My name is Patricia Martyres and I was born and raised in India. As a little girl, I was my mom’s assistant as she decorated cakes that were the envy of our neighborhood. But as I grew older, life got in the way and cake decorating became a distant memory until 2010 when I took the full course at Michael’s; that reminded me what I had been missing. The following year, I attended my first ICES convention in Charlotte and joined my local cake club, CASANOVA, and have since become a cake junkie, devouring every decorating website I can find and attending every class and demo possible. I am proud to be a charter member of SugarEd Productions and continue to be inspired by it.
I love the excitement of creating new cakes and interacting with others who share my passion. I enjoy decorating much more than I do baking. I tend to favor traditional styles with flowers, lace and other embellishments, and enjoy experimenting with mediums like royal icing, isomalt, DecoGel, wafer paper, and chocolate, among others. I have been privileged to take classes with some outrageously talented teachers who have been so willing to share their expertise. Cake decorating continues to animate me and I can spend hours experimenting and playing with all my cake toys. My full time job is human resources so for now, I make cakes only for family and friends. I don’t know where this road will lead but I hope to continue cake decorating in one form or another for a very long time.
Pecan Squares (shared with me by a friend)
1-1/4 pounds unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound unsalted butter
1 cup good honey
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18” x 12” x 1” baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve. Makes 20 large squares.