If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in—well actually, there are a few places I would want to live, but right now, there is one place at the top of my list—the South.
Whether it’s Georgia, the Carolina’s, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, or any of the other states, I don’t care. I just want to be able to live, breath, and proudly announce that I’m from the South. Don’t get me wrong. I love my home. How could I not? Most of the time we have beautiful weather, beaches are about 15 minutes away, and in terms of leisure activities there is quite a lot to do. But, California does lack in a few areas that the South makes up for.
Which areas you ask? Well, let me tell you.
Country Music Love. Anyone who loves country music is part of the minority here, and since I’m going through a hard-core country phase this is slightly disappointing.
Cowboy Boot Love. I own a pair of red, very cute, if I do say so myself, cowboy boots. How often do I wear them? Not as much as I would like. Why? Because they attract stares, as in, ‘why are you wearing those ridiculous boots, you weirdo ‘ stares. When you’re around country lovers, however, you get compliments on your boots because everyone, girls and boys alike, are rocking their cowboy boots proudly.
Southern Gentleman. You had to know this would make the list. Come on. Boys that speak in an adorable drawl, hold the door open, and wear those nice fitting jeans with a t-shirt and cowboy boots . What’s not to love? Have you seen an episode of Hart of Dixie (which, by the way I just started watching and am completely hooked on) or a picture of Luke Bryan or Blake Shelton?
And, let’s not forget the Food. Specifically dessert. Peach Cobbler anyone? Sweet Potato Pie? Or, how about a heavenly slice of Pecan Pie? I’m guessing you can see where my inspiration for this recipe came from. These cupcakes are probably the closest I’m getting to the South for a while. But, I’m not too upset, because they are pretty darn delicious.
These Mini Pecan Pie cupcakes are essentially a bite size version of pecan pie. The cake itself is a shortcake that is extremely moist with a subtle buttery flavor—I think if pie crust could be an actual cake, then it would definitely taste like this shortcake. The mini cupcake is filled to the top with pecan pie filling that is sweet, gooey, and packed with crunchy pecans. Together the pie filling and the shortcake make a perfect pair that will have all your pecan pie cravings filled in no time!
Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes
Yields: about 27 mini cupcakes
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
½ cup milk, at room temperature
Pecan Pie Filling
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease each well of a mini cupcake pan and set aside.
Whip together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until mixture is fluffy, pale, and slightly thickened (about 3 minutes).
Add vegetable oil and melted butter. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder.
Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely.
Pecan Pie Filling
While the cake is baking, make your pecan pie filling.
Mix sugars and cornstarch until combined. Pour into a small saucepan.
Stir in melted butter, corn syrup, salt, and eggs.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil.
Remove from heat (if you see small pieces of cooked egg, it means the eggs weren’t beaten enough—pour the mixture through a strainer into another bowl before adding the vanilla and pecans).
Stir in vanilla and pecans.
Let sit for about 10 minutes and then refrigerate for about an hour or until the filling has set.
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, take a knife and cut out a small to medium circle in the middle of the cupcake. Remove the cut out circle from the cupcake.
Using a ¼ teaspoon, dig out the middle part of the cupcake—make sure not to break the bottom of the cupcake.
Once all the cupcakes have been hollowed out and the pecan pie filling has set, use a ¼ teaspoon to scoop the filling into the cupcake.
Scoop enough filling so that the top of the cupcake is brimming with pecans and some of the gooey goodness is drizzling down the side.
Those look positively lovely!