These are neither a pie nor a muffin.
Just want to get that straight before we get started here. That’s why I call them Chewy Pecan Pie “Muffins,” with quotes, which means all is forgiven should you be expecting a muffin to pop out of your muffin pan. I asked around my samplers for name ideas fearing the muffin misunderstanding. One friend, whom I gave six of these little gems to, said I should call them, “Pecan Pop ’ems,” because she couldn’t stop eating them. She planned on only eating two that day, and before she knew it, they were gone. She said that next time, I needed to make her larger size “muffins” or I need to make sure I give her at least a dozen of the minis. (Yep, I’ve spoiled her ;) My other friend’s husband suggested, “Chewy Pecan Tartlets,” which is a lovely name, but might lead one to believe there is a separate filling…so Chewy Pecan Pie “Muffins” it is.
What are these little delights exactly? They have all the flavors of pecan pie, but none of the gooey pie filling (which I have nothing against, I love pecan pie) all packed in an insanely chewy little cup. They kind of have the texture of a chewy blondie, but more buttery and more chewy. They’re moist enough to be reminiscent of pecan pie and have a bit of crispiness on the top edges to give the impression of a crust. The chewiness and the toasty, nutty, buttery pecan”ness” is completely delicious!
They are also ridiculously easy to make. I mixed these up in less than 10 minutes. Then I baked them for about 12 minutes, took them out of the oven and…..hmmpf! They didn’t look quite like I thought they would. They didn’t rise as much as I expected and they weren’t looking too impressive. Ugh, I thought, not blog worthy, (why didn’t I make a half batch to test?) Well, I hope they taste good……..yes, very good! Then I had my husband sample them while I waited for his response. The look on his face was all that I needed to know they were a “go.” I said, “They’re not very pretty though…not sure how I’m going to capture their yum factor.” He suggested I drizzle them with chocolate, which is always a brilliant idea.
So, I drizzled some with melted dark chocolate, which was a perfect counterpoint to the sweet little cup. Then, I dusted some with powdered sugar…pretty! Then, I dusted some with powdered sugar and drizzled them with chocolate, ooh! festive! Suddenly, they were like tiny little dolls and I had a million ways I wanted to “dress” them up! So, I took a pecan half and drizzled some chocolate on top of it…then tried a big pool of chocolate on the bottom with the pecan on top, yum! Half batch? I don’t think so. I should have doubled this baby!
Then…then, I thought I should stop, just shy of the million other ideas I wanted to break out of my pantry to drizzle, sprinkle and spread on each one. Of course, I finally realized that they also looked good plain, forgetting now all of my expectations of what I thought was supposed to come out of the oven. Sometimes, you just have to get to know them to appreciate their beauty.
Consider yourself introduced.
Chewy Pecan Pie “Muffins”
For the muffins:
- 2/3 cup salted butter room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups chopped pecans
For the chocolate drizzle:
- 2 ounces dark chocolate chopped finely
- 1/2 teaspoon shortening or butter
- pecan halves
- powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease mini muffin cups thoroughly but don't pile it on or your muffins will fry in the pan instead of bake. These have a tendency to stick. You can also grease and flour your pan or use Baker's Joy, if your pan is prone to stickiness. I used a non stick pan and sprayed with King Arthur Flour's Everbake and had no issues.
In a mixing bowl, beat softened butter and brown sugar until just combined. You don't want to whip any air into them, just make sure the sugar gets incorporated.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on lowest speed until combined.
Sprinkle the flour over the batter, add pecans and stir by hand until just combined.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, about 2/3 full. You don't want to overfill the cup since these don't puff up very much. Too much batter will end up in a flat lip running over the cup.
Bake for 12-13 minutes for mini muffins and 15-17 minutes for regular size muffins.
Cool for about 2 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and remove. If they cool completely in the pan, you will likely have a tough time getting them out without destroying them. You just want them to have a couple of minutes to set up in the pan before removing them to a rack to finish cooling.
If you want to drizzle with chocolate, melt chocolate pieces and shortening or butter in the microwave stirring at 15 second increments until fully melted. Use a fork to drizzle, or spoon into a piping bag or zippered plastic bag with the corner cut off and drizzle over the muffins. If you want to fully cover each muffin with chocolate, you will have to double or triple the chocolate recipe.
*Store covered at room temperature.
*Using paper wrappers is not recommended as you may have difficulty removing them cleanly from the wrapper.
Adapted from All Recipes
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