Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mini Bourbon Pecan Pies

With Turkey Day just around the corner, it seemed like a crime not to post this scrumptious pie. It's become my staple recipe for pecan pie--hopefully it'll become yours, too!

The great thing about this recipe is that there's no Karo syrup involved. Come on, admit it--you keep the Karo syrup around for pecan pie and that's pretty much it. Maybe you use a tablespoon here or there to make caramels, or someone with an old-fashioned sweet tooth likes it on pancakes or french toast. But for most of us, the Karo comes out once a year. I bet I'm not the only one who's made a day-before-Thanksgiving run to the grocery store for Karo because I just realized I was out.

But it doesn't have to be that way! These little pies will satisfy your pecan pie sweet tooth without requiring any extra trips to the store. Once you've had this pie, you won't even miss the one on the back of the syrup bottle.

The first three ingredients are melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.

Next are two eggs. You'll want to make sure you stir them in really well. Stir until you think you've stirred too much, and then stir some more.

A little bit of flour will help your pie hold together.

Now for the thing that'll make your pie zing--a couple fingers' worth of Jack Daniels (let's see...steak, caramel sauce, and now pie? Is there anything I don't like Jack in?)

If you don't have any Jack on hand, you could substitute any number of alcohols or liquers--DiSaronno or dark rum would be especially good, I think. Or, if you're not into cooking with alcohol, you could definitely use milk instead.

Another picture. Just because there aren't many recipes that utilize a shot glass ;)

Don't worry about the bourbon flavor being too strong...the uncooked filling will have a fairly distinct smell, but the baked pie does not taste like alcohol at all. If you DO want more alcohol flavor, you'd be safe adding another shot without messing up the recipe.

Now for just a splash of vanilla.

All right, now that your filling is  done, it's time for the crust. Like when I made my Pumpkin-Maple pie, I used store-bought. I know, I know. One of these days I'll post a recipe for homemade crust.


I made these pies in muffin tins. I cut the crust out with a biscuit cutter that was slightly larger than the muffin tin. If you don't have biscuit cutters, you could use a drinking glass or even a can from canned soup or vegetables that has had both ends removed.

I pressed the crust lightly into the muffin tins (which I greased well.) Then I sprinkled chopped pecans into them. Just enough to cover the bottoms. If you add too many, then you won't have as much room for the rest of your filling.

Use a ladle or measuring cup to carefully pour your filling over the pecans.

I love the way pecan pie filling looks while being poured into a pie shell. Fill the shells to just below the top.
I got two dozen little pies out of this recipe.

I put the first muffin tin in while I made the second; the first tin went on the middle rack. By the time my second tin was done, the first had baked for about 10 minutes. The second tin went on the rack below.

The first tin came out after another 10 minutes, and then I moved the second tin to the middle rack for their last 10 minutes. If you have lots of mini pies to make, this system could work really well for you.

Ahh, pecan pie, fresh out of the oven. Is that a delectable stack of little pies, or what?

If you can't wait until Thanksgiving, that's okay--you can always make more, and you won't have to worry about running out of Karo!

Recipe: Mini Bourbon Pecan Pies

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp. flour

1 shot (about 1.5 oz.) Jack Daniel's whisky, or other alcohol, such as Jim Beam, DiSaronno, dark rum, or brandy; if not using liquer, use a similar amount of milk, cream, or half and half
1 tsp. vanilla

6 oz. (1 1/2 c.) chopped pecan pieces
2 premade piecrusts (the kind you roll out)

Combine butter and sugars.

Add eggs; mix very well, making sure egg is fully incorporated.

Add flour; stir well.

Pour in liquer and vanilla; stir to combine.

Cut out circles from the piecrusts; press crusts into well-greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with pecan pieces. Carefully pour pie filling over the pecans.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool fully before removing from tins. If the filling has bubbled over, run a knife around the edges of the pie to make sure it comes out of the tin clean .

*This recipe can also be made as a full pie. Use a single pie crust and reduce pecans to 1 cup. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 300F and bake for another 55-60 minutes.


  1. Little pies like this remind me of Harry Potter movies...I think it would be awesome if you made these for Thanksgiving. Yum Yum.

  2. I made these last night, for tomorrow. They keep disappearing somehow (and it's not my fault this time)! I'm assured they're delicious and should, in fact, be the centerpiece of the desserts.

    I'm trying out your dinner rolls later today, too.

  3. So making this for Thanksgiving.