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Contest sponsored by the Texas Pecan Board

When the holidays roll around, Ella Machac, 81, says she pulls out her festive recipe for Pecan Pie Shots. Machac, who cooks often and loves to try new recipes, is married to Joe, and they have two grown children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. They’ve lived in Point Blank, outside Huntsville, since 1994 in a three-story A-frame house they built themselves.

Pecan Pie Shots

1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons whiskey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 pecan halves

Set out 12 mini martini glasses (2- to 3-ounce size). Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream to boil in small pan, immediately pour over chocolate and allow to sit for a minute. Stir slowly with whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Fill each glass with 2 teaspoons of chocolate mixture. Tap glasses lightly on counter to allow chocolate to “sink.” Set remaining mixture in warm place until ready to use. Place glasses in freezer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring chopped pecans, corn syrup, sugar, butter, salt and 2 tablespoons cream to boil in medium pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey and vanilla. Allow to cool slightly before spooning 2 teaspoons of pecan mixture into chilled glasses, followed by 1 teaspoon of remaining chocolate mixture. Chill in refrigerator until set (about 1 hour). Top each with pecan half before serving. Serve with demitasse spoons. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to three days.

Servings: 12. Serving size: About 1/2 cup. Per serving: 220 calories, 2.4 g protein, 18 g fat, 14.1 g carbohydrates, 2.4 g dietary fiber, 25 mg sodium, 6.5 g sugars, 25 mg cholesterol

Ella Machac, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative