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Twink's Treats: Caramel and Chocolate - The New Pecan Pie

Twink's Treats: Caramel and Chocolate - The New Pecan Pie

“Over the river and through the woods”…. to visit my sister and her family in South Carolina for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful – and as much as I love to cook, I didn’t.  My sister, Tracy, did it all and it was fabulously delicious! It was the first Thanksgiving in many, many years that I didn’t a) host and cook or b) bring several dishes to the host’s dinner.  While I love cooking, as you know, and especially holiday fare – it was so nice not to have to prepare and transport! Tracy had all our family favorites, succulent herb roasted turkey, dressing (our mama’s recipe that she has perfected), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, green beans and roasted vegetables. You know you’re in the South when you have at least 2 casseroles! We laughed, shared stories, ate, and just enjoyed being together – that’s food for the soul!  And I relaxed.  Totally.

And for dessert – my beloved niece, daughter of my heart- Lyndsay, made a showpiece Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie.  Lyndsay has always loved to cook and bake, and is known for her beautiful creations in the kitchen. We have always shared a special bond, and we love to just hang out together, to talk, drink a glass (or two) of wine, and enjoy each other. She is so special to me and is gorgeous, witty, artistic,creative, talented, and brilliant to boot. Not bragging – just stating the facts!

The pie was typical of her culinary talent - rich, decadent, addictive, and just plain delicious.  She agreed to let me share the recipe with you.  Here’s Lyndsay’s version:

Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 9 inch deep dish prepared pie crust

1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup 100 cacao (unsweetened cocoa)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (Karo)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together sugar, butter, flour, cacao, Karo and vanilla in a large bowl.  Add eggs, whisk until well blended.  Fold in chopped pecans and pour into pie shell.  Bake for 35 minutes (filling will be loose, but will set as it cools).  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Caramel Topping:
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups toasted pecan halves

Bring ¾ cup sugar, bourbon and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat – do not stir.  Boil, swirling pan occasionally after sugar begins to change color, 8 minutes or until dark amber.  Do not walk away from the pan, as sugar could burn quickly. Remove from heat, add cream and butter.  Stir constantly until bubbling stops and butter is well incorporated.  Stir in salt.  Arrange pecan halves beginning in the center in a spiral pattern.  Top with warm caramel, and refrigerate the extra to use because it’s too good to waste.   Cool pie and refrigerate.  Enjoy!

Until next time, be kinder than necessary and remember when you have those you love, you have everything you need. -Twink

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