Celebrate the Kentucky Derby this weekend in style with Mini Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pies! Bourbon, chocolate and pecans make for a delightfully sweet filling inside a cream cheese crust. Paired with bourbon, these mini desserts are the perfect Derby Day treat!
As a kid, I was a bit obsessed with horses.
All kinds and disciplines, really. They’re beautiful creatures, and I was fascinated with everything about them.
I especially loved horse racing.
As a girl growing up in Tennessee, there weren’t many opportunities for me to see races, though my family took a pit stop at Keeneland one summer when we were road tripping to visit family.
That was the closest I ever got to actual racehorses in the flesh until college.
So I was left to my own devices.
Like any child of the 90’s, I was well-versed in programming our VCR to record various television programs.
And because I was all about horse racing and had no way to enjoy it in the flesh, I taped every event that was broadcast. Even though that I was often home to watch the events in real time.
I watched these tapes over and over again, enjoying the scenery, the commentary and the sport. I especially loved the coverage of big races — the stakes races leading up to the Triple Crown, the Breeder’s Cup, and, of course, the Triple Crown, beginning with the Kentucky Derby.
As an adult, I don’t watch near as much horse racing as I did when I was a kid, but I love it all the same.
And since the Run for the Roses is this weekend, I thought it would be fun to make a sweet treat to celebrate this year’s race.
My Mini Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pies combine dark chocolate, pecans and Kentucky bourbon inside a decadent cream cheese crust. And while it might not be like the original pie, I find it hard to go wrong with anything that combines dark chocolate, pecans and bourbon.
Also? You can absolutely taste the bourbon. (And who doesn’t love bourbon to drink for the Derby, whether it’s in a Mint Julep or on the rocks?)
Here’s how I made these beauts:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup ice cold water
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin baking pan liberally with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, prepare the crust. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together until combined.
- Use a pastry cutter and cut the cream cheese into the dry ingredients, mixing until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Slowly drizzle in the water, and stir together with a spoon, mixing until the ingredients just come together. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vanilla extract, butter and bourbon until combined. Add the pecans and chocolate chips. Set aside.
- Using a tablespoon measurement, measure out the crust. Roll in your hands into a ball, then set into the muffin tin. Using your thumb, create a large indention in the middle, making sure to let the dough climb the sides of the tin. Repeat until all of the crust has been used and is in place in the pan.
- Carefully drizzle the filling into the crusts. Make sure not to drizzle too much outside of the crusts.
- Place the mini muffin tin on a large baking sheet, and transfer into the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops have browned slightly, then remove from the oven and let cool before eating.
- Enjoy with your beverage of choice!