I have an announcement to make.
I’m half French Canadian.
I actually think of myself as 100% francophone, but that’s how I feel on the inside most of the time, so why not. There is no denying that part of me is of British and Scottish descent, but those parts of my personality usually get squashed by my artsy, overly emotional, slightly wacked out french side and I’m cool with that.
One of the biggest things I wanted to achieve when starting this little blog, was to highlight family recipes that are part of my french heritage. I have been waiting for those recipes from my aunts, but I have yet to receive any. I decided that I would start my french Canadian recipe section anyways and hopefully one day I’ll be able to share more recipes with you. This recipe was passed to me by my mother I think, and it’s a dessert that I first made about 20 years ago for a party celebrating my Josh’s dedication to the Lord. That was a good day.
I’m going to tell you a little something about all of the Quebecois desserts I’ve had in my lifetime……
They seem to all be based around brown sugar or maple syrup, or a combination of the two.
Of course, I’m not complaining one bit, and this dessert takes brown sugar to a whole new level. Brown sugar browning-type base with pecans and a brown sugar fudge frosting that’s to die for. Actually, I guess it’s more of a butterscotch frosting since it’s made with caramelized brown sugar and butter, but to me it tastes like Penuche fudge. It is so sweet and delicious that my teeth hurt just thinking about it.
This recipe isn’t actually a gluten-free recipe by nature, but it’s easily converted and I made these up for my daughter to share with her friends. You can’t tell it’s gluten-free at all, since all the butter and sugar are definitely the dominant flavours here.
I opted to make my own mini-marshmallows this time around, since I don’t keep store-bought marshmallows on hand except for during the summer months when you never know when you’ll want to have a s’more by the campfire. I just whipped up the marshmallow the morning I was making the squares and they were set by the time I was ready to bake. I will put a link up for the marshmallow recipe, but you can easily buy a bag of mini-marshmallows if you’d like.
Can you tell that I’ve used this recipe a few times?
Yowza…… I’m a sloppy baker, aren’t I?
These squares are pretty similar to brownies, well, except they aren’t brown, don’t have cocoa or chocolate in them and they’re made with brown sugar and not white sugar. Other than those few things, they are TOTALLY just like brownies! I guess what I mean to say is that they are made in a similar manner to brownies.
Ok, I’ll stop talking now.
I just wanted to tell you that I really excited to share with you my next French Canadian recipe. It’s TARTE AU SUCRE (which means sugar pie). When I was on my honeymoon my aunt showed me how to make her famous Tarte au Sucre (long story, I’ll share it with you when I write the post) and it’s still a family favourite.
Back to the squares….
After the bottom layer comes out of the oven you spread the miniature marshmallows on top. They will melt a bit, but that’s what you want. If you’re working with stale marshmallows I would even be inclined to pop the pan (marshmallows and all) back into the oven for 5 minutes to soften and puff up the marshmallows.
Now it’s time to make the frosting…..
Get ready to make a little bit of butterscotch, and if that wasn’t sweet enough by itself, you add icing sugar to top it all off and make frosting that is easily eaten out of the bowl with a spoon (of course I’ve never done anything like that).
I haven’t even told you how my puppy is doing this week!! Well, I’m exhausted, haven’t been able to bake a thing, I’ve been going on about 10 walks a day (most of which are only 4 houses in either direction) and I’m seriously tired of sitting on the floor. Other than those things, he’s doing really well. I think we’re about 90% housebroken and last night he didn’t bark and cry in his crate for hours on end, so that’s progress for sure. I’m hopeful that Finnegan will soon be trustworthy and let us sleep a little bit more at night. I guess I could easily put him in his crate during the day and bake my brains out, but I’ve been too tired and I’ve had some blog posts to catch up on. I’m thinking tomorrow I need to break out the butter and chocolate for something delectable.
Carré au Sucre à la Crème
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup flour (or GF flour LINK HERE)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 cups of miniature marshmallows (or enough to cover the entire base)
(here’s a link to the marshmallow recipe HERE)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. milk
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
To prepare the frosting~ In a medium pot, melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add the milk, whisking to combine. Add vanilla. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Wait until you’re ready to frost the squares before you whisk in the icing sugar.
For the base~ In a mixing bowl cream the butter and the brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Blend in the egg and the vanilla until well combined. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until well combined. Blend in the nuts.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and spread the marshmallows over top of the hot squares. Set aside until cooled.
Whisk the icing sugar into the cooled butterscotch and blend until the frosting is smooth and lump free. Drizzle or pour the frosting over the marshmallow-topped squares and refrigerate until ready to serve.