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Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pies are individually-portioned in a muffin pan and fun to eat, featuring a tender, buttery crust (no rolling pin required!) and a sweet, nutty filling.

Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com You probably think I’m posting pecan pie because of a certain impending holiday that starts with Thanks- and ends with -giving. Well, that may be so…but the truth is, last weekend, we celebrated my husband’s birthday. And he’s not a big fan of cake but he looooooves pecan pie, so every year I bake him some incarnation of it for his special day.

Do you have a particular recipe that just never seems to turn out for you? For a long time, my culinary nemesis was pecan pie. I’ve always fancied myself a decent baker, but as soon as I fell in love with a man whose favorite dessert of all time is pecan pie, I quickly determined that it was the one thing I couldn’t seem to master. For years, my pecan pies would never solidify in the center. Or if they did, they’d burn on top. Or the crust would fall apart. No matter which recipe I tried, all of my pecan pies failed…and here I was, simply trying to impress my boyfriend/fiancรฉ/husband!

Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com Well, I’m happy to report that after many, many failures, I’ve finally mastered a fool-proof recipe for pecan pie! It’s a good one, and I’ll post it here on the bloggity-blog one day. But in the meantime, I’m going to share one of my cheater, pecan pie-ish recipes that worked for me back when a legit pecan pie never would. Even though I typically make a full-fledged pecan pie for my husband’s birthday, now that I can (Hallelujah and Amen), I sometimes fall back on this recipe when time is a little tight or when I want individually-sized treats for everyone to enjoy…ร  la, the pecan pie version of birthday cupcakes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com These little pecan pies are totally scrumptious, and that’s coming from someone who’s never really cared for pecan pie (me) as well as someone who considers himself a pecan pie expert (the hubby). They boast a 3-ingredient homemade crust that you form into a circle with your fingers and then lightly press into the pan…no rolling pin required! The crust turns out tender and melt-in-your-mouth flaky, and it’s the perfect vehicle for the gooey, sugary pecan filling.

Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com The filling itself only requires five ingredients — brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and (of course) pecans — but by some sort of voo-doo magic, those simple ingredients morph into the most delicious pecan filling. My husband would claim that the key to a perfect pecan pie is finely chopping the pecans…like, really finely chopping them. That’s how his Nanny always made pecan pie, so by golly, it has to be right. By finely chopping the nuts, they form this crackly pecan veneer on top of the layer of brown sugary goo. Of course, if you prefer larger pieces of nuts, save your arm the workout and go for a coarser chop…it’s totally up to you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com So…I had planned on baking these for my hubby’s birthday with no thought of posting them on Five Heart Home. And then, as I was making them, it occurred me that posting this recipe this week would actually be perfect timing for sharing them as a Thanksgiving menu idea…because wouldn’t these Mini Pecan Pies be a fun addition to all of the full-sized pies on the Turkey Day dessert table?!

I decided that, if I had a chance, I would quickly and covertly photograph the pies for a blog post before presenting them to the birthday boy. They were cooling on a rack as I put the two-year-old down for a nap, and when I came out of her nursery, I walked into the kitchen just as my husband was taking a big bite out of a little pie and telling me how good it was. I smiled and nodded through clenched teeth — because what kind of evil blogger wife would tell her husband that he has to wait to eat his birthday dessert until she could take pictures of it??? Then I waited for him to leave the room, quickly threw the remaining 11 pies on a tiered stand, grabbed my camera, and started snapping.

Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com So forgive me that these photos aren’t all propped out. You’re seeing rich, nutty, Mini Pecan Pies, pure and simple. And after these pics were taken, we stuck a candle in one, sang ‘Happy Birthday’ (to my patient and understanding spouse…love you, honey!), and proceeded to devour the rest of them. Because whether it’s Thanksgiving or a pie-lover’s special day, these Mini Pecan Pies are sure to be a hit. Hope y’all enjoy them as much as we do!

Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com

Mini Pecan Pies

Yield: 12 mini pies

Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pies are individually-portioned in a muffin pan and fun to eat, featuring a tender, buttery crust (no rolling pin required!) and a sweet, nutty filling.

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Prepare muffin pan by generously greasing (with softened butter or shortening) and flouring each muffin cup (or coat with a flour-based baking spray, such as Baker's Joy).
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter. Mix in flour until smooth and well combined. Scrape dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap and form into a disk, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. In another medium bowl, beat butter into brown sugar. Blend in eggs, vanilla, and salt, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Gently stir in pecans.
  4. Place oven rack in center position of oven and preheat to 350ยฐF. Once dough is chilled, divide it into 12 equal pieces (I do so by forming a circle with the dough, cutting it into quarters, and then dividing each quarter into three pieces...if you have a small kitchen scale, it can help you achieve equal pieces, but eyeballing it works, too!). Roll each piece of dough into a ball and use your fingers to gently press it into a thin, flat circle. Lay the circle of dough in one of the greased and floured muffin cups and gently press it into the bottom and up the sides, spreading the dough a bit more if necessary to cover the entire cup. (You want the crust to lightly adhere to the muffin cup, but don't press it too hard or it may get stuck!)
  5. Give the filling another stir to redistribute the pecans and evenly divide it between the 12 mini pie crusts (use a cookie scoop to make this easier).
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until filling is puffy and set. Remove pan to a rack and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges of each muffin cup to make sure that there is no sticking. Allow to rest for 5 more minutes. Run knife around each pie one more time. Place a cooling rack on top of muffin pan and carefully invert so that pan is resting upside-down on rack. Carefully lift pan and turn the pies over to finish cooling on the rack.

