pecan pies

Mini pecan pies

Mini pecan pies are treasure chests filled with gooey caramel and crunchy nuts – simply irresistible and so easy to make.

I am emotionally attached to pecan pies. I ate them for the first time when I was studying near Chicago for a semester abroad. The first bite blew my mind.

I never ate anything like it, it’s like a mars bar pie but even better. I could honestly eat a whole pie by myself as it is so addictive. Every ingredient complements each other with a contrast of textures, crisp versus sticky, and a harmony of flavours, buttery and nutty.

Pecan pies is one of the famous pies eaten at Thanksgiving, the controversial American celebration commemorating a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers on the fourth Thursday in November. But it’s a great dessert all year round and no matter where you come from.

To me, this is the ultimate dessert for a relaxed dinner. And here is a secret: it is incredibly easy to make. It takes just a few minutes to make, and (sadly) a few seconds to eat.

It tastes even better the day after, so it’s perfect to prepare in advance for any special occasion.

I made mini pecan pies instead of a big pie as I will bring them to a party and they are easier to share in these covid times.

I have such dear memories associated with this pie and every bite brings me back in time.

When I was studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, I met the loveliest people. At dinner in my residence hall, I asked a couple of friends what their favourite Thanksgiving dessert was. A friend loved pumpkin pie and another one swore by pecan pie. I never heard of these pies before, and I was so fascinated by these chests full of goodness that we ended up talking about them for hours.

Poor girls! I must have bored them to death.

When we came back from our Thanksgiving holidays, we caught up in their room in my same residence hall. Their room was extraordinary, out of a teen movie.

Several white crane origamis were hanging from the ceiling with transparent nylon wires, fairy lights warmed up the room, and a collection of old books were on the shelves.

This was my place.

I sat down in the armchair and to my surprise, each of them brought me a slice of their favourite pie! Was I dreaming or was I awake?

I was incredibly touched by their kindness and that they thought of me during their special family holidays. I am a selfish greedy person with no control over sweets, and I don’t think I’ll ever be strong enough to save a slice of pie for anyone hehe.

These slices of pumpkin and pecan pie are still one of the best gifts I have ever received. They tasted novelty, inclusion, and friendship.

I’ll be ever so grateful to them.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Mini pecan pies

Course: DessertDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Baking time



Mini pecan pies are treasure chests filled with gooey caramel and crunchy nuts – simply irresistible and so easy to make.


  • Crust
  • 200 g plain flour

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 90 g diced butter

  • 80 ml cold water

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Filling
  • 150 g chopped pecans + 12 whole pecans for decoration

  • 75 g maple syrup

  • 75 g brown sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tbsp melted butter


  • Prepare the crust by mixing all the ingredients in the above order with your hands. Don’t over work the dough as you risk overheating it (and overheating cause the dough not to stick together).
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and form a rectangle, one-finger thick. Wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Let’s make the filling by mixing maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, sugar, and one egg.
  • Finely chop the pecans (keep 12 out for the decoration)
  • Roll out the pie dough and cut as many circles as many muffin holes you have with a cookie cutter or even just an upside-down glass. Your cookie cutter should be 2 cm bigger than the hole.
  • Transfer the dough circles to your muffin tin.
  • Add a heaped spoon of pecans and two spoons of filling to each mini pie. Finish off by adding one whole pecan nut on top of each mini pie.
  • Bake for 25 mins at 180 C (the crust will be golden brown while the filling should still wobble a little).
  • Leave the mini pies in the tin for 10 mins and then carefully remove your lovely pies with the help of a knife. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool down completely.


  • My lovely friend Ashley suggests adding a spoon of bourbon to the filling for a fully rounded flavour. Try it!


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