March 8, 2011

Not Just for the Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Pie {Powernap}

Derby Pie

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

Today’s Powernap Situation: What is a delicious quick dessert that I can whip up in a snap during naptime and take to mom’s night out?

Last week I volunteered to bring something sweet to mom’s night out. I was so excited by the prospect of spending time with girlfriends, something that happens far too rarely these days, that I wanted to eschew the usual cupcake/brownie/cookie kid-fare and treat everyone to a dessert with a distinctly adult feel. I envisioned something creamy and smooth with a hefty dose of chocolate (obviously), and maybe even a little bit of booze. I hardly ever incorporate liquor into our family baked goods, but I knew it would be no problem, maybe even welcomed, by a group of fellow moms. Enter Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Pie.

This is my Mom’s recipe for Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Pie. [I was informed I can’t call it simply Derby Pie® because that name is trademarked – who knew?!] She is not from Kentucky, or even the South, but she swears that it is the best one yet. There is a good chance that this originated from of her southern friends or southern restaurant cookbook, but, wherever it came from, she’s had it for at least three decades. On the recipe she made a note about pecans being better than walnuts and dated it 1980. As you would guess, this pie is traditionally served around Kentucky Derby season in the south. But I’ve never been one to embrace the idea that recipes should be restricted to particular holidays when, in fact, we all know they’d be tasty year round. This pie is simply too delicious to be limited to one single holiday; I make it any chance I get.

Whipping up the simple one-bowl batter took all of two minutes during naptime. Then I poured it into the crust and enjoyed the heady aromas of warm bourbon and caramel while it baked. Extreme measures of self-control were employed while it cooled on the counter for the afternoon, but not so when I brought out the pie server for my friends that evening. We all dug in with great gusto, dolloping heavy clouds of cinnamon whipped cream on top of each sliced as it was served and passed around. There was nary a mint julep in site but that didn’t matter to us. It was Mom’s Night Out, and we were betting on the great dessert.


Not Just for Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie


1 cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
tablespoons Bourbon
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
9-inch frozen pie crust (still frozen)*


1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

2. In a large bowl mix together the sugar and flour with a whisk. Add in the beaten eggs, butter, bourbon, and vanilla extract. Whisk everything briskly until the batter is smooth and creamy.

3. Pour in the pecans and chocolate chips and stir them into the batter carefully so that nothing gets broken. Pour the batter into the pie crust and smooth the top with a spatula.

4. Bake the pie for about 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top is set and the center no longer jiggles when shaken. A cake tester should come out clean.

*If the pie crust is thawed bake the pie for about 40 to 45 minutes.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

It is simply a must that this pie should be served with whipped cream or ice cream. And, of course, a nip of bourbon, neat, on the side never hurts either.

Naptime Stopwatch

5 minutes prep time, 50 minutes baking time

Naptime Reviews

I brought home an empty pie plate from mom’s night out. My mother reports similar results when she used to serve it at her Cooperstown dinner parties.

6 Responses to “Not Just for the Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Pie {Powernap}”

  1. I am all about some derby pie…chocolate, pecans, and bourbon encased in flaky pastry? Uh yes please. Looks great!

  2. Good job. I like your recipe it is both creative and innovative for a pecan pie recipe. I will make some of these later, for sure this will be a top-shot dessert for my family thank you very much.

  3. lyndsay says:

    I’m from Kentucky and all the derby pies I’ve seen always have corn syrup in them…this looks interesting though! I’ve saved it.

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef says:

      Hi! This is the recipe I’ve always used. It was given to my mother by a good friend of hers. We love it! I am not from Kentucky and don’t claim to have the inside scoop on how it should taste in order to be truly authentic to your region, but we really like this and hope you do too! 🙂

  4. Joanna Marks says:

    I love this recipe and make it every year for Derby! Have you ever tried a mini version of it? Wondering if I could do a bite sized version for people who claim they don’t want a whole slice (silly them!)