Notes

Dough may be made up to 3 days in advance, but you will need to let it soften at room temperature enough to form it into individual pie crusts (but make sure it is still somewhat chilled or it will be too soft and sticky!).

The trickiest part of this recipe is removing the pies from the muffin pan, but it definitely can be done! The keys to success are making sure that the muffin cups are thoroughly greased/floured, initially loosening the pies with a knife, allowing them to set long enough that they don't fall apart, once more making sure that they're loosened, and then putting the cooling rack on top of the pan before carefully overturning.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/11/06/mini-pecan-pies/

Adapted from Cooks.com

More Thanksgiving ideas…

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Pecan Pie Bars | {Five Heart Home}

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes ~ the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, featuring a smooth, creamy filling and topped with toasty marshmallows or crunchy pecan streusel | FiveHeartHome.com

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon & Sage Butter
Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter ~ tender, juicy, and shingled with bacon, this is the BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever try! | FiveHeartHome.com

Savory Herb & Cheese Monkey Bread
Savory Herb and Cheese Monkey Bread ~ quick and easy, made with refrigerated biscuits, festive for the holidays, from Thanksgiving to Christmas to Easter | {Five Heart Home}

Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze
Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze | {Five Heart Home}

Creamy Cheesy Corn Casserole
Creamy Cheesy Corn Casserole ~ decadent with cream cheese and cheddar, this corn is perfect as a holiday side dish and can even be made in the crock pot | {Five Heart Home}

Honey-Glazed Carrots with Thyme & Lemon
Honey-Glazed Carrots with Thyme and Lemon ~ a perfect spring side dish, and a gorgeous addition to your Easter menu! | FiveHeartHome.com

Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyere & Garlic
Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyรจre and Garlic ~ served overturned and sliced for an elegant presentation | {Five Heart Home}

Roasted Asparagus with Brown Butter Pecans
Roasted Asparagus with Brown Butter Pecans ~ a delicious spring side dish that would be perfect for Easter | FiveHeartHome.com

And see all of our RECIPES <<< here!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!

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Comments

  1. Those are so adorable Samantha!! I have never tried to make a pecan pie, and after the 2 failed attempts to make pumpkin pie today, this recipe sounds perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Pie fails are the worst, aren’t they, Lisa? But at least the mistake still tastes good, even if it doesn’t look all that nice. I have it on good authority, however, that you finally achieved pumpkin pie success! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope these Mini Pecan Pies turn out well for you, too, if you decide to give them a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’d never had pecan pie until my step-mom made it for our first ever (read super awkward) blended family Thanksgiving. I am now a total convert and will get the recipe from her eventually! These look like the perfect way to hold me over until I can convince her to cough it up! Yum ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~Meaghan

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Meaghan…glad y’all made it through that first blended Thanksgiving! Perhaps the sugary pecan pie helped ease the awkwardness? ๐Ÿ™‚ At any rate, I hope you love these mini pies if you try them! Maybe they’ll be even better than you’re step-mom’s recipe…? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Samantha, Your recipes are look and sound amazing. You never fail to impress!
    Cheers,
    Stephanie

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are too sweet, Stephanie…thank you! These little pies are so easy and fun to make…I hope you have a chance to try them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Can I come to your house for THanksgiving? I mean ….really? AMAZING dishes! And I can’t wait to try these mini pecan pies!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Come on over, Kristen! I promise to make extra mini pies for you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by and hope you’re having a great week in sunny Florida! Or is it prematurely cold there like it is in Texas? BRRRR…!

  5. Yum, these look great! Any time of year, holiday or not!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Michelle! That’s my pecan-pie-loving-husband’s opinion as well. I make these little guys year-round! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Ooh these look good, I love pecan pie! I wonder if they would turn out ok in the mini muffin tins, bite size like…will have to give this recipe a try for sure, thanks for sharing it

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m sure these would work perfectly fine in mini muffin pans…I’m just afraid it would be a lot of work pressing out the tiny rounds of crust that many times! But if you’re more industrious (AKA, less lazy) than I am, you should definitely give it a try. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy, and thanks for taking the time to comment!

  7. My oh my! I dare say those mini pies have gotten my attention…and tongue! = ) Your photos grab me every single time. BEAUTIFUL!Thanks so much for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck. Keep em comin’ Girl!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you so much, sweet Marsha! I will definitely keep ’em comin’…I love y’all’s link party! I appreciate you hopping over and hope you’re having a fabulous week!

  8. You had me at no crust rolling! My husband loves pecan pie, but it’s almost impossible to find in Hawaii. As much as I enjoy baking and cooking, pie crust is not my forte. These look like a true winner, especially because we already have all the ingredients. Pinning! Visiting from Create it Thursday =)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I agree, Natasha…sometimes it’s nice to be able to make something “pie-like” without having to bust out the rolling pin. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope these are a hit with you and your husband. If you’re in Hawaii, I wonder if the same recipe would be good using macadamia nuts??? Thanks so much for the pin and hope you’re having a great week!

  9. Found the link to this on Buzzfeed, just finished baking my mini-pies, they are SCRUMPTIOUS!! I added a spoon of nutella in the filing after I added the eggs, let me tell you they are SO yummy!!!
    Can’t wait to try your other recipes! New fan!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yay…glad you found me, Imene, and glad you love these mini pies! Adding Nutella to the filling is pure genius…I believe I’ll be stealing your idea next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you enjoy any other recipes you end up trying from the site just as much as this one. Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Pinned the recipe and made it today. it was perfect! Taking them to work tomorrow. Thank you!

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