Who’s excited for Thanksgiving???
This girl right here, for one. Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays/days of the year. We drive to my uncle’s house on Wednesday night, and on Thursday I wake up early and spend the whole day cooking with my friends and family. So much fun!
This year’s menu plans are still in progress, but I will be sure to share it once we know. Of course, we’ll have the classic turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing, but my family always throws in some unusual twists for Thanksgiving dinner. Twists much like these little hand pies!
One of the great advantages to hand pies is that it’s the perfect excuse to get an entire pie to yourself. No sharing, no waiting for everyone to cut a slice, just straight-up take a pie and move on. They taste great too – this Dorie Greenspan crust is the ultimate in flaky, with a perfect balance between sweet and salty.
Pecan pie isn’t actually something we usually have on Thanksgiving, but I’m thinking maybe we should bring it back (in handpie form, of course :) ). This recipe is killer, and I even managed to find a filling that doesn’t have any corn syrup in it! Granted it did ooze out the sides a little, but I also forgot to poke little holes in the top…hmmm…
In summary – bake these up and serve them warm with some vanilla ice cream on the side. Your guests might be full from the turkey, but I have a feeling they’ll be able to find a little more room in their stomachs.
Pecan Hand Pies
Crust recipe from Fork Knife Swoon
Filling adapted from You, Me and a World to See
For the Crust:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
1/3 cup of vegetable shortening (crisco), very cold or frozen, cut into small pieces
6-7 tablespoons of ice water
For the Filling:
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of molasses
1/3 cup of melted butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of flour
1 tablespoon of milk
1 cup of chopped pecans, lightly toasted in the oven (broil on high for 2 – 3 minutes)
To make the dough, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt until equally distributed. Add the butter and shortening and mix until the pieces are evenly combined, about the size of peas. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is evenly moistened. Divide the dough in half and roll each one into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Meanwhile, start the filling! You may want to wait until 10 minutes before the dough is ready, unless of course you have your life together enough to have made the dough before, in which case, I congratulate you.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy. Stir in the sugars, molasses, melted butter, and vanilla, mixing until thoroughly combined. Add the milk, flour, and pecans, stirring until the mixture is even.
Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles of a 5 inch diameter (feel free to use a cookie cutter). Add a teaspoon of the filling to the center of each circle and fold one side of the circle over to seal the edges. Be sure to seal each edge very tightly, then use a fork to crimp the edges. Poke a few holes in the top or draw a small x. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!