Saturday, December 26, 2015

And for dessert….





And our own dear Karen Maslowski.

What a combination!

When Karen told us about her family favorite, I begged for the recipe—and she says we can share.

Yes, you are probably full of plummy pudding about now. But there’s always new years!

 Karen’s Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

3 eggs
¼ C plus 2 T butter, melted
¾ C light corn syrup
½ C sugar
¼ C firmly packed brown sugar
2 T bourbon
1 T flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C chopped pecans
1 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 unbaked 9” pie shell

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl until frothy. Add butter, beating well. Add syrup, sugars, bourbon, flour and vanilla; beat well. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle chocolate chips in pie shell. Pour pecan mixture over chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for one (1) hour, or until set.

HANK:  ((Speechless)).
What’s your favorite holiday dessert? We know you are busy—so no pressure to put the whole recipe—we will just imagine!

I am a big fan of cinnamon bread pudding with lemon curd. YUMMY!


  1. Oh, this pie sounds so delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    We always have pie for dessert at Thanksgiving, so I always make plum pudding with brandy sauce for Christmas dessert.

  2. Yum, Karen! I heard someone on a food show talking about pea can pie. I don't know why someone would make a pie out of canned peas.

    Christmas desserts at my house are cookies, fudge, candies, usually sent by others. I would make this pie for New Year's day, though!

  3. I made that for Thanksgiving! Fabulous. And oh so rich. I was the lucky recipient of several sets of homemade chocolate this Christmas - and made my own candy cane dark chocolate fudge (from Janet Rudolph's recipe) to give away. Must head down and grab a piece.

  4. Whoopie pies, of course.

    Kathy/Kaitlyn in Maine

  5. Homemade peanut butter fudge--either chocolate or vanilla, with or without walnuts--when we were kids, my mom would make it for us to take to the school Christmas party. I learned to make it by helping her--unfortunately, there's no recipe!

    Love pies--don't make them, though this one would have been a hit with my mom--she loved pecan pie and chocolate!

  6. This looks amazing! Thanks, Karen.
    And uh, we might need that whoopie pie recipe.

    This Christmas I made dark chocolate covered orange peel (my usual) and turtle bark with dark chocolate, caramel, pecans, cashews. It's a keeper.

  7. Plum pudding! We used to have that when we were kids--we loathed it. But ow I am all grown up--and I love it!

    Ha ha Ramona!

    Yum, Edith-I love peppermint chocolate fudge. Where'd you get Janet's recipe?

  8. Flora, that's exactly what my essay for the John Harrison Mt. Auburn book is about--my grandmother used to make a coffee cake that was amazing--I mean, amazing. It had coffee, and chocolate, and pecans and..oh. it was incredible. We all wanted the recipe, but she would never give it. After she died, we found it.

    But it had no quantities! It was just---Flour, sugar, butter…sigh. we tried and tried, but no one could ever duplicate it.

    Hallie, save some orange peel, okay? Or maybe it's time for that recipe again. (Though it's in the JUngle Red archives, I think..)

    ANd yeah, what is whoopee pie? Does it have marshmallow?


    from Yesterdy:

    Libby Dodd
    Denise Ann

    From Thursday:

    Daniele K

    From Wednesday:



    Anonymous in Atlanta

    from Tuesday:

    Jim Collins (who wins Death In Good Company)

    Email me at h ryan at whdh dot com Weds and Thurs and Friday winners, choose the signed Hank book of your choice! And include your address. Happy holidays!

  10. I bought a pie much like this from a friend of Elaine's (Sister ?) who organized a fund raiser for a group (Dharma?) that supported women in and leaving prison. So good, so rich, I brought it to a storytelling Christmas party, where it was much enjoyed. It was either too long ago to remember names, or I ate too much of the pie? My sister is the cookie meister, no one could bake bread or coffeecake quite like Grandma's, but I can make an awesome cheesecake. ;-)

  11. We really like Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake:

  12. I was going to do this pie, but my stepmom brought some kind of chocolate-peanut butter brownie. And there was the little matter of the 30 dozen cookies that got made this year (chocolate chip, sugar cookies, gingersnaps, orange spice, and something called cranberry haystacks).

    Favorite? I'm very fond of the chocolate cream pie I make from an Emeril Lagasse recipe. But there is just so much to choose from...

  13. this looks like a gorgeous recipe--thanks Hank and Karen! Mary, the chocolate cream pie sounds excellent. I've made that for Thanksgiving from time to time.

    This year, I gave John Debs's ice cream maker for Christmas. So far, we've tried vanilla bean (very good) and meyer lemon (even better!)

    Since the houseguests are off playing tennis, I'm going to sneak in some reading....

  14. Hank, on her blog!

  15. Oh, Karen's recipe looks SO good!

    We are the happy recipients of chocolates, pastries, kettle corn, cookies and various other candies from our guests yesterday or from generous friends and coworkers. We will have no need of buying movie candy when we go to see Star Wars tomorrow!

  16. Karen, your pie sounds fabulous! I'm not a big fan of pecan (pea-can:-)) usually, but the chocolate might make the difference.

    We had an abundance of pies yesterday and there is pie left, oh yes! And my daughter made a New Orleans bread pudding with white chocolate and it SO good. Hank, can you give us your bread pudding recipe? It sounds wonderful.

    I'm with Lucy today. Even though I have a million things to do, I am going to find some to a) take a nap, and b) read my book. Santa gave me City on Fire. Who else got books for Christmas?

  17. It's too late to make for Christmas but I think I will make it for New Year's. Thanks you so much for sharing.

  18. Oh, no book talk yet--you inspired me--we'll do it tomorrow!

    Thanks, Edith! We got a box of chocolate peppermint bark, but it is too pretty to open...

    Julia, cannot wait to talk with you about Star Wars! (Off the blog, of course…)

    And Paula, yes, it is s perfect New Years pie!

  19. Mary, I'm going to look for the chocolate cream pie recipe. Every year, my Aunt Mary would make my dad a chocolate cream pie for his birthday (New Year's Eve). But there was no recipe for this either. Many have tried, but none have come close to duplicating her pie. So, Emeril's up to bat!

  20. I think that recipe needed to end with a #MicDrop. :) Merry/Happy, y'all.

    Seeing Star Wars for the second time later today. May the Force be with you.

  21. Karen, as a lifelong resident of Kentucky, your Chocolate Bourbon Pecan (puh kahn for me, Debs)is a natural fit. I'll definitely have to try it sometime soon.

    Growing up and continuing still is the wonderfully delicious appearance of the Jam Cake for holidays. I think my mother made the best, and her caramel icing was to die for. My mother-in-law now makes it, and it is delicious, too. It's funny that yesterday, my fourteen-year-old granddaughter mentioned to me that the Jam Cake (it deserves to be capitalized) tastes different and she prefers regular cake. I laughed and told her that it was a Southern cake, and since she lived in Indiana, I could forgive her. For me, it is the perfect cake, full of deliciousness and memories.

    Oh, and another Kentucky tradition is the consuming of Kentucky Bourbon Balls. The creamy center of these candies are made with Evan Williams 100 proof Bourbon (maximum 5% by law), covered in chocolate, and crowned with a pecan half. The creation of these delectable lovelies is credited to Kentucky cook Ruth Booe in 1938, as a part of her Rebecca-Ruth Candies (a early female enterprise, 1919, success story worth reading about at You can order these candies from the Rebecca-Ruth store still, with the online source being I have some waiting for me today, unless I break down and share them with my daughter, who turns 32 today.

  22. Puh-kahn for me, too. :-)

    What is Jam Cake?

    Rhonda, we'll all have to talk! But I agree, The Force is real.

  23. Hiya, Kathy. I'm a Kentuckian living-in-exile. ::waving:: Here's another recipe for bourbon balls (more like bourbon cookies, instead of the above-mentioned bourbon truffles) from "The Joy of Cooking" cookbook. I've been making mine lately with Makers 46.

  24. I made the Hot Fudge Pie from Lucy Burdette's Death in Four Courses yesterday, with 3 additions. 1-a little powdered espresso 2-a graham cracker crust 3-marshmallows melted on top.
    A S'mores pie!
    It was outrageous. Be sure you have enough people to share it with--it's really wonderfully rich.

  25. Yum, yum, yum, and swiped. My all time favorite dessert is coconut cake with lemon filling. I think my recipe is an old Southern Living one so I won't put it here, but just the thought of it makes jingle bells ring in my head.

  26. Hank, here is the recipe for Southern Jam Cake from The Southern Lady Cooks Web site. It looks like my mother's, the old fashioned kind.

    Old Fashioned Southern Jam Cake
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
    1 cup canola oil
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup smuckers seedless blackberry jam
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp.baking powder
    1 tsp.ground cinnamon
    1 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 tsp. ground cloves
    1 tsp.allspice
    1/2 tsp.salt
    1 tsp.vanilla extract
    1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
    3 eggs

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray or flour 2 (9 inch) round baking pans. Put all ingredients into a large bowl except pecans and mix well on low. Increase speed to high until sugar is completely dissolved. Fold in pecans and pour into pans. Bake 40 minutes or until cake pulls away from side of pans. Remove cake from pans and add caramel icing.

    Caramel Frosting
    2 1/4 cups brown sugar
    1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
    2 tsps. vanilla extract
    3 tbsps. white corn syrup
    4 1/2 tbsps milk
    2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
    Melt all ingredients except confectioners sugar on top of stove. Remove from heat and add sugar. Stir or cool until it has a glazed look and is of spreading consistency. Spread on cake.
    (This frosting will do the jam cake above. If you make it in a long pan, you can half the recipe for frosting but with the layered pans I use the amounts above. This frosting is great on any cake.)

    For a yummy picture of it, click on this link.

  27. Rhonda, even though I'm sure the cookie-like bourbon balls are delicious, I have to stay with the original of the cream-like filling. I'm sure it's a matter of what you're used to, and I certainly wouldn't turn down tasting yours. I think it would be interesting to have a bourbon ball tasting event, with different recipes and different bourbons used. Of course, we'd probably have to have water or coffee as a beverage to accompany them.

  28. Well, I guess you all know what my favorite dessert is! Can't remember where I got this recipe, but I've been making it for more than 20 years.

    My favorite bourbon ball recipe begins with a pan of homemade brownies, very rich, made in the microwave. While the baked brownie is still warm, pour two tablespoons of bourbon over it, break it all up with your hands, mix, and form into balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place in individual paper bonbon cups.

    Why, yes, I am a chocoholic? Why do you ask?

    Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

  29. Karen! WHOA. That is an incredible idea!

    Reading the other recipes now…Thank you! YUM!

  30. Kathy - A tasting event would be fun! We could even through in the candies from Maker's and Woodford Reserve! Happy New Year! :)