One thing that should be on every family table at Thanksgiving, is a pecan pie. Growing up in the country, when my grandma started baking up pecan pies, I knew autumn had arrived. I’ve taken an easy pecan pie recipe and turned it into Mini Pecan Pies, for a grab and go treat that anyone will love. And you better believe they’re going to be on our Thanksgiving menu!
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What is a pecan pie without the pecans? … Just a pie, I guess. So, every good pecan pie starts with pecans and the same goes for these mini pecan bites. Whether you choose store-bought pecans that are already shelled and ready to eat, or you want a fresher approach by cracking your own pecans, either option will work.
Easiest Way to Crack Pecans
If you decide to crack fresh pecans at home, I want to share an easy tip – boil them first. Don’t even bother fooling with them without boiling. Put the pecans in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then drain and the let them cool before handling. Using a nut cracker, crack open each nut and voila, perfect pecans without all the typical nut cracking hassle.
Now that the pecans are taken care of, let’s get into the recipe.
- 1 refrigerated pie crust (rolled)
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- ¼ cup of cornstarch
- 1 ¼ cup of water
- 1 Tbsp of butter
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of pecans (chopped)
- 12 pecan halves
- Optional: Whipped Cream
Mini Pecan Pie Crust
In preparing the crust for these mini pecan pies, I take a shortcut by using store-bought pie dough. I soften the pie crust to room temperature and roll it out. Then using a 3″ round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into roughly 9 rounds, making sure to cut them as close together as possible.
This leaves some extra dough, so to get the most out of it, I gather up the scraps, roll it out with my hands and continue cutting rounds as I go. I just repeat it until I don’t have enough dough for anymore. Typically, I can get 3 additional dough rounds out of the scraps, resulting in 12 total.
Next, using the back side of a mini muffin pan, I place a dough round on every other cup, gently pushing the dough around the sides of each cup. I bake at 375° for roughly 6 minutes and then set them aside to cool.
Mini Pecan Pie Filling
While the mini crusts are cooling off, I work on the filing. And let me tell you, pie filling has never been easier. In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and water, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Continue boiling for exactly 1 minute and then remove the pot from the heat.
Next is adding all the yummy goodness to the pot – the butter, vanilla and chopped pecans. Stir it up and then let it cool completely before moving on.
The Finishing Touches
Now it’s time for assembly. Once the mini pie crusts and filling are all cooled down, it’s the simple matter of putting the filling into the crusts. Just spoon the filling into the crust cups and top with a pecan half.
If you want, putting a little whipped cream on top is a delicious addition. But just a note, if you don’t plan to serve the Mini Pecan Pies right away, it’s better to refrigerate them and wait until they’re served to add the whipped cream. Otherwise, the whipped cream is just going to melt.
Overall, prep time for this recipe takes around 10 minutes and 30 minutes of cook time (bake time, stove time and finishing touches). In the end, you have 12 delicious, individually sized pecan pies to share with the family!
Get the printable version of the recipe below!
Personally, I love having a cold sweet in the mornings with my coffee. Pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, mini pecan pies, they’re all so perfect with a cup of coffee. It just makes my morning complete. So when I make these, I most look forward to the next morning, after they’ve been in the refrigerator all night. It’s the absolute best!