Desserts for Dudes: Pecan Chewies

You remember my Uncle Mike, right?  Well, every time he visited when we were growing up, my mom would make Pecan Chewies.

So, when Uncle Mike came for a visit this week, I knew immediately what I would be baking.

Pecan Chewies are essentially like mini pecan pies, with a buttery, cream cheese crust, lots of pecans, and a brown sugar filling.  If you really can't get into traditional pecan pie because of the thick layer of goo (*raises hand*), these are for you.  They're goo-free.

The day before Uncle Mike arrived, I made the Pecan Chewies, and purely for quality control purposes, Mr. E, the kiddo and I tested one each.  They were even better than I remembered.
And then Mr. E said...

"I wonder what one of these would be like with a little ice cream?"

Mind. Blown.

We'd never had these with ice cream growing up.  We ran (ok, we drove) to the grocery store, grabbed a pint of Haagen-Dazs vanilla bean, and hurried back home.

With my small cookie scoop, we dished out a little dollop of creamy vanilla bean on a pecan chewie (and took 27 pictures of it).  Oh. Wow. 

Dudes know their desserts, I'm tellin' ya.

With or without the ice cream, I beg you to try these for the men in your life.  Only, be sure to call them Pecan Chewies...if you call them Mini Pecan Pie Tartlettes with a Dollop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, I'm pretty sure they become chick food.

Oh!  My girlfriend Teresa from Blooming on Bainbridge has a similar recipe on her blog that makes 75!!!  (This recipe makes 24.)  So, if you're feeding a crowd, be sure to pop over to her recipe!

Pecan Chewies
{adapted from mom}

3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sifted flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 egg
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 TBSP salted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
dash kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325.

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until combined.  Stir in the sifted flour until it forms a dough.  (This will take several minutes of stirring, but it will come together.)  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

Toast the pecans: Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the sheet and set aside.

Beat together the egg, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth.  You may see a few tiny bits of butter; that's ok.

 Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll into 24 balls.

Place the balls in an ungreased mini muffin tin,

...and press the dough into the bottom and sides of the cups.

Divide half of the pecans among the 24 pastry-lined muffin cups.

Use a teaspoon to add in the egg/brown sugar mixture.
{If you get messy like I did, just wipe the pan with a damp paper towel before baking.}

Top with the remaining pecans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done.  Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 5 minutes.

 Remove the pecan chewies from the pan, using a knife to go around the edges if needed, and cool completely on the wire rack.

Serve naked (not you, the chewies) or with a small dollop of ice cream.

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