Monday, November 21, 2011

Pecan Pie Napoleon

Pecan Pie has always been one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts.  It's one of those classics that everyone loves, so I didn't want to change the whole thing, I just wanted to make it better.  I took everything I love about pecan pie, and turned it into a pecan pie napoleon.  Can you say upgrade?!  I also really love this dessert because you get three recipes in one.  My melt in your mouth butter cookies and salted almond & coconut dark chocolate bark are staples in my kitchen.  They are each fabulous on their own, but combined in this dessert, equal pure bliss.  I would also like to share some big news with you guys! I have been featured in a national news story! I want to give a big thank you to Raycom Media and talented reporter Joseph Neese for featuring me.  It's all very exciting and I am beyond grateful.  You can see the story here.
The first step in the dessert was to make the butter cookies.  They are so simple to make, and are always my go to cookie.  Pure butter means light and flaky which is exactly what I was going for.  Next I made my traditional pecan pie filling.  The only thing I did different was bake it in a 9" x 13" pan instead of a pie crust.  Once the filling was completely cool, I mixed it with mascarpone cheese.  The mascarpone gave it a rich and creamy texture while keeping it very light.  I was very happy with the dessert at this point, but wanted to give it a little accessory.  I made a batch of my salted almond and coconut dark chocolate bark.  The dark chocolate and salted almonds cut the sweetness and balanced out the dessert perfectly.  The toasted coconut adds a bit of a playful surprise to the dish that I love.  It adds another layer of flavor that wakes everything else up, and adds an unexpected brightness to it.  I also dusted the bark with some gold luster dust to give it some shine and holiday flare.  What can I tell you, I always have to get some sparkles in!  The bark did exactly what any good accessory, or garnish should do.  Not only does it look great, it has substance.  It brings a lot to the table, but doesn't outshine the main event.  It complements the napoleon beautifully making the finished product even better.
This makeover was definitely a success, and I will be bringing this to Thanksgiving.  To wrap things up, make the butter cookies.  I promise they will become a staple in your kitchen.  The chocolate bark also makes a wonderful gift.  Make a big batch, get some pretty packaging, and you have fabulous gifts for the foodies in your life!  I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving, and enjoy the video!

Melt in Your Mouth Butter Cookies
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2t. salt
  • 1T. vanilla bean paste - You can use vanilla extract, but I really like how the specks of vanilla beans look in the cookies.
  • 2 & 1/4 cups AP flour
  1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste.
  3. Mix in flour and salt just till combined.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate till well chilled, at least 2 hours.
  5. Roll out dough while it is still firm.  You can be generous with the flour on your work surface and rolling pin.  If it gets too soft and sticky pop it back in the fridge.  
  6. Cut out squares and bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes, rotating once halfway through.
  7. Store in an air tight container at room temp till ready to use.
*Note: You can make this dough, roll it, cut out squares, and freeze them in advance.

Pecan Pie Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4t. salt
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3T. melted butter
  • 2t. vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1T. Bourbon (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9" x 13" pan by lining it with parchment and spraying with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk eggs, sugar, and salt in bowl.
  3. Whisk in light corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla bean paste, and Bourbon.
  4. Sprinkle pecans evenly in pan and pour filling over them.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, rotating once half way through. You want it to have a slight jiggle to it when you remove it from the oven.  
*Note: This filling can be made up to a week ahead of time.  It can also be used for a traditional 9" pie as well.  

Napoleon Filling

  • 1 batch of pecan pie filling
  • 16 ounce mascarpone cheese
  1. Mix pecan pie filling with mascarpone cheese and refrigerate till ready to use.

Salted Almond & Coconut Dark Chocolate Bark

  • 6 ounces good quality dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, toasted coconut
  • gold luster dust
  1. Melt chocolate and spread evenly on to a piece of parchment paper. This should be done on a sheet pan or flat plate.
  2. Sprinkle on the almonds and coconut.
  3. Refrigerate till firm.
  4. Break into wedges, or cut with a knife.
  5. Brush bark with luster dust to give it some shine.
  6. Keep refrigerated.

