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Pecan Pie Truffles

With the pumpkin pie already covered by another family member, I set out to find a different dessert I could bring to the family Thanksgiving celebration.  I had been eyeing the VegNews Pecan Pie Truffles featured on the New York Times for sometime, so I settled on making a slightly modified version.  Although not typically a fan of pecan pie, I knew this recipe looked good.  And indeed, it certainly didn’t disappoint.  These balls were packed with flavor, infused with all the goodness of maple syrup, buttery toasted pecans, and a kick of spiced rum.  A chocolate covering made these extra decadent, allowing them to stick out among all the other dishes on the dessert table.  This one’s a keeper.  Move over Christmas cookies.

Pecan Pie Balls

(Yields about 24 truffles)

-2 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
-1 cup graham cracker crumbs
-1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons maple syrup
-1/4 cup spiced rum
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, stir together pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt until well combined. Add maple syrup, spiced rum and vanilla, stirring thoroughly. Use your hands to make sure the mixture becomes fully incorporated.

Form mixture into 1-inch balls, then place on a parchment sheet-lined cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.

In the top of a double boiler or in a medium stainless steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, melt chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, then place onto prepared baking sheet. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until firm.