Gluten Free Pecan Pie Candy Bites

Well we’ve bypassed Thanksgiving and all of its pie recipes, and we’ve jumped right into Christmas with candy making. Truffles, caramels, fudge, you name it. It’s flooding Pinterest.

Written by Brielle of Breezy Bakes

I’ve literally been eating pie for what seems like the past month, between recipe testing and actual Thanksgiving baking. I’ve made pecan pie, apple pie (cupcakes), cranberry apple pie, pumpkin cheesecake pie, and the list goes on. We had SIX pies that we served with our Thanksgiving meal for a crowd of 20 people. A pie typically serves 8…meaning we had enough pie to serve 48 people!

Side note: I really just used my calculator to figure that multiplication out. I’ve been out of school way to long!

So yes, we had pie leftovers for days and days and days. Even though I’ve had my fill of pies in the last few weeks, I’m still not quite ready to let it go just because Thanksgiving is over. Pies are a part of Christmas too, right? Just nod your head and agree.

And even if you don’t agree, there’s no arguing the fact that candy is a part of Christmas, and that is exactly what these gluten free Pecan Pie Candy Bites are filled with. A soft vanilla caramel packed with chopped pecans and drizzled with chocolate. This goodness is nestled right on top of a molasses crust that you bake in mini muffin tins. See? Pies that aren’t necessarily pies. They’re candy pies!

The crust is crisp and flavorful and these pies are…well…cute. Really, looks matter most. Okay, not really…ever. First and foremost, things have to taste good, but the cuteness factor just takes these mini desserts up a notch. Can’t you just see these little babies sitting on a tray of Christmas goodies at your next holiday party?

I love that these are not your traditional caramels that are either wrapped or fully dipped in chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all over those candies, but sometimes I like to break tradition. With the combination of this gingersnap like crust and soft pecan caramel, I’m sure glad I did. There is nothing like starting a new tradition, especially at the holidays.

So cozy up, flip on a Hallmark Christmas special (we all love them!) and enjoy one, two, or three of these nontraditional Christmas “candies”. You’ll be glad you did.

What are your favorite Christmas candies?

Gluten Free Pecan Pie Candy Bites

Yield: 36

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Soft caramel and pecans nestled on top of a gingersnap molasses crust, drizzled with chocolate and topped with pecans.

Ingredients:

For Crust:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 sticks butter (1 cup), room temperature
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour*
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
For Filling:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup half and half
dash of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
For Topping:
1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
36 pecan halves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin making crust. Cream together brown sugar, molasses, and butter until pale and smooth. Add pumpkin pie spice, salt, flour, and xanthan gum. Mix until combined. Knead dough until ingredients are well incorporated.
Taking slightly less than 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, press down into and up the sides of the wells in a mini muffin tin. Come just slightly over the edge of each muffin hole. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, removing after 7 minutes and quickly pressing down dough with the back of a measuring teaspoon.** Return to the oven to cook the additional 3-5 minutes until slightly browning on edges. Once you remove from the oven, press centers of cups down again with the back of a teaspoon. Allow to cool completely before removing from tins, otherwise they will break apart. Bake additional shells.
As cups are cooling, begin making filling. In a medium sized saucepan, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla. Melt butter and liquefy sugar at medium heat, stirring continuously. Increase heat to medium high to reach a boil. Slowly add half and half, stirring vigorously, and reduce heat to a low rolling boil. Add salt and stir. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
Remove mixture from heat and stir in 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Stir to mix pecans evenly throughout mixture.
Immediately scoop about 1/2 tablespoon of pecan mixture into each cookie cup. Allow to cool and set.
Once filling is set, begin melting chocolate. Melt chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir for at least 30 seconds and return to the microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring for at least 30 seconds in between until chocolate is melted and smooth. Transfer to a plastic Ziploc sandwich bag and seal. Cut off a small corner on one end and squeeze chocolate through to drizzle over caramel filling. Top with a pecan half.
Serve once drizzled chocolate is set.

Notes:

*If you are using another flour blend that does not include xanthan gum, mix in 1 1/4 teaspoons of xanthan gum with the dry ingredients.
**During baking, the centers of the crusts will puff up. You will need to press them down so that they bake into a crust rather than a cookie. Just use the rounded back of a measuring teaspoon to push them back down. Repeat as soon as they come out of the oven as well.

by Brielle Gundersen

I am an avid health nut who believes in moderation in all things. Yes, even scrumptious, yummy, 100% sugar and fat filling desserts! Ever since our daughter was diagnosed with Celiac, we have embraced the Gluten-Free lifestyle in full! Check out my other gluten free desserts at Breezy Bakes.