Preakness (chocolate pecan) pie muffins

November 13, 2011 § 5 Comments

Thanksgiving is coming, and this year I’ve promised to make dessert. Since we are having at last count eight people, and may get a few more guests depending on some international travel plans that have yet to be solidified, I’ve got quite a lot of dessert to make. So, the next few weeks are going to include auditions for some desserts. Forgive the sweet deluge to come, but really, I want this Thanksgiving’s desserts to be incredible, and who better to share treats with than you?


Typically when we celebrated in Michigan as we have for the last few years, we ordered pies from a local bakery, usually my grandfather’s favorite, apple, my mom’s favorite, pumpkin, and pecan or Derby pie, my favorite.

Pecan pie is a great Southern classic, yet why are these muffins called Preakness pie muffins? Well, that’s because Derby pie, invented in Kentucky, is a registered trademark and the recipe is a secret (though clearly many, including me, have made similar pies/desserts based on this pie), and since I don’t want to get sued, I’ve decided to name my hybrid pie-muffin treats after Maryland’s leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness — this is Mason-Dixon Kitchen, after all!

So, these muffins are based on a pie that doesn’t theoretically exist based on a pie that does exist but is trademarked, and then tweaked from Abby of Cats and Casseroles’ pecan pie muffins. If you are now thoroughly confused, it is a long-winded way of saying that they’re muffins with a gooey, buttery, sugary bottom studded with dark chocolate and toasted pecans pieces — chocolate-pecan pie in handy muffin form. Adapting the recipe was way easier than naming them and explaining what they’re named for: I simply added in some dark chocolate and a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness and that was it. They’re not the most attractive muffins, but one way to gussy them up a bit (though I forgot this time, all that Wikipedia research about Derby pie tired me out) is to reserve some of the nuts and chocolate before mixing the batter and then sprinkling them over top.

And now, time for a pop quiz!

Do you say peeecan? Pih-KAWN? Pih-CAN?

Depending on what follows the nut in question, I usually say all three, but typically say pih-CAWN pie…though now it occurs to me that since I added chocolate and these are now Preakness pie muffins, the problems posed by pronouncing pecan are probably pre-empted by a melee over who gets the last muffin…

Preakness (chocolate pecan) pie muffins

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen via Cats and Casseroles

Makes twelve muffins

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, very soft
  • Two large eggs
  • One cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • One cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted, about two tablespoons reserved for decorating, if desired
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips. about two tablespoons reserved for decorating, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently toast chopped pecans by placing them on a baking tray and placing in the oven for about five minutes or so. Place muffin wrappers inside the openings of the muffin tin.

2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl beat together the two eggs. Using a mixer, stir in the soft butter (if needed, you can gently soften it in the microwave in fifteen-second bursts) until only soft, small lumps of butter remain. Mix in the brown sugar and mix until creamy in texture and tawny brown in color.

3. Stir in the flour and salt, stirring until just combined. Mix in the toasted pecan pieces and the chocolate chips. Pour batter into a muffin tin. Sprinkle over reserved pecan pieces and chocolate chips for a fancier presentation, if desired.

5. Bake muffins for twenty-two to twenty-five minutes. Let muffins cool in the tin for a bit before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Note: the muffins should keep a few days tightly wrapped or in a tin, but I’ve never seen them last that long.

Bibliography

–, Abby. “Pecan Pie Muffins” adapted from “Pecan Pie Muffins” on Tasty Kitchen <http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breads/pecan-pie-muffins-6/>. Cats and Casseroles. 26 May 2011. 13 Nov. 2011. <http://catsandcasseroles.blogspot.com/2011/05/pecan-pie-muffins.html>

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