August 29, 2010

pee-can, pee-cahn, pah-cahn

Confession: I'm one of those people who snicker or smirk when certain words are pronounced differently from how I've been raised to say them.


Examples: Coupon. Caramel. Mayonnaise. Pajamas. Scallops. Worcestershire. And a common one--pecan*.

*For the record, I personally say pah-cahn, with the emphasis on the second syllable. For the record, all three are correct.

It's taken me awhile to fully appreciate the pecan and all its many applications. While you still won't see me reaching for a handful of plain ol' pecans, all you have to do is salt 'em and toast 'em or toss them with caramel (that's with three syllables, if you please) and I'm excited.


My most recent use for the lovely nuts was a unique case. I often bookmark recipes that I see on other blogs, but rarely do I make them the next day. When I saw Karly's post featuring her twist on the gooey butter cake, I didn't waste a second.

All I had on hand was a lemon cake mix, but it worked out quite nicely. For obvious reasons, a butter cake mix would be better. Regardless, if you like both pecans and the traditional version of gooey butter cake (and honestly, how could you not?), this dessert is for you. The nuts in the bottom layer make it blissfully crunchy and rich. Yes, even more rich than the original. Paula Deen would be proud.

Say, what other words get pronounced differently depending on the region?

Gooey Butter Pecan Bars
(motivated by Karly's post)

1 box (18.25 oz) lemon cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups chopped pecans
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, melted butter, and pecans. Mix well and press into a greased 9×13-inch pan.
Cream together the cream cheese, 2 remaining eggs, and powdered sugar until well combined. Pour over the crust.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is set. It should be gooey, but not runny. Cool completely before cutting, 1-2 hours. Store in the refrigerator.

70 comments:

April in CT said...

Personally I don't want to eat anything that has a PEE can in it, I'm pah-cahn all the way. And just for reference I'm from GA.

I would be oh so happy to have some of that butter cake for breakfast this morning. YUM!!

Velva said...

I 'm thinking I am in the "pah-cahn" crowd. :-)

What a lovely, ooey-gooey cake. As always, beautiful.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

"gooey" & "pecan" are two of my favorite words! ;-P Gorgeous bars.

Cheers,

Rosa

bellini valli said...

I love "pah-cahn's". It is interesting to other people's accents when we don't think we have one:D My family think I have a Western accent, but I don't knbow what that means since I feel I still speak just like them:D

lisa is cooking said...

Way to make Paula proud! I could enjoy pecans in just about any application, but a gooey, rich bar sounds pretty irresistible.

Lucie said...

I'm a pah-cahn girl as well--and I think I would love this cake! Can you believe I've never had Paula Deen's gooey butter cake? You're tempting me now!

Barbara said...

No pees here. It's pah-cahn!
And if Paula says olive erl one more time, I'll scream.

Anyway....this looks like a super cake, Grace. I've never made her cake either...but I like your version!

jose manuel said...

Esto es un verdadero pecado, que rico se ve. Saludos

Megan said...

I have always been a wary pecan (pah-cahn) eater. When I was a kid I would run screaming from a room if the food had any kind of nut in it. But, these look too delicious to pass up (hooray for an adult palette!)

oneordinaryday said...

I think I say pecan differently every time I say it! haha I do tease my husband for saying words differently than me - especially envelope, roof, and Roosevelt. : )
We'd agree that these bars look pretty darn good though!

Julie said...

I think I say it the same as you...sounds delish it a gooey cake like no matter how you say it!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Hey, I pronounce pecan and caramel the same as you. Let's be friends ;p. This looks ooey gooey absolutely irresistible. I can see why you made it so quickly.

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

I grew up in the SF Bay Area and pronounce just like you do. That cake looks amazing and I bet it tastes even better. Enjoyed your post!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I'll be the odd man out here and call it a pea-can. (But I'll say it with my pinky extended.)However you say it, this looks yummy!

TKW said...

No matter how you pronounce it, that recipe looks great! I'm in your camp, by the way.

Emily said...

YUMMMM. You have no idea how excited I am by these bars. They look delicious!

I say puhcahn. Hate PEEcan.

Abby said...

I'm a PEE-cahner. Most people I know in this area are, too. And you know SOME people in this country say dahn instead of dawn, dahg instead of dog, and so forth.

And to finish I'll say that this recipe is so definitely bookmarked.

Carolyn Jung said...

I go crazy for pecans. So I am sure I will go nuts for this nut-filled creation. ;)

Julie M. said...

This looks really really good! I don't care how anyone pronounces it, I just want a piece!

MaryBeth said...

I am not a huge fan of Pecans but yet this is really calling to me...

Chanel11 said...

Down under we pretty much all say Pee-can unfortunately.

Otherwise the words I hear differently most often in Oz are castle (I say car-sul some say cas-sel) and library (I say lie-brar-rie others say li-bry, aussies have a tendency to swallow syllables...)

I love pecans in caramel, and know you get me craving them...

Melanie said...

I love this pah-cahn version. I wish I said pee-can. I've always liked it better but can't make my brain start saying it that way.

Lynda said...

Yummy looking gooey cake and love all those pah cahns Grace...I say caramel like you too!
I've never made Paula's cake, although I do have it bookmarked. I like your version with the lemon cake. As always, very temping pictures!

tasteofbeirut said...

you crack me up! I love them pee-cahns; love to pick them myself too and roast them and your cake looks lovely!

shaz said...

Just lovely Grace. I love pee-cans (as us aussies pronounce it) in any form, and the first time I heard it pronounced pah-cahn, I thought they'd said it wrong. (How self confident am I then?).

Butter cake, lemon cake, it's all good.

Foodycat said...

As Shaz said - pee-cans for we Aussies. This sounds so easy! And anything with cream cheese in it gets my vote.

Angie said...

The cake looks to die for. When I'm not thinking or excited (when the accent comes through) definitely pee-can. But when I think about it, it's pah kahn with a British accent and the nose turned up, real snooty like, LOL

bella roz said...

Gotta love pecans no matter how one pronounces the word.....proud to be your 300th follower today! Love your beautiful blog! Roz

Erica said...

Delicious and easy to make!

The Blonde Duck said...

Brilliant, as always. I've been so curious about this gooey butter cake. Have you ever had it?

Ingrid said...

You've just improved that cake!
~ingrid

sweetlife said...

gooey and pecan go perfect together...I love pecans!!

sweetlife

grace said...

Delicious! What else can I say?

BTW, I always have a hell of a time with "Worcestershire".

pigpigscorner said...

Sounds weird when you say it like that..lol

Tara said...

I'm sitting here saying all of the words and wondering how else you can pronounce pajamas. lol

Marjie said...

When you lived in Albany, did you ever drive along Route 84 going into Connecticut? There's a place there called Lake Carmel, which I always told my girls was filled with caramels. But I never took them there, because I said it would be very bad for my derriere.

And, "Worcestershire" is "Woostershire". Just like "Worcester, Mass." is "Wooster, Mass." It's such a pesky name!

That said, I'd enjoy your "pah-cahn" bars!

Maria said...

Delicious cake!

Pam said...

Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my chin.

Pecans (pah cahns) are my favorite nut and I am always looking for new recipes using them.

Delishhh said...

All i have to say is YUM! I am saving this recipe.

baking.serendipity said...

This looks delicious! I'm from Ohio originally, and most pronounced aunt as "ant." Anything else would drive me crazy!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

LOL that's so funny, I always chuckle when I hear words pronounced differently too. Caramel is one and the name Craig is another-in Australia it's pronounced like "Crayyyg" whereas in the US it sounds like "Creg" :P

Angie's Recipes said...

It matters no much to me how they pronounced...delicious all the same. You probably would go nut if you hear it with strong German accent. :-)

5 Star Foodie said...

I love pecans and these bars look so so good!

Half Baked said...

I live in pea-can county and I'm huge a pah-chan lover (and pronouncer) however you pronounce it these bars look great!

hannah {thepastrykook} said...

I used to say 'pee-kuhns' but when i heard 'puh-cahns', i switched. but then again, i hear so many other pronunciations... o.O

anyway, this cake of yours looks really delicious. i could eat a pecan any time!

Cara said...

Pretty soon I expect a discussion on the pronunciation or Worcestershire. I find it pretty funny that most people can say Worcestershire correctly but can't figure out how to pronounce the name of the city where I live (Worcester!)

Cheryl said...

Holy Poo, I cannnot wait to make this. I have everything but the cream cheese! Thanks for sharing!

Juliana said...

Gooey pecan? It sure sound a great match, and look even better...love the ingredients in this gooey bars :-)

Joanne said...

Coffee is a fun one. Or maybe I just feel that way because I grew up surrounded by NY accents. My parents totally say CAWFEE.

I love pecans no matter how you say them...they have this subtle sweetness to them. This cake sounds fantastic!

marla@familyfreshcooking.com said...

Did I read that correctly...the pecans on the bottom layer that beckon to me in all their caramely bliss. What about that cream cheese.....geesh. I agree, however you say it pecans rule. and so does this cake :) xo

Lori said...

There are just some recipes you simply must make right away. Immediately, do not pass go!

I say pee-cahn.
And how about sherbet. I actually say shure-bit. Not shure-bert. Where exactly did the r come from. Everyone does it though.

Mimi said...

Out west it's pee-cahn. But I could be convinced to call them something else if it results in a slice of this cake.
Mimi

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said...

well, I am always told that I say it incorrectly. I say "pee-cahn", which many think is the American way of saying it (here is Australian most people say "pee-can"). Either way :) i do adore the delicious nut!

My fiance says numerous things differently to me, which I always find entertaining. "FRUIT salad" - emphasis on the word fruit, not salad. & "tiraMIsu", whereas i say "tiramiSU".

the bars look really yummy too!
Heidi xo

Foodessa said...

Grace...those nuts will be devoured by me in a peee-can ;o) pie any time of the week. Did you get that sweet tooth weakness of mine?
Now, about that decadent cake...especially as a quick fix me up delight...sounds pretty tempting indeed!

Thanks for sharing your discovery ;o)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Gloria said...

ooh! Grace I love these bars!!!!! gloria

Hungry Dog said...

Yum! I am a fan of the pecan as well. I say: pe-cahn.

foodhoe said...

what, no cinnamon for the nuts? Sounds delicious, I just love crunchy rich and gooey!

Rosy said...

Looks amazing. Cannot wait to try it.

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

OK, you have got me on the mayonnaise. I have only heard one way to say it! I am so sheltered. I like to pronounce words the way they are pronounced in their typical locale, which makes me a bit odd at home. Himalayas is Himawlyas, scallops is scawllops and pecans is pacahns with emphasis on the second syllable! Having unloaded all that on you, this is a wonderful recipe. Can't wait to use some of my pecans.

Sophie said...

It doesn't matter how you call pecans , it is how u use them, that's important!


You made a stunning tasty appetizing pecan butter cake!!
oooh,..yes!

Pretty looking too!

Lisa-Marie said...

I say it the last way you've written it. I love them, mmmmmm!

Mrs. L said...

I had to sit there a minute and go through each "example" and figure out the different ways to pronounce them :) This sounds delish and I may have to make it for my Bodega vacation weekend!

The Teacher Cooks said...

Any way you say it this recipe sounds good!

Maria @ ScandiFoodie said...

I looove nuts! This looks so incredibly delicious and moist!

Deborah said...

I'm the same way -I won't eat pecans on their own, but throw them into something like this and I'll eat the whole pan!

Jacque said...

Me too... pecans have slowly grown to be a favored baking ingredient. And I know what you mean, as a silent snickerer from when I lived in Texas where they said "pee-can". Anyway, this looks fantastic! Your cakes always look so moist and flavorful.

kimberleyblue said...

Nothing wrong with pecans and butter! Interesting combo with the lemon...something I would've never considered. It certainly opens lots of flavour-doors!

Nicisme said...

Grace - you are the queen of the sweet tooth! This looks so scrummy and sugary - I wish pillows could be made of this!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

This looks great! While I'm also not a fan of plain pecans I totally dig them in sweets...yum! For the record I was raised saying "Pee-can" :)

Anonymous said...

My ex-husbands Grandmother always said "a Pee-can was what we keep next to our beds at night, a pah-cahn is what you eat". While we are all from Ga my 97yo great-great aunt says pee-can and I smile every time she says it.