Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mini Chocolate Pecan Pies, thanks to Oh NUTS!

OK, first up that fair up front announcement, the very good folks at Oh Nuts! made me an offer I could not refuse....


Click the Logo to view their home page!
I have been doing business with Oh Nuts for a few years now.  ALWAYS the best quality (Take a look at the pecans in the photo above, HUGE, arriving in excellent condition.  I am especially drawn to their pecans and walnuts.  Not only tasty, but make beautiful accent garnishes.  They make the food look just as good as they taste!

Shipping is fast, quality is EXCELLENT and prices are actually below the super market prices (especially if you sign up for their eMail mailing list and take advantage of their free shipping offers they send out on occasion).

I made these mini pies based on a recipe I saw Carla Hall make on an episode of The Chew.

OK, if you saw the episode (well, actually, if you read the title of this post), right away you noticed that either I have giant chocolate chips and giant pecans OR I made chocolate pecan tarts instead of a pie.

Because... well, portion control.  I LOVE a pecan pie.  Never had it with this much chocolate mixed in, but I was sure I was going to love it.  But it is awfully fattening.  Making them this size, I was able to control the size and as long as I have the will power to only eat one, well...moderation.  Since each little tart is about 3 good size bites, I even didn't feel too guilty when i had a little bit of pumpkin pie along side.

And besides, they photograph so nicely...

And, besides the size, I made an additional change that you probably saw in the first photo in the above series... Bourbon in place of vanilla.  First, the alcohol does cook out, leaving a deep rich earthy taste behind. Besides pure vanilla extract is actually mostly alcohol anyway.  In a pecan pie, I just like Maker's mark in place of vanilla.  Just one more layer of flavor.

Alright, first up is a pie crust recipe.  I am constantly on the look out for a new pie crust recipe.  I have tried several, but never could quite get one as good as my Mother-in-Law's.  So, I phoned her and tried hers for the first time.

Lard.    Shhh it's the secret ingredient that only grandmother's know.

So, My Mother-inLaw's Pie Crust recipe first...

Makes 2 pie crust, or one to freeze for later and one to cut into 6 tart size...

3 cups Flour
1 cup Lard
1 tsp Salt

Mix until crumbly.  Then mix together ...

1/4 cup Water 
1 Egg
1 tsp Vinegar

Combine, Divide and roll out, generously flour as you roll out.

OK, as I said, I was making tarts... tartlettes if you will.  SO I rolled one of the crusts out pretty thin.  I then took a large fluted edged round cookie cutter and made six circles.  I sprayed a muffin tin generously and placed the circles in the bottom of the tins.  This made a cup shape about 3/4 inch tall.

OK, in the recipe (that you can see on The Chew's website by clicking HERE), Carla made a pie.  I cut the recipe in half, had more than enough to make 6 tarts.  I also glazed the bottom with egg whites.

So, here's what I did.  The measurements are @1/2 what Carla used (But you should check her recipe if you are making pies)...

1/2 cup Corn Syrup (I only had white on hand, she advises dark)
1 TBS Butter softened to room temperature
1 tsp Corn Starch
1tsp Bourbon
1/2 cups Pecans, chopped
1/4 cup Whole Pecans for decoration
pinch of Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp White Vinegar
1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375

  • Cream Butter and Sugar
  • Add Beaten Eggs 
  • Add Cornstarch, Salt, Bourbon, Vinegar and Corn Syrup, and now you have the pie filling
  • sprinkle a single layer of chocolate chips
  • sprinkle the pecan pieces
  • add the pie filling
  • Bake on center rack for 30 minutes
  • Add the garnish whole pecans
  • Return to the oven until center of filling reaches 200 degrees

And the verdict is that these were PERFECT!  An adult pie, let the kids have the pumpkin and cakes and sweets.  Rich, earthy,nutty taste.  Just a hint of the Bourbon and a very unique taste with the chocolate added!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

O Olive Oil Cooking Contest Underway - VOTE NOW!

This week is a big week fro some very talented bloggers!  The very good folks at O Olive Oil are partnering with to select a winner in a very special and even unique cooking contest.  Not only is there going to be a "winner" selected for the quality of the recipe submitted, but for the first time (that I know of), food bloggers are being judged and awarded prizes based on the quality of their food writing as well as a prize for best food styling/photography.

A part of the judging is up to you!  The true honor of any recipe is to be added to someone's recipe file as something that they may consider making themselves at a future date.  So, in order to determine a "winner", 1/3rd of the judging will be based on how many people add their recipe to their eRecipeBox maintained on

Setting up an electronic recipe box is very easy.  All you need is an email address and a password that you control.  Then, any recipe you see on home page can be stored with just a single click into your file.  And of course, from the same account you are able to submit a recipe blog post for others to enjoy.

To set up an account, follow the directions on our "Tour" page.  Step by step, easy to follow illustrated instructions will have you set up in minutes. Click HERE or the click the photo of the recipe box.

To find the recipes and the page to "Vote" for your favorite, Go to the Search page at the top of the home page (or click HERE).  Once there, type in OOLIVEOIL (all one word, all caps (easiest to cut and paste).

Here in no particular order are the recipes and the talented folks who are working so hard (and deserve your vote)...

Rainey from "The Project Table" has submitted ...
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Champagne Vinegar Drizzle
Amy from "U Try It" has Submitted ...
Chicken Satay with Cucumber Relish

Evelyn from "Cheap Ethnic Eatz" has submitted ...
Vinegar Tarts and Olive Oil Ice Cream

Shari from "The Saucy Gourmet" has submitted ...
2 Salads made with O Olive Oil Products

Penny from "Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen" has submitted ...Pork tenderloin with Blood Orange Sauce with a Sweet Potato Salsa

Jessie from "Savory-Bites" has submitted ...
Clementine Olive Oil Ice Cream

Kristen from "Frugal Antics of a Harried Housewife" has submitted ...
Winter Grain Salad

And Last, But certainly NOT least...
Bobbi from "Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen" has submitted ...
Cilantro Lime Cod with Sherry Vinegar Reduction

OK, it is now up to you... Many of these are your blogging buddies and would appreciate your votes.  Many may be new to you, but their hard work should be rewarded with a vote...

And if you are interested in getting a bottle (or two or more) of O Olive Oil for yourself, in addition to supplying all of the prizes for the contest, are offering EVERYONE a 20% discount on any order made between now and December 31, 2011!!!

PLUS, it gets better, free shipping for all orders over $60 (after the discount).

Use Code "e-recipecards" for 20% Discount on O Olive Oil Plus Free Shipping on orders over $60