Take your pecan pie recipe to the next level with the addition of semi-sweet chocolate chips. This chocolate chip pecan pie is ooey, gooey and decadently delicious.
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Did you know most of the world’s pecans are grown in the United States? Among the country’s producers, the top 15 growers are located in the southern United States. That would explain why pecan pie is so closely associated with the South. It’s a dish you will likely find on any dessert table, especially once the holidays roll around.
I must admit, it wasn’t until I became an adult that I could truly appreciate a slice of pecan pie. Most kids seem to have an aversion to nuts and I was no different. Now, its hard for me to turn down a slice, with it’s chewy pecan topping and sweet center. As if this pie weren’t decadent enough, I decided to take things one step further and add a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the filling. Trust me, your sweet tooth is going to swoon over this one!
Ingredients and tools you will need
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie is easy to assemble even for a relatively new baker. It requires only nine ingredients, which include:
- Light brown sugar
- Light corn syrup – You may also hear this referred to as Karo syrup.
- Whole eggs – Large eggs are recommended.
- Vanilla extract
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Unsalted pecan halves
- Single pie crust for a 9-inch pie – you can use store bought or try making your own using my homemade pie crust recipe.
- 9-inch pie plate
Make the pecan pie filling
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together 1 ¼ cups of brown sugar, ½ a cup of light corn syrup, three whole eggs, two tablespoons of molasses, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and ½ a teaspoon of salt. Add ½ a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Measure out two cups of pecan halves. Set aside 1 ½ cups of pecan halves (I counted them out and it comes to approximately 57 halves) to decorate the top of the pie. Try to pick nuts that have a nice shape and little to no imperfections. Finely chop the remaining ½ cup and add them to the pie filling.
Assemble the pie
Roll your pie crust dough out and press it into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges. Since we are going to bake this pie, there is no need to blind bake the pie crust beforehand. Pour the pecan pie filling into the pie crust. Then gently arrange the pecan halves you reserved earlier in a concentric circle pattern around the pie. The batter is thick enough that the pecans should float on the surface of the filling. Just make sure you don’t press the nuts too hard as you’re laying them out.
Bake the pie
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You may want to place the pie on top of a foil lined baking pan to catch any drips as it bakes. Bake the pie for 55-65 minutes until the center of the pie is no longer wobbly. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack for two hours before serving.
Despite your best effort, problems can and do arise. Here are a few of the most common problems associated with making pecan pie and how to remedy them.
My pecan pie didn’t set
Nothing is more disappointing than cutting into a pecan pie only to have the filling run out all over the place. The short answer as to why this happens — you didn’t cook the pie long enough. Even if you followed the recipe to a T, other outside variables can affect the cook time. For instance, your oven temperature may not be calibrated correctly. Thought the display says it’s preheated to 350 degrees, it’s common for an oven to be off a few degrees. Hang an oven thermometer from a rack in the center of the oven while it’s preheating. Then compare the reading on the thermometer to your oven’s display and adjust accordingly if needed. Altitude will also play a role in cook time. If you live in a higher elevation, be sure to make the proper adjustments.
Once you pull the pie from the oven, you want the center to have just a slight jiggle. If you notice the center is wobbly, it needs to bake longer. Simply put the pie back in the oven and cook in 5-10 minute increments until the center firms up.
My crust burned
This is another common problem – the crust bakes more rapidly than the rest of the pie. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then check it to ensure the crust is not browning too quickly. If it is, carefully wrap the edges of the crust in strips of foil, or place one of these handy pie crust shields over the crust for the duration to prevent the crust from browning any further.
My pecans burned
Those little pecans we used to decorate the top of the pie have no protection from the high heat of the oven. Therefore, they are susceptible to burning (in fact, if you watch my video, you’ll notice a few of my pecans look a little more “toasted” than others.) Check the pie periodically during baking. If you notice some of the pecans are starting to get darker, loosely cover the top of the pie with foil for the duration.
Storage, freezing and thawing instructions
Storage. Once the pie has cooled, I like to store my chocolate chip pecan pie in a pie saver. If you don’t have a pie saver, loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store the pie in the refrigerator and consume within four days.
Freezing. A baked pecan pie can be frozen for up to one month. Once the pie has cooled, carefully wrap the pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Be sure to place the pie on a level surface in the freezer where it won’t get knock around a lot to prevent breaking.
Thawing. Allow the frozen pie to come to room temperature in the refrigerator overnight. Thirty minutes before serving, set the pie out and allow it to come to room temperature.
Frequently asked questions
Brown sugar gets its coloring and distinct flavor from the addition of molasses. Dark brown sugar contains twice as much molasses as light. If you already have dark brown sugar on hand, you can use it as a substitute.
Can I use dark corn syrup instead of light?
Like brown sugar, corn syrup comes in light and dark varieties. Light corn syrup is clear and has a hint of vanilla flavoring. Dark syrup has more of a molasses flavoring. As with the sugar, you can substitute dark for light. Just keep in mind, your pie may have a stronger molasses flavor than mine.
Can I use milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips?
You can, but please keep in mind. This pecan pie is sweet enough on its own. To avoid overpowering the sweetness level of the pie, I opted for semi-sweet chocolate chips rather than milk chocolate.
Can I use white chocolate chips instead?
Yes, in fact I think that would be amazing! Let me know how it turns out.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
- 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 2 cups pecan halves divided
- Dough for a single 9-inch pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, molasses, vanilla and salt.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Set aside 1 ¼ cups (about 57 pieces) of pecan halves for the top of the pie. Finely chop the remaining pecan halves.
- Add the chopped pecans to the mixing bowl and stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
- Gently arrange the reserved pecan halves in a circle over the filling.
- Bake the pie for 55-65 minutes or until the center is no longer wobbly. Check halfway through baking time to ensure the pie crust is not browning too quickly. If it is, cover the edges with aluminum foil for the duration.
- Cool the pie completely on a wire rack before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.