Easy Pecan Pie Bites
Easy to make treats that are perfect for the holidays! These mini pecan pie bites are made with store-bought puff pastry and topped with the easiest pecan pie mix. Your guests are going to rave about them!
These wittle baby pecan pie bites are soo addicting. They get me every single time. And no, you can’t have just one. Because they’re teeny tiny, you tell yourself, ‘go ahead, have another’ and before you know it, you’ve polished off half a dozen and you still. WANT. MORE.
This recipe for pecan pie bites is one that my family has been using for at least the last 15 years. And actually, they make walnut tarts not pecan pie bites. You know those store-bought mini pie shells? YES. They are ALWAYS the go to dessert when you need something on the table that’s fast and foolproof. And they are ALWAYS a big hit. The recipe is so simple that you’ll have it memorized. After making it at least 3 dozen times in the last two decades of my life, i’ve got it down pat. 😉
Lets talk about the actual pecan pie filling. The original recipe included a very small pinch of salt. But as pecan pie tends to be just all one note, (also known as cloyingly sweet) i’ve upped the salt a bit to help balance out the flavors a little better. Also, your puff pastry sheets contain salt, so keep in mind that it will also add to the flavor. It’s a sweet/salty kinda pecan pie tart and it’s addicting.
This pecan pie bites recipe is a simple combination of condensed milk, light corn syrup, vanilla extract, salt and an egg. Oh and of course, the pecans! Thats it! You can make the pie filling up to 3 days in advance so it’s perfect for holiday parties. Or you can do as I do, just whip up a quick batch of the pecan pie filling and if you’ve got several parties/ cookie swaps to attend, bake and take them fresh. You’re totally going to be the star of the show, because 1.) people LOVE puff pastry 2.) people love pecan pie 3.) people LOVE small bite-sized food 4.) warm fresh pie + whipped cream = heaven. <– I’m sure of it.
You guys, I ate a ton of these pecan pie, all in the name of recipe testing. It wasn’t the pecan pie filling I was worried about, it was the crust. My family has always used store-bought mini pie shells that are available in select grocery stores. I didn’t want to use an ingredient that was that specific because it may or may not be available to all of you.
So I started testing the recipe with sugar cookie dough. Um. Let’s just say, it wasn’t a good idea. So sweet that it actually made my sweet tooth hurt. On to the next! I spotted large puff pastry sheets at the store and thought, huh! And the first batch look like profiteroles. The puffiness of the puff pastry had completely consumed all of the pecan pie filling. FAIL. Next! So my last attempt at puff pastry was to pierce holes on the surface of the pastry so that it puffed up a bit, but not so much that it looked like a balloon. And it worked! Perfect, buttery puff pastry with a sweet, crunchy, gooey pecan pie filling in the center. I of course ran for the whipped cream container, because what is pie without whipped cream?
As these mini pecan pie bites bake, you’ll see that some of the pecan pie filling will spill over the sides, that’s okay. It makes a nice crunchy brown crust around the outside which is not only delicious in taste but the texture really makes these phenomenal.
Be sure to spray your mini muffin pan liberally with cooking spray. The cooking spray not only helps brown the puff pastry (because we can’t brush it with an egg wash!) it also helps these pecan pie bites pop right out.
Pecan pie puff pastry is perfect for your next holiday party or cookie swap. You can even make one large batch and give these out as gifts. Because gifts that contain puff pastry and pecan pie are the best kind of gift there is.
- 3 (10 x 15) puff pastry sheets (thawed according to package directions)
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ - 2 cups pecan pieces
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a mini muffin pan liberally with cooking spray, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the condensed milk, corn syrup, egg, vanilla extract, and salt. Using a whisk, beat the mixture until everything is combined. Fold in the pecan pieces, set aside.
- Using a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out 24 rounds from each puff pastry sheet. You can make all 72 pecan pie bites together or make them as needed.
- Pierce several holes through the puff pastry rounds using a fork. You want most of the surface to be covered with holes. Lay the puff pastry cut outs in the mini muffin pan and make sure they sit flat. You don't want any air bubbles caught between the puff pastry and the pan.
- Drop a little less than a tablespoon of the pecan pie filling into each puff pastry round. You can add additional pecan pieces on top if desired, but try to not let the filling run over the sides of the puff pastry.
- Bake for 14-17 minutes or until the puff pastry starts to brown. The pecan pie filling may not be completely set, that's okay. Be careful not to overbake. Mine took 16 minutes exactly. Some of the pie filling may run over the sides, that's okay, it adds a nice little bubbly, golden crunch around the rim of the pecan tarts.
- Allow the tarts to cool completely before serving. Top with a tiny dollop of whipped cream. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- MAKE AHEAD: The pecan mixture can be made up to 3 days in advance. You can make all 72 of the pecan bites at the same time or make them as needed throughout the 3 days.
- PUFF PASTRY: If you cannot find the specified dimension of puff pastry, you can use any long sheet sizes, but keep in mind that you may need more/less depending on the size. I chose this particular sheet size because it leaves you with very little waste.