In THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME, Sophie Winston meets Detective Wolf Fleishman for the first time and initially has mixed feelings about him. He very thoughtfully brings her kitten food and lattes, but he also questions her about a murder. What does a domestic diva serve when questioned? First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie!
I worked on this pie recipe so long that my friends and family burned out on pecan pie. I knew it had to have a kick of chocolate but didn't want the chocolate to overpower the flavor of the pecans. I finally settled on just the right amount of coffee and chocolate to accentuate the pecan and bourbon flavors. If you hate the taste of bourbon, you can substitute whiskey. I've made it with Jack Daniel's with very nice results.
First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (Sophie uses Sanka)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons bourbon (airline size bottle holds about 4 tablespoons)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups roughly chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Microwave the butter for about 30 seconds and set aside to cool.
In a cup, stir together the instant coffee, cocoa powder, and bourbon until the coffee crystals and cocoa powder are dissolved.
Beat the two eggs in a mixer. Add the brown sugar and cooled butter and beat. Add the corn syrup, salt, and vanilla. Beat to combine all the ingredients.
Mix in the pecans.
Pour into pie shell and bake 55 to 60 minutes
A couple of hints to make it fancier. I love the look of halved pecans in rows covering the pie. But halved pecans aren't easy to cut, and it ends up being a little bit messy to serve. The solution is to used chopped pecans in the pie, and make one row of pecan halves around the edge, as in the photo above. Just position the knife between pecan halves.
If you make your own pie crust (or if you use Pillsbury), roll out some extra dough and cut it with a tiny leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Use a bit of water on the back of each leaf to "glue" it to the dough underneath all the way around the edge.
SPIKED CREAM1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons bourbon (or whiskey or rum)
Whip one cup (heavy) whipping cream.
When it begins to stiffen, add sugar --
1/3 cup light brown sugar (I don't recommend dark brown sugar here).
Mix in 3/4 cup sour cream.
Don't forget about my
To celebrate the December release of The Diva Cooks a Goose I'm holding a contest! Send your favorite cookie recipe to me at Krista at KristaDavis dot com and you might be one of five winners! If you sent me a recipe, don't despair, all recipes are still in the running. If you haven't sent a recipe yet, do it soon! I'll be posting another winner next Monday and it could be you!
Our friend Dave, from My Year on the Grill is trying to get a new tradition going. He says --
I hosted a neighborhood cookie/ Christmas Beer exchange... 4 couples, each one brought 4 dozen cookies and a six pack of seasonal specialty Christmas Beers. We all left with 4 dozen different types of cookies and happy! In my neighborhood, 3 of the couples, the guys are the better cooks, but we still had to butch up the contest.
Dave's not the only one who loves this idea. Apparently, variations on the Christmas cookie/beer exchange are going on all over the country. Have you been to one?