Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chocolate-Pecan Chess Pie

We just returned home from a wonderful two week vacation visiting our family and friends in Tennessee. We had so much fun and the weather was perfect! It was hard to come back home to snow and freezing temperatures....we already miss seeing green grass and daffodils!
While in TN, we ate a lot of great southern foods. We are so lucky to have some great cooks in our family. My sister-in-law, Ginny, makes the most delicious BBQ (pulled pork), which she made for us for dinner after church one Sunday. I was happy she shared her recipe with me and I hope to make it soon.
We also visited our Great-Aunt Mary (who is 87 years young!), and she made us her famous chess pie, which I make every year (here's the recipe), but I can never seem to make it taste as good as hers. It must be because I don't have her sweet southern charm. Love you Aunt Mary!

Another thing my family loves to eat when we visit the south are candied pecans. We buy them fresh from vendors. They are warm, sweet, crunchy and oh, so good. A wonderful treat!
When I found this chocolate-pecan chess pie recipe, I just knew it was going to be a winner. I've made chocolate chess pie before (I prefer the classic version though), but this pie has the added candied pecans on top which made it sound so good. The result is SO delicious! This chocolate chess pie is soft, super sweet, and decadent....and the crunchy candied pecans are an amazing addition. My family absolutely loved this pie and I will be making it a lot!

Chocolate-Pecan Chess Pie
(recipe slightly adapted from

For the pie:
1- 9 inch unbaked pie crust, homemade or store bought
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate baking squares* (I used a substitute, see below)
1- 5oz can evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

For the pecan topping:
1 1/2 cups pecan halves and pieces (I used halves)
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 T (generous) light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

*If you don't have unsweetened baking chocolate, you can substitute 3 T of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 T of unsalted butter for every 1 ounce of the unsweetened baking chocolate squares. You would need a total of 6 T of cocoa powder and 2 T of unsalted butter for this recipe (which is in addition to the other butter and cocoa in the recipe).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9 inch pie plate with the unbaked pie crust. Crimp or flute the edges.

In a small saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave), melt the butter and chocolate baking squares, stirring frequently (if using the cocoa powder as a substitute, only melt all of the butter--the cocoa will be mixed with the other dry ingredients).

Pour the butter/chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla.

In a small, separate mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt. Add the sugar mixture to the butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared unbaked pie crust.

Bake for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together all of the pecan topping ingredients in a small bowl. Remove the pie from the oven after about 38-40 minutes and sprinkle the pecan topping over the top of the pie. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until the pie is completely set.

Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before cutting. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and drizzled caramel, if desired! Enjoy!

My husband likes LOTS of caramel :)