Chocolate Pecan Tart


Years ago I tried a new recipe on a whim for Thanksgiving.  It has been requested every year since then, and this Chocolate Pecan Tart has become as much a part of our holiday traditions as pumpkin or apple pie.  Rich in flavor, it is an elegant addition to any holiday dessert as well as being an excellent combination of pecan and chocolate pies.  It’s also a dessert offering that appeals to those who don’t care for pie crust or traditional pies.  The tart has a chocolate crust, a thin layer of pecan pie filling and a top layer of chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Pecan Tart
7 Tb. butter 1 cup flour 1/4 cup sugar 1/8 tsp. salt 2 Tb. heavy cream 2 heaping Tb. semi-sweet chocolate chips In a food processor, cream the butter.  Beat in flour, sugar and salt.  Place chocolate chips in small bowl.  Heat cream and pour over chocolate; whisk to melt chocolate.  Add chocolate cream to dough and beat to combine.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface, then shape into a disk and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Pat dough over the bottom and up sides of a 10-11 inch tart mold with a removable bottom such as this one.
Set aside.  Preheat oven to 325.

Pecan Filling:

1/2 cup light corn syrup 1 1/2 eggs (one egg plus one half of a beaten egg) 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 Tb. melted butter 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1 1/4 cup pecans, chopped into bite size pieces In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together corn syrup, eggs, butter, sugar vanilla and salt.  When combined, add pecan pieces and stir to coat.  Gently pour over uncooked tart shell.  Bake until a knife inserted into the pie filling comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.


1 cup plus 2 Tb. heavy whipping cream 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips In a small saucepan, heat cream to a simmer.  Place chocolate chips in small bowl.  Pour cream over chocolate and whisk to combine.  Pour ganache over cooled pie and let set.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note:  I always make this tart a day in advance so it can be refrigerated overnight.  It is best served cold.  During the holidays I serve this Chocolate Pecan Tart along with these favorites:

Dutch Apple Pie
Coconut Cream Pie chocolatepecantart2 Click here to see my list of tools I love and always use when making pies.  I hope you enjoy this tart as much as we do!  Happy baking!

Coconut Cream Pie


There’s nothing better than a from-scratch cream pie!  My husband is a big fan of coconut, which motivated me to perfect this recipe.  This coconut cream pie is often on the dessert menu at holiday gatherings and I always look forward to making it.

Coconut Cream Pie
1- 9 inch pie crust, baked in pan and cooled completely 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup flour 2-1/2 cups milk 2/3 cup heavy cream 6 egg yolks, beaten 2-1/4 cups flaked coconut coconutcreampie3 Preparation:

Combine sugar, flour, milk and cream in a heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly.  Continue to boil for one more minute, then remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks.  Using a 1/4 cup measure, gradually stir small amounts of hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, beating as you pour the cream mixture in.   I slowly pour 1/4 cup at a time while I mix.  Continue this until you have mixed 1/4 of the total amount of cream mixture into the egg yolks.  Pour the yolk mixture back into the remaining hot mixture and return to heat, stirring constantly.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in coconut.  Pour into baked pie shell.

Chill until ready to serve.  Before serving, cover pie with whipped cream and toasted coconut.  Slice and enjoy!

I often serve this coconut cream pie at holiday gatherings with these other favorites:

Chocolate Pecan Tart
Dutch Apple Pie coconutcreampie1 I put together a list of my favorite tools for making pies.  You can find it here .  I hope you love this recipe!

Happy baking!

15 Days of Happiness :: Try Something New


Studies have shown that novelty and challenge bring happiness, so today my happiness task was to try something new.  I had to send a dessert somewhere, so I tested this recipe for Coconut Oatmeal Cookies.

Granted, making these cookies wasn’t much of a challenge, but tasting them as a family did add a feeling of novelty to the afternoon.  (And by the way, they’re delicious!  Even my children who avoid coconut were begging for more.)  It’s nice to do something different, nice to add a new recipe to the file of favorites, nice to be out of the rut.

What new thing can you try today?  What challenge could you tackle that would make you feel good about yourself?

I’ll share a challenge I’ve been working on for the past year or so.  I’m kind of a homebody and tend to be uncomfortable with big group activities.  Give me one or two people to talk to and I’ll make friends quickly, but throw me into a large group get-to-know-you game and I feel like running.  This can sometimes make me hesitate to plan parties for my kids, so I’ve been consciously working on throwing fun parties, particularly for my teenagers and older children.   I’m lucky to have a good friend who I regard as a master party planner and I’ve called her for suggestions and advice.  I’ve had the opportunity to throw some parties for girls soccer teams this year and because I researched, planned well, and went in with a smile, they have gone well.  We had one here last Saturday night and when the house finally quieted down I was happy in the knowledge that 15 girls had a great time at my house.

Tomorrow night I’m throwing a second party for my 10 year old daughter’s team.  I’m both more and less nervous.  Less nervous because I think they’ll have a nice time; more nervous because I don’t have much time to clean the house and do the last minute rushing around that always comes with parties.  Either way, it’s going to happen and I’m going to get better at acquiring the skill of planning great parties.


In her awesome book, The Happiness Project , Gretchen Rubin says this, “One reason that challenge brings happiness is that it allows you to expand your self-definition.  You become larger…. Research shows that the more elements make up your identity, the less threatening it is when any one element is threatened.” (p.78) Whatever it is, trying something novel and/or challenging will make you a better person.  Don’t forget the 15 minute approach if this sounds like too much work.  Choose a challenge, set a timer, and see what happens.  Have fun!

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