Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chocolate Pecan Pie and Thanksgiving Prep!

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Show me a more food-centered holiday than Thanksgiving and I will give you a nickel! Or a penny... make it a penny. Thanksgiving, to me, is the tastiest holiday and by far one of my favorites. Any holiday that involves spending the entire day filling your house with the most delicious and festive smells one can imagine is alright by me! This year, Thanksgiving is at my Mother-In-Law's house, so I will be making all of my signature dishes and bringing them over to her house... and I am so, so ready... 

Over the years I have completely perfected the most delicious cranberry sauce on the planet, I have an awesome green bean casserole recipe in my arsenal, homemade rolls that are so so fluffy and perfect that they will make you feel all warm and cozy inside, AND I make a Chocolate Pecan Pie that will knock your socks off (which I'm going to be sharing with you in just a minute!) 

Now that my daughter is getting older and really exploring her love of cooking and baking, I want to make sure she has every opportunity to help me make all of my signature dishes that have become part of our holiday traditions. She especially loves tasting all of the ingredients as we go along, especially if there's chocolate involved! Who can blame her? So, this year, I decided it was time to show her how to make Chocolate Pecan Pie and we're going to show you how to make it, too!

For my pecan pie I always use all butter to make my crust! I love the richness it adds to the finished pie! Yummmmm...

Getting ready to make the filling! Something beautiful is about to happen...

When it comes to the holidays, I always go for the best ingredients possible to ensure that everything I make is 100% awesome. I always choose the brands I trust and ones that have always served me well in the past. After all, your recipe is only as good as the ingredients you use! Karo Syrup has always and will always be my go-to for holiday pie making!

My little girl is a most excellent whisker. She was born to whisk!

Empty pie crust + Semi-sweet chocolate chips + pecans = the beginnings of a very delicious pie!

Then, when you pour that deliciously-sweet, beautifully-golden mixture over the top... well, it's beautiful. Truly.

I love how the pecans all rise to the top during baking! It's kind of magical, really... And, of course, to achieve full-flavor and texture, I highly recommend refrigerating overnight! That will give the chocolate chips time to set again and it creates a much nicer eating experience in my opinion! 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy lots of time with your loved ones! Even though a lot of the fun comes from the cooking and the preparing of the meal, make sure you are saving time where you can to make the day a much more enjoyable one for yourself! 

Here are a few of my favorite time-saving tips for Thanksgiving: 

  • Use your Fleischmann's yeast to make your bread dough the night before Thanksgiving. That way it will be all ready to go when you wake up in the morning!
  • Cranberry sauce can be made a couple of days in advance and tastes just as good!
  • Plan out your menu and your cooking schedule in advance to make sure you are staying on-track and nothing gets forgotten!


Chocolate Pecan Pie:


For the crust:
  • 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/8 cup very cold water (ice water)

For the filling:
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup light Karo Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


Place flour, salt and sugar into food processor (or into a medium mixing bowl) and pulse (or mix) together. Add in butter and pulse until it becomes coarse and crumbly (or use fingers to mix into flour). Pour in ice water and mix just until the dough begins to clump together.

Remove dough from food processor (or bowl), place on a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk, wrap and place in fridge for an hour or two, or until dough is firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

When you are ready to start assembling your pie, remove dough from refrigerator, place on lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out to desired thickness. Move dough over to pie plate, cut edges of dough until even and decorate edge of pie crust as desired.

Pour chocolate chips over pie crust, top with pecan halves and set aside.

Place eggs, Karo Syrup, vanilla, brown sugar and melted butter in a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Pour mixture over nuts and chocolate chips. 

Bake pie for 45-55 minutes, or until the center is set. Make sure to check on your pie as it's baking and add foil to the edges if they start becoming too brown.

Remove pie from oven, allow it to cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.


You can visit and for more recipe inspiration!

Disclosure: I received free products to cook with from the nice people at Karo and Fleischmann's. However, I always use these products in my cooking, and I am happy to share my experience while using them!

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