Sunday Afternoons With Chocolate Pecan Pie

Sunday afternoons in the South… fried chicken, black eye peas, mashed potatoes, homemade buttermilk biscuits, and chocolate pecan pie…Family gathered around the dinner table enjoying conversation and each other’s company. Is there anything more scrumptious? It’s funny how certain foods and desserts automatically conjure up images of the South. Chocolate pecan pie is a southern tradition, just like regular pecan pie, but with the little something extra. A sweet chocolate taste that delights the taste buds, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh so delicious. The first time I tasted the chocolate pecan pie at Tanner’s Pecans I was taken back to those lazy Sunday afternoons with my grandmother in the kitchen and my parents and aunts and uncles talking and laughing and us kids playing without a care in the world. I would always sneak into the kitchen to help my grandmother cook and bake. How else was I supposed to become a good Southern cook if I didn’t help? She would always smile and welcome me and let me be her little helper. Sometimes I was more of a hindrance then help, but she did not care. And it was through her love and patience that I gained my love of baking and fine Southern cuisine. My grandmother never used a recipe. It always fascinated me how she just knew how much and of what to put in… never really used a measuring cup or spoons either. Just a little of this and a bit of that. The older I got, I would try my best to write down as I went along so that I could make her desserts on my own. Her chocolate pecan pie recipe always made two pies, but it is so easy to cut in half and make only one:

Chocolate Pecan Pie

* 3 cups granulated sugar
* pinch of salt
* 7 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
* 4 large eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla
* 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
* 1 stick butter, melted (8 tablespoons)
* 1 cup pecan halves, and 2 unbaked pecan pie shells – deep dish.

Mix sugar, salt, and cocoa together. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and milk; stir into the dry ingredients. Add melted butter and stir until well blended. Sprinkle pecan halves in the pie shell, about 1/2 cup in each shell. Pour filling over the pecans. Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the filling is set and the center is just slightly jiggly. Makes 2 pies.

I can smell the chocolate pecan pie cooking now. And it never had to be a holiday or special occasion to make it. Not like a traditional pecan pie that is usually thought of at Thanksgiving time or a spice cake that is more thought of during the colder months – chocolate pecan pie was good at anytime or at any meal. And even though I love my grandmother’s chocolate pecan pie, I am also a huge cake fan. And I went in search of a way to take that delicious taste and transform it into a cake… and I think I was able to do that by incorporating marshmallows for the vanilla ice cream taste.

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Tanner’s Pecan is owned and operated by Danny Fox and Michelle Parks and offers great chocolate pecan pies. Visit Tanner’s Pecans today for the best selection of Chocolate Pecan Pie and Pecans.