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So several years back, likely around Thanksgiving, I was eating some pecan pie and a strange thought came to me. "This is delicious, but you know what would make it better? Hard liquor." Today, I thank God for that epiphany.

I decided that Southern Comfort and a little chocolate would be a nice compliment to the pecans, and after some experimentation this is what I came up with. I've been making this recipe ever since and everybody who's tasted it loves this pie.

  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Karo dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Southern Comfort
  • 8-10 oz pecan halves

Here you have a decision to make. You can make your own pie shell or, if you're like me, you can hit your grocer's freezer and grab the Sara Lee variety. However, for this reason, I don't have a recipe included for the pie shell. I'm sure if you're making this pie, you either make a damn fine one already, or you too share my gratitude for Mrs. Lee. If not, try this one.

Whatever the case, whisk together the eggs and Karo syrup. Combine the sugar and the cornstarch and add it to the egg mixture, mixing it well. While you let this stand for a few minutes, melt the butter and chocolate (30 seconds in the microwave usually does the trick). Let it cool a minute or so, then stir in the SoCo. Then mix the choco-butt-liquor in to the sugary-egg batter. Pour this batter into your selected pie shell.

And now for the secret ingredient, pecans. You can do this in one of two ways. You can pour the pecans onto the batter, and press them in until they're mostly sunken in. Or if you're more of a perfectionist like me, separate the biggest unbroken halves, saving them. Sink the smaller and broken ones into the batter completely. Now arrange the nicer ones on top, floating on the batter; first forming a ring around the edge, then making a nice star burst pattern in the center.

When you're finished showing off, bake the pie at 350°F for 45 minutes or until it's done, preferably the latter. Bonus tip: If your oven tends to cook the bottom of pies faster than the top, try putting the pie pan on a cookie sheet.

Let it cool completely before you try to serve it, or it will fall apart. When it's done, the alcohol content should be very low. But let me be honest with you: I usually use 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of SoCo. I just listed it as 1/4 cup so you wouldn't get in trouble with your uptight in-laws this Thanksgiving.

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