cream and 1/4 cup water. Continue tossing with the fork until the dough is just evenly damp and shaggy, being careful not to overwork the dough too much. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons more water, as needed, if the dough is still too dry to work with.

Drop 6-8 mounds of dough (each a generous 1/3 cup) onto the baking sheet and press them down slightly, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches of space between each mound and gently padding any stray bits of dough back into place as you work. Lightly brush the tops with 1 tablespoon heavy cream and bake until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Add the confectioners’ sugar to a small bowl, and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon heavy cream, adding more if needed to make a thick icing that is just thin enough to drizzle. Spoon over the warm biscuits; serve warm or at room temperature. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Biscuits by Joanna

Want to know what I am grateful for today?  That my kids go to camp so they have 10 pairs of underwear and socks because I am not sure when I will be doing laundry.  Whether that is because of the lack of power or frozen pipes or water main breaks or because I just don’t feel like it.  Many of us entered 2021 with an optimistic, hopeful, can-do, we-can-overcome attitude.  What a one-two sucker punch – weary from trying to dodge the virus for 12 months and now managing 144+ hours of freezing temps.  

When your power comes back on and you want comfort and warmth and a feeling of simplicity and goodness, make these biscuits by Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Table.  I may have to do a biscuit bake off, side-by-side taste test with Bobby Flay's biscuits.      


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks of butter), grated or cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs, 1 beaten and 1 for brushing
  • ¾ cup plus ½ tablespoon buttermilk

Whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.  Cut butter into flour mixture, using a pastry blender, until pieces are even and resemble the size of peas.

Add 1 egg to the flour mixture, stirring until combined.  Stir in ¾ cup buttermilk until dough forms a sticky mass.  If mixture is too dry, add more buttermilk a half tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition until desired consistency is reached.  Cover bowl; refrigerate at last 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place chilled dough on a floured work surface. Dust your hands with flour and press dough into ½ inch thick round.  Dust a 2- 2 ¾ inch round cutter with flour.  Cut about 10-12 biscuits from dough.  Roll out scraps to make more biscuits. 

Transfer biscuits to the lined baking sheet.  Whisk together the remaining egg and ½ tablespoon buttermilk in a small bowl.  Brush mixture over tops of biscuits.

Bake until golden brown for 15-20 minutes.  Cool biscuits slightly.  Serve and enjoy!



Thursday, February 4, 2021

Levain-style Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Super Bowl is one of my favorite events – the food, the commercials, the entertainment, and oh yes, the football.  It’s a gluttony of dips, appetizers and desserts.  A few favorites you might want to include at your home: white bean dip with pita toasts; roasted red pepper hummus; Mexican layered dip; tuna tartare; sprinkle cookies.  

It was exciting news when Levain Bakery started selling their cookies at Central Market, that is until Caryn brought over some home baked, Levain-style cookies AND THEN shared the recipe.  These are giant cookies – I mean seriously, the size of your fist, but you won’t want to share.  The batch makes 8-10 cookies which is probably more fitting for the size of your Super Bowl “gathering” this year. 


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 c ~ 12 oz bag)

Preheat oven to 400. 

In a large bowl, cream together the cubed butter, brown sugar and sugar until creamy, about 4 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.  Stir in the flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt..  Mix until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips (add in up to 2 cups of walnuts, if you choose – we chose no). 

Separate dough into 8-10 portions and place 4-5 cookies on a light colored cookie sheets lined with parchment paper; the cookies are big so separate across 2 cookie sheets.  We formed each cookie dough portion into something that looked similar to a hockey puck (Levain style is more free form and rustic.)  

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top (Levain style is less cooked and still a bit gooey on the inside so 12-15 minutes – that’s not our family’s preference so we bake for longer).  Allow the cookies to rest for at least 10 minutes to set. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

King Ranch Casserole

Dang Netflix.  It is a bit addicting with that little “next episode starts in 5, 4, 3…”.  Ok, just one more episode and the next thing you know, it’s midnight.  David and I are now binge watching Cobra Kai, which is The Karate Kid 40 years later.  We are chuckling our way through it – ahh the 80’s.  The kids tolerate our latest nightly ritual.   

Know what else is yesteryear?  A potluck.  Dr. Fauci would not approve right now.  This King Ranch casserole was dubbed by Texas Monthly as the “Lord of the potluck.”  Despite the fact that it takes a while to assemble and an hour to cook (so plan ahead), this dish will enter our repertoire and serve as a nice alternative to other family favorites, like chicken enchilada verde casserole and chicken chilaquiles.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves (or 2 teaspoons) garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 - 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 - 10 oz can Ro-Tel
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 1 cooked chicken (poached or roasted), meat shredded, approximately 4 cups
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar, divided

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté on medium-low about 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until the white is no longer visible. Whisk in 3 cups of the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir in chiles and tomatoes.

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter or spray with Pam. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock into a bowl. Stack the tortillas in the bowl, 6 at a time, to moisten, then line the bottom of the pan with the tortillas, making sure they overlap each other by about one third. Cover the tortillas with half the sauce. Add half the chicken (@2 cups) and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of each type of cheese. Add a second layer of soaked tortillas, the remaining sauce and chicken, and another third of the cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas and cheese.

Bake for about an hour, until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Mixed Berry Sauce

“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.  If only we’re brave enough to be it.” – Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb  

While this sauce was posted previously with the French Toast Waffles recipe, we make it often because it tastes great on just about anything.  I decided to highlight this sauce with a post of its own because sometimes you are the complement and sometimes you are the feature.  Whatever your role, be brave and be you.

Try this sauce on:

In the original Bobby Flay recipe, Bobby uses a 2:1:1 ratio of strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries and he doubles the quantities below – he must really have a crowd for brunch at Bobby’s.  At our home, we make a 1:1 of strawberries and raspberries.  Krista replaced blackberries with blueberries.  Go nuts (no, don’t use nuts – it’s just a figure of speech)!

For the Mixed Berry Sauce:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon seedless raspberry preserves
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine the strawberries, raspberries (or fruit combination of your choice), sugar and 1/8 cup water in a medium saucepan, bring to boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer the berry mixture to a blender or food processor, add the raspberry preserves and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator stored in a container with a tight fitting lid for 1 week.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Creme Brulee French Toast

When the kids go to camp in the summer, I send a daily joke which no doubt receives an eye roll and is not shared with friends.  Andrew told a new joke today “If you had some pennies and I took your coins, then you would have no cents.”  He didn't understand why I laughed so hard; all the while I'm considering the number of people walking around without "coins" these days.

One of the things that I have been doing with my time is tackling my out of control email inbox.  The best part is finding some fun pictures, silly conversations, and recipes.  I found this one from my Uncle Willy.  I am unsure why I waited until now to make it.  If you are trying to keep a healthy new year’s resolution, skip this one (but don’t, because it is really delicious).


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 loaf challah, cut into 1-inch thick slices and crust removed
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. 

Cut bread into 1-inch thick slices, remove edges and trim crust.  Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier (optional), and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread.

Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread to room temperature.  Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve hot French toast immediately (although no one complained about reheating leftovers the next day).  When serving, flip the toast over so the crème brulee crust is facing upward. 


Friday, January 8, 2021

Pecan Bars

It is about time.  

When I taught a class on business presentation skills, we did an exercise where we focused on accentuating a different word in the same sentence.  The speaker would change the emphasis, tone, and volume and it varied the meaning of the sentence, even though it included the same words.

IT is about time.

It IS about time.

It is ABOUT time.

It is about TIME.

While I have them, I tend not to espouse my political or philosophical beliefs on the blog because 1) cooking and baking is apolitical and 2) I recognize and accept that we may have different views.  Over the years I have tried to not let that influence my relationships with others – although at times it took an awful lot of patience and determination not to write people off.  That would have been the easy path but I refuse to cancel people out simply because we have different opinions.  But make no mistake, words and where you put the emphasis matter.

In the new year, it is about TIME.  Where will we choose to spend our time?  With whom will we allocate our most precious resource?  How can we use our time to incite good and benevolence and respect and listening and honesty? 

Alison shared this recipe from Once Upon a Chef with me.  Although we are working to wean ourselves from the sugar rush of the holidays, this one is too decadent not to share.


For the crust:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the filling:

  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped pecans

To make the crust:

Cover a 9-inch square baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Push foil neatly into corners and up sides of the pan, using two pieces if necessary to ensure it overlaps all edges (the overhang will help removal from pan). Spray foiled pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the flour, cornstarch, confectioners sugar and salt in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size clumps of butter within. It will seem dry; that's okay. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the bottom. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. While the crust is in the refrigerator, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the crust until crust is set but not browned, about 17 minutes. Set on rack to cool. Leave oven on.

To make the filling:

In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil gently for 3 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and chopped pecans.

To assemble:

Pour pecan mixture over crust (it's fine if the crust is still warm). Bake until filling is bubbling and caramel in color, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on rack. To cut, use the foil overhang to lift baked square out of pan and onto cutting board. Loosen the foil from the edges, then cut with a sharp knife into 2-inch squares. Store finished pecan squares in air-tight container and serve at room temperature.