The only way to deal with a long, frustrating day replacing credit cards, car windows, and cell phones, is with chocolate. Lots of warm, ooey, gooey, melt in your mouth chocolate. As that first forkful melts on my tongue, the stress of the day finally begins to recede, my shoulders loosen, and the angry old woman crease I didn’t realize I had worn all day between my eyes relaxes.
No doubt about it. Chocolate is a miraculous substance.
In honor of Thanksgiving, my chocolate today was in the form of pecan pie. Although I’m usually a pecan pie traditionalist, tonight, the mixture of pecan and milk chocolate was just the amount of comfort I needed. The flavors melded together like a warm chenille bathrobe on a cold winter morning. Topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, that slice of pie was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
I’m not sure if this pie deserves to share the spotlight of the dessert table this Thanksgiving, but here is the recipe whether you need it for a bad day, or just to share with family on Thursday.
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
8 tbsps (1 stick) of butter
2 to 3 tbsps cold water
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
¾ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup of coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup of milk chocolate chips
- Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse 2 or 3 times quickly to mix.
- Cut the butter into 1 tbsp pieces and add to food processor. Pulse over and over again very quickly until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. You should not be able to see any more large pieces of butter.
- Scatter 1 tablespoon of tap water on the butter and flour mixture and pulse 5 to 6 times. The dough should begin to hold together. If the mixture still appears dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Remove the dough from the food processor. In your hands, roll it into a uniform ball. Place it on a piece of plastic wrap. Press it down into a 6-inch disk and cover with another piece of plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the dough until firm, or until you are ready to use it, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to fit a 9-inch glass pie dish. Decorate the edges by folding and cutting the excess dough.
- In a medium sized bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs, corn syrup, vanilla and salt, one at a time, beating well with each addition.
- Stir in half the pecans and all the chocolate chips. Carefully pour the filling into the prepared crust. Sprinkle the remaining pecans evenly over the filling.
- Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or until the filling is fairly set. Filling will firm up as it cools.
- Give the pie 30 minutes to an hour to cool and firm up before serving. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!