Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Frosting For The Cause, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

In March, I was browsing through my Google Reader when I came across a very interesting post. Although I remember the recipe looking quite delicious, the thing that caught my attention was that the post was for a site called “Frosting For the Cause”. After finishing the post I immediately went to Frosting For The Cause to read what they were about and how I could become involved in this fabulous event. I enrolled, received my confirmation and have been awaiting this day, my posting day, ever since!  I had a blast with this experience; this is a fun and different way to help spread awareness.  Please get involved and help spread awareness so we can find a cure!

My family has been affected by cancer multiple times, most cases I was too young to really remember or comprehend what was going on. There is one family member that I lost, however, that affected me in ways that I never knew were possible. My MaMaw lost her battle with cancer in August 2004; I cherished every day I had with her and have missed her every day since I lost her. It’s amazing how some events affect you so closely and traumatically, that you can remember where you were, what you were doing and who you were with at the time your life changed. That is exactly what happened to me when I found out my MaMaw had been diagnosed with cancer, it felt like my world had been turned upside down.

Instead of focusing on the story of the battle let me focus on the wonderful times I had with my MaMaw and tell you just a little bit about the wonderful person she was. First and foremost, my MaMaw was truly a woman of God and it was evident by every action and word spoken. She had a presence about her that was like no other; she was a ray of light, joyful, giving, compassionate and completely dedicated to her family. She was not only a grandmother to her own grandchildren but to anyone that walked into her home. When you came into her home you were greeted as family, her home was your home and she would do anything for you. She touched many lives throughout the years and left a lasting impact on anyone she ever encountered.

I have many memories of my MaMaw and I hold all of them close to my heart. Growing up, she would always take me to prayer group to visit with her friends and to have coffee (or my version of coffee at the time with was milk with a splash of coffee) and cookies. I also remember her being in the kitchen; the kitchen really was the heart of her home and she enjoyed preparing meals for her family to enjoy. She cooked lunch for her family; four boys (or Chaps, as she called them), spouses and grandkids (or Dear One's, what she called us), everyday for as long as I can remember. She enjoyed the time she was able to spend around the kitchen table easting and visiting with her family. She would also let me help her prepare the meals and desserts; she would set aside specials tasks just for me so that I would feel special. I remember playing restaurant in her kitchen and serving her meals, coffee, and dessert and I really got into whatever “meal” I was making at the time. I have many other memories of my MaMaw and I could go on and on but we would be here forever. She was a wonderful person who always brought that extra glimmer of sparkle to a room when she entered.



Okay, so onto the “sweets”! My MaMaw was an avid lover of sweets; she didn’t discriminate against any desserts, as long as sugar was included in the recipe then she would indulge in a piece…or even two. It was hard for me to choose exactly what to make for my submission; I tossed around the idea of cakes, cookies, pies and cupcakes, but I finally settled on a pie. My MaMaw loved pie, one of her favorites was pecan pie which the family enjoyed twice a year, at Thanksgiving and Christmas. She used a recipe from an old Presbyterian cookbook, but she tweaked it and until she came up with a recipe that suited her taste buds perfectly. I decided to make a pecan pie, but instead of her traditional pecan pie, which is delicious, I decided to make one with a twist that included chocolate. I know it would be hard for her to stray from her “old faithful” if she were here today but I know she would try a piece of this chocolate pecan pie, with her coffee or course, and love every bite.

This is for you, MaMaw, my very special "Dear One".  Love you always.

I will also be making a donation to the Cancer Society, the Little Rock chapter.  I will make additional donations for every comment left on this post until July 31.  Please help me in making a donation by leaving a comment on this post!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie



Ingredients:

1 Ball of Classic Pie Dough (below), chilled
2 Cups pecan halves, toasted
3 Large eggs
¾ Cup light corn syrup
3 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp bourbon
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips (I used a bit more, there can never be too much chocolate)

Directions:

Dust work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Unwrap the ball of chilled dough and put it directly on the work surface. Roll out into a 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to a pie dish and carefully work it into the pie dish, folding any overhang under and crimping the edge as you go. Wrap and freeze the crust until firm, about 2 hours, or up to 3 months.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Coarsely chop ¾ cup of the pecans. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add the corn syrup, sugars, butter, salt, vanilla, and bourbon. Whisk again until combined. Stir in the chopped pecans and set the filling aside.

Spread the chocolate chips evenly along the bottom of the frozen pie shell. Slowly pour the filling on top of the chocolate chips. Arrange the remaining 1 ¼ cups pecan halves on top of the filling.

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, then cover the edges of the crust loosely with the aluminum foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Test the pie by sticking a knife in the center of the filling. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If the knife comes out with clumps of filing sticking to it, bake for another 5 minutes and test again.

Cool the pie on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature. The pie can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 2 days.



Classic Pie Dough

Yield: 2 balls of dough, enough for 2 (9-inch) single-crust pies or 1 (9-inch) double-crust pie

Ingredients:

3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tsp fine salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
¾ Cups ice cold water

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt together.

Cut the cold butter into cubes and toss the cubes in the flour mixture to coat. Put the mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse in short bursts until the pieces of butter are the size of hazelnuts.

While pulsing in quick, 4-second bursts; drizzle the ice water into the food processor through the feed tube.

As soon as the dough comes together in a ball, remove it from the food processor and divide it into two equal balls, Flatten to a disk and wrap each disk first in parchment paper and then in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the disks until firm, about 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.)



Recipe Source: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

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