  1. Place a small amount of napoleon filling on each.  This acts as glue to hold the napoleon in place.
  2. Place one butter cookie and top with a good spoon of napoleon filling.  Repeat and finish with a third cookie.
  3. Garnish with a wedge of salted almond and coconut bark.

I love how you can see the specks of vanilla beans.  They're like little gems in the butter cookies.


  1. Imagine me whimpering with sudden, unquenchable desire. This looks fantastic, and so elegant! :)

  2. What a neat idea! I am always torn about which is my favorite holiday pie but Pecan Pie is definitely in the top 2. Love love love the idea of revamping it this way.

  3. This sounds sensational. I love pecan pie too, and am making pecan tassies this year for thanksgiving (another twist on the original!)

  4. Great recipe! Looks fantastic!

  5. This is a Foodbuzz Top 1 dessert!! Thank you so much for sharing all these delicious recipes with us!

  6. Anonymous11/21/2011


  7. Looks great. Great video clip.

  8. Your video is awesome! These look amazing, I love how you twisted an old favorite!

  9. So creative! These look awesome too.

  10. This is just wow - over the top amazingly delicious. You really make all your desserts look totally fantastic!

  11. What a fun video - this looks gorgeous!

  12. Congrats on the feature! You are very talented and creative when it comes to desserts. You have taken the flavor of a pecan pie and converted it to a real stunner of a dessert here! Also, with the video does make it easier to understand how the dish was created. Those videos have definitely been a plus for your blog. I can always learn something from your posts. Enjoy the holiday.

  13. three for one- love it! happy thanksgiving!

  14. What a great, new way to eat pecan pie! This is much more elegant looking too! And your video is really helpful!

  15. I love this Meghan! No matter how you try and change a traditional pecan ends up looking the same. This is like a deconstructed pecan pie and it's very sexy and elegant! You are always so creative...which is why you deserve your awesome national news story feature! Congrats! You go girl!

  16. Great interview, you should be so proud. I was so mesmerized by it. Fellow pink lover too. This is one smashing dessert. You really make it look elegant.

  17. Anonymous11/22/2011

    Upgrade is RIGHT! This is incredible! I'm off to see your interview! Congratulations - I can only imagine how exciting that was!

  18. Way to steal the show at Thanksgiving dinner! This neo looks outstanding :) And a Threefer! I can totally get into that!

  19. I love deconstructed dishes! This looks amazing. My only problem would be that I'd be snacking on the butter cookies the entire time I'm putting the dessert together. I may end up with nothing upon which to build it all. It would be worth it though.

    Congrats on the national news story too. That's fantastic.

  20. What a great idea! Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. How creative! (as usual!!! :D)

  22. Wow! this looks so fantastic and delicious!

  23. Upgrade indeed--that is spectacular!

  24. Stunning! These are the most beautiful "pecan pies" I have ever seen! I love the addition of the coconut to the bark, I too love it with chocolate and nuts since it adds sweetness, and the luster on the top of these is a nice touch!

  25. Wow, what a creative combination! Pecan pie is one of my favorites too!

  26. This is just wonderful! I love pecan pie and your stunning presentation makes it oh so much more delightful :)

  27. Gorgeous, and fancy dessert, that realistically can only be found in a fancy restaurant...but then again, can't expect anything less than that, from a professional pastry chef...such as you, Meghan!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  28. This is so beautiful and so creative! I finally tasted my first pecan pie on Thanksgiving this year and loved it! I could not believe I had been missing out on it all of these years... but now I am obsessed and definitely would love to try something like this!

  29. Anonymous11/26/2011

    Wow this looks downright sinful!! So creative and I love pecan pie :) definitely saving this one for the holidays!

  30. Anonymous11/27/2011

    Upgrade indeed! Even though Turkey Day has passed, I'm still going to be making these come Christmas events. Looks absolutely stunning too!