Boozy Pie Bites

Boozy Pie Bites


Hello, y’all! This past week has seen Chasing Delicious bestowed with an amazing honor. I’ve been listed as a finalist in SAVEUR’s Best Baking and Desserts Blog in their 3rd Annual Best Food Blogs Awards 2012. I must thank everyone who nominated me – I am honored