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Sweet Southern Tradition: Claire Thomas’ Chocolate Pecan Derby Pie Bars

Nicole Barylski

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Claire Thomas adds a few special ingredients to her derby pie bars that we think you'll enjoy. (Courtesy Photo)

"Derby Pie is part of the fabric that makes up the entire derby day," shared Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen about the Kentucky Derby tradition. "Almost like the cousin of pecan pie, blondies, and brownies, derby pie is chocolatey, filled with golden brown sweetness, and the tender crunch of pecans."

Thomas adds a few special touches to her derby pie bars that we think you'll enjoy. "I amp mine up with a shortbread crust, a touch of bourbon, and serve them as bars for easy grabbing," noted Thomas. The recipe, which should be cooked in a 9" x 13" pan, makes about 24 bars, depending on how you slice it.

Chocolate Pecan Derby Pie Bars:

Pie Crust:

(Note: This is a double crust recipe, you can refrigerate for 3 days or freeze the other one for
future use)

 • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 • 3 tablespoons sugar
 • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
 • 8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
 • 1/4-1/2 cup ice water

1. In a food processor or quickly using your fingertips, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter until the chunks of butter are broken down to the size of peas and the flour feels like wet sand.
2. Add the first 1/4 cup of water and mix until the dough comes together easily. It's too dry if it immediately clumps apart.
3. Add two tablespoons of water at a time, you can always add more water but not more flour, so careful not to add too much.
4. Gather the dough into two balls and plop them on top of two sheets of plastic wrap. Loosely wrap up each ball and press down, smooshing the ball into a disc about an inch thick.
5. Pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes while you busy yourself with the other stuff.

Claire Thomas' Chocolate Pecan Derby Pie Bars. (Courtesy Photo)


 • 2 cups all-purpose flour
 • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
 • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
 • pinch of kosher salt

1. Work together the flour, butter, powdered sugar, and salt until it forms a dough.
2. Spread it on the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish and pat down so it's evenly distributed.
3. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden brown, and cool.


 • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
 • 1 cup sugar
 • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
 • 1 cup all-purpose flour
 • 4 eggs
 • 1 tablespoon vanilla
 • 2 tablespoon bourbon
 • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
 • 1 1/2 cups pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream together the eggs, butter and sugar.
3. Mix in the vanilla and bourbon and add the flour a little at a time on low speed.
4. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips and pour over crust.
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
6. Take out of the oven and cool completely.

Baking Notes:
1. To prebake a pie crust: on a well floured surface, roll out your dough to 1/8 inch thick and place in the pie pan. Using a fork, prick the dough so it can release steam and won't bubble or warp; add a sheet of parchment paper over the dough and fill with dried beans or pie weights (this is to ensure the pie keeps its shape).
2. Bake it on the center rack at 425 F for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sides begin to brown. Remove the paper and beans/weights and reduce oven to 375 degrees, baking for 5 more minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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Guest (Kim) from Ohio says::
I'm planning on making these for a derby party and I'm a little confused about the directions. In the picture I think I see a crust on the bottom, a filling, and then a crust on top. If that is correct, which crust recipe goes on the bottom and what goes on top? Would I roll a crust to put on top? I see two crust recipes but no specifications for order. Thanks!
Apr 30, 2015 3:28 pm


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