by Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman
The holidays are around the corner and between all of the shopping, planning and cooking, some of us will also be entertaining. If you’re hosting a holiday party – whether it’s a fancy sit-down dinner with the in-laws or an informal get-together with the neighbors, great appetizers are a must! I recently attended a cooking event hosted by Easy Spirit where I got to do some hands-on cooking of incredible appetizers that’ll have your guests wowed and also learned about the New Easy Spirit 2015 Collection.
The Easy Spirit Spring 2015 Collection is, first and foremost, absolutely gorgeous! The metallic and the classic neutral colors can complement almost any outfit. The shoes are not just trendy, Easy Spirit is known for its super-comfortable shoes and innovative features. This is what makes them popular with people who spend their days on their feet, such as nurses. Here are some of the shoes in the collection:
The Easy Spirit shoes are so comfortable, you can wear them while you cook. Making appetizers for a party can be exhausting and time-consuming so you want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. In the event I had the chance to make mini pecan pies and parmesan tuille. Other participants made spicy tuna handrolls, buffalo wontons, beef empanada bites and pear pastry puffs.After cooking we got to eat our creations. The food was amazing, and I absolutely loved the mini Pecan Pies! (not only because I helped make them, they just tasted like heaven)
I love the mini pecan pies so much that I’m going to share the recipe. I think it will be perfect for Thanksgiving.
Petite Pecan Pies (courtesy of My Cooking Party)
Makes 15 servings
For the crust: (note: you can buy ready-made mini pie crusts and just make the filling)
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For the filling:
1 and 3/4 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
4 and 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the creme Chantilly:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
For the crust:
1. Pulse the flour, 2 tbsp butter, the shortening, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor until it looks like fine meal or sandy.
2. Add the remaining 4 tbsp butter and pulse until it is in pea-size pieces. Drizzle in the vinegar and 2 tbsp cold water and pulse until the dough just comes together.
3. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap; use the plastic to help form the dough into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or overnight. (The dough can be frozen for up to two months; thaw at room temperature.)
4. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
5. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut 15 disks.
6. Using mini muffin trays, ease each disk into each individual muffin tin. (If the dough is sticky, dip your fingers in flour first.)
7. Bake 15-18 minutes, until crusts are golden. Check periodically to avoid over-cooking.
For the filling:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until brown flecks appear, about 4 minutes; let cool slightly.
3. Whisk the browned butter, egg, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon and salt in a bowl.
4. Scatter the toasted pecans in the prepared crusts layer on sheet tray lined with parchment; pour in the brown sugar mixture to just below rim of crust. (When I helped make this we mixed the pecans together with the brown sugar mixture before pouring it all into the crusts)
5. Bake pies for 13 minutes or until set in the middle.
For the creme Chantilly:
1. Place the heavy cream and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. Using an electric mixer whip the cream to medium-stiff peaks.
When pies are cooled put a dollop of creme on top and serve.
I was not compensated for this post. I received a gift bag.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is the owner of Mama’s Bites and has also written for The Huffington Post. She has been living in New York City for thirteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 7, 5 and 2) and loves finding great products that make her family’s life easier.