Mini Bourbon Macadamia Nut Pies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups dark corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
2 cups whole macadamia nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, salt, and sugar on low speed until combined. Add the butter to the flour mixture and mix on low speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until the mixture looks crumbly, with bits of dough the size of dried peas.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cream, then add them to the flour mixture, mixing on low speed just until the dough is combined. Continue mixing for another 10 seconds. If the dough is too dry to form a ball, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. Gently mold the dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the nut filling.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3-inch (standard) muffin pans with butter or cooking spray (really, any size muffin tin will work, although mini muffin tins might produce a nut pie with too much crust). Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Stir in the syrup and sugar, bring the mixture to a boil, and remove the saucepan from the stove. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl just until blended. Pour 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the eggs and whisk until combined (mixing a small amount of the hot mixture into the eggs keeps the eggs from scrambling. If this happens, don’t fret, just pour the mixture through a strainer). Gradually whisk the rest of the hot mixture into the eggs. Whisk in the salt, and bourbon, if using.
On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 1/8 inch thick disk. Dip a 4-inch biscuit cutter (or drinking glass) in flour and cut out the rounds as close together as possible so you don’t have to keep re-rolling and working the dough. Lightly press the rounds of dough into the muffin pans to cover the bottom and sides evenly. Spoon in the macadamia nuts, evenly dividing them among the muffin cups, and sprinkle with the chocolate chips, if using. Pour the syrup over the nuts and chocolate chips until the cups are almost full. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Run a small spatula or knife around the edge of each pie to loosen it, then gently remove from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Yield: 2 dozen pies