Pecan Praline-Topped Brownies

I’m not going to say these make you run faster, but I made them last night and then had pretty much the best tempo run ever today.

I guess it could have been the weather (50 and raining…just like home!). Or it could have been my new shoes.

Sorry, they’re a little dirty. I always hated Brooks, but when we were running shoe shopping a couple weeks ago I decided to try them. Going in I was pretty sure I wanted Newtons, but I liked these SO much more (and in the interest of full disclosure, I bought them with my own money and Brooks has no idea I’m writing about them). They’re light and feel just cushioned enough. I normally run in Asics 2170s, but these have become my shoe of choice.

Anyway, the run. I started out with a mile warm-up, then picked it up for three miles, which I ran in 6:53, 6:43, and 6:34 (whaaat?). I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast in a tempo run, and since my 5K PR is 6:51 minutes/mile I think there’s a good chance I’m in PR shape. We’ll see…I may be making an attempt this Sunday.

Lately I feel like I haven’t been baking as often as I want to, so in addition to planning my weekly dinners, I’ve been planning for a couple baked goods every week too. First up was Black Bread (um, Heidi’s pictures are about a million times better than mine).

Rye bread with carrots in it is actually pretty good, who knew?

My sister gave me The Pastry Queen cookbook for Christmas and these brownies looked completely amazing. As my mom would say, they’re so sweet they’ll make your teeth curl, but to me that’s kind of a good thing.

Pecan Praline-Topped Brownies


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Topping
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 13 x 9 pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler, then let cool slightly.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and add the sugars, and mix well.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth.
  5. Stir in the flour, instant espresso, and salt and stir just until the flour disappears.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until just set in the middle and pulling away slightly from the sides.
  7. Let cool completely before making the topping.
  8. Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes (in a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven) until fragrant. Let cool then roughly chop.
  9. Put the cream, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the beginning, just to get everything evenly mixed, then let boil over medium-low heat for about 6 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans.
  11. Pour over the brownies and let stand for about 20 minutes. Cut into small squares to serve.

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