This is, quite possibly, my favorite pie. I made it for the first time last year on Thanksgiving, and since I always double everything I make, I still had a ball of dough in the freezer that was begging to be thawed out and put to use a few weekend ago when we had some friends over. Obviously, I couldn’t help but oblige. There’s just something wonderful that happens when you pair bourbon, chocolate, and a caramely pecan mixture together in a flaky pie crust. It’s truly magical, so I thought, why not put all of that deliciousness into one compact bite? If you’ve ever been out to eat with me, you know that I like to try a little bit of everything, including the food on your plate (hey, we’re friends, right? Then share and share like, that’s what I always say). It’s just in my nature to want to try more than my stomach can possibly handle, which is why bite-sized food is up there on my Top Ten Favorite Things Ever list. I make miniature pies pretty often, now that I think about it, but when you have people over, the last thing you want to worry about it forks and knives and plates and napkins. It’s much more enjoyable to be able to walk around, carry a drink, and pop a treat or two in your mouth while you navigate the room.
So, on to describing how outrageously awesome this pies are. They are, of course, from the Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook, which I use on an almost monthly basis and highly recommend grabbing a copy of. I’m not sure what inspired me to buy it one random day, but ever since I opened it up, it’s been my go-to for desserts. The crust is tender and flaky, and obviously freezes beautifully – I kept mine in the freezer for 5 months and it was just as perfect as the day I made it. The pies have dark chocolate on the bottom and are filled with a boozy caramel-pecan mixture that you will, quite literally, go nuts for (I should probably go compete in the Punderdome, right?). These are irresistible, either when they are warm and right out of the oven or a few days old – put them out and just watch them disappear.
I had some pie dough left over in the freezer from Thanksgiving (yep, you heard me) so I thawed that out to use. You can use the Baked recipe below, which I love, or your own favorite recipe.
Cut the circles out so that they are just a bit bigger than your pie tins, and place them inside, crimping the edges a bit if necessary.
Chop your pecans.
And whisk them together with your filling ingredients.
Place a few chocolate chips on the bottom of the pies.
Then fill with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the pecan mixture. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- ¾ cup ice cold water
- 1 ball of pie dough (recipe above), chilled
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl or the bowl of a food processor, whisk or pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cubes to the flour mixture and either pulse the butter into the flour mixture with your food processor until pea-sized crumbs form, or cut the butter in with a pastry cutter (or use your hands). Drizzle the water over the dough and pulse until the dough comes together in a ball (or whisk the water in with a fork). You may not need all of the water.
- When the dough has come together into a ball, divide it into 2 equal parts, flatten each part into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until the disks are firm, about 1 hour. You can also freeze the dough for up to 5 months.
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll out your ball of chilled pie dough. Roll it out to about ¼ inch thick, then cut out circles that are a bit bigger than your mini-muffin tins. Lightly spray your pan with non-stick spray, then place each cut out inside each muffin tin, and crimp the edges slightly. Wrap the tins in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. If you want to make a regular sized pie, then roll it out into a 12-inch round, then place the dough in a pie dish and carefully crimp the edges so that it fits nicely inside the dish. Wrap the dish in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour (or up to 3 months).
- When the dough is almost ready to be removed from the freezer, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coarsely chop ¾ cup of your pecans and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until they are well combined, then add in the corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted and cooled butter, salt, vanilla, and bourbon. Fold in the ¾ cup of chopped pecans, and set the bowl aside.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips along the inside of the frozen pie shell(s), then fill each one with about 1½ teaspoons of filling, or if you're making a regular sized pie, just pour the pecan filling mixture over the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1¼ cup of pecans over the filling. Place the pies in the center of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crusts are golden and the centers are set. If you are making a full sized pie, then remove the pie after 30 minutes and cover the outside of the crust with foil, so that it doesn't burn too quickly, and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set and a knife comes out of the center of the pie clean.
- Cool the pies in the tins for at least 15-20 minutes, if not longer, so that they are completely cool when you pop them out. I found it easiest to turn the pan over and let the ones that come out easily just fall out onto the counter, then wiggle the others out with a butter knife. These will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
- *This recipe makes 2 balls of dough, enough for 2 9-inch pies.