Recipe: Pecan Chess Pie with Bourbon Vanilla Caramel

Debating between pecan pie or chess pie? Enjoy both Southern signature desserts in a hybrid that combines the essential elements of each. Plus, you finish it with a generous drizzle of bourbon vanilla caramel sauce. We offer an easy recipe for the caramel (you don’t even need a candy thermometer!). To save time, warm J.Q. Dickinson Bourbon Caramel Sauce gives an equally decadent result. You can get this eye-catching dessert onto the table with less than an hour of hands-on time, and it’s a crowd-pleaser to finish off anything from a feast to a Sunday supper.
Pecan Chess Pie with Bourbon Caramel Sauce


6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1½ sticks unsalted butter

6 tablespoons whole milk

6 tablespoons cream

2 teaspoons Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vanilla

1½ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

5 eggs

2½ tablespoons cornmeal

1 cup Bourbon Smoked Pecan Halves

1 pie shell, par baked (pre baked for 15 minutes in 350 degree oven)

Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

1¾ cups sugar

3 tablespoons water

½ cup cream, room temperature

4 sticks unsalted butter, sliced, room temperature

2 tablespoons Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vanilla 



  1. For pie, melt chocolate and butter together over a double boiler. While still warm, stir in milk, cream, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla until homogenous.
  2. Stir in the sugar and salt.
  3. Combine eggs and cornmeal in a bowl and then add to the chocolate mixture, stirring until smooth. Pour into a par-baked pie shell and then top the filling with whole pecan halves.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
  5. To make the bourbon vanilla caramel sauce:  Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar is fully moistened.

Alternatively, use warm J.Q. Dickinson Bourbon Caramel Sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds and use.

    1. Place pan over medium heat and cook without stirring until sugar begins to caramelize around the edges. Once sugar is a medium brown color around edges, turn off heat and gently swirl pan.
    2. Whisk in the Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla. Let cool until safe to handle

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