Mini Run For the Roses Pies

Today is one of the biggest days in Kentucky because this afternoon about 20 beautiful Thoroughbred horses will run in the Kentucky Derby in Louisville.  These little pies would be a great addition to anyone’s Derby party or actually any old get together would do.  I have made many pecan pies, but this is the first recipe that uses a cooked filling with CORNMEAL and they are delicious!  I made them for a fundraising Derby lunch at my office and did not get to bring a single one home which is a huge success for any cook.

The original recipe was posted by Home Is Where The Boat Is here.

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4 refrigerated pie crusts

2 cups chopped pecans

24 whole pecan halves

1 to 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup bourbon or water

4 large eggs

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 tsps. cornmeal

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.  Using a 3 to 4 inch biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out circles of pie crust and place in the muffin pan.Sprinkle a few chopped pecans and chocolate chips into each crust.  Remember not to overfill the crusts.  This should be enough nuts and chips to make about 36 pies.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar and bourbon (or water).  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, cornmeal, vanilla and salt.  Very slowly, add the hot mixture into the egg mixture WHISKING CONSTANTLY.  You may find that you have a few little pieces of cooked egg after you add the hot liquid. No worries, just strain the mixture through a fine sieve and it will be perfect.

Pour the filling into the prepared crusts being careful not to overfill.  Remember, this amount of filling will make about 36 mini pies. Top each pie with a whole pecan half. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the pies are set.  Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. These would be delicious topped with whipped cream or a little vanilla ice cream.  Yummy!

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Here are a few photos of our Derby Lunch at work.  Our offices across the state work with a charitable group called Trust For Life that promotes the need for organ donation.  When someone renews their drivers license in Kentucky they are asked to be a registered organ donor and if they would like to donate a dollar to the Trust For Life to promote donation information.  This was a fundraiser for that group and it was great!  We hope to continue to raise money by making tasty food the rest of the year.

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