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Recipe: Pecan Chess Pie with Bourbon Vanilla Caramel

  • , by Hannah Lee Leidy
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.
    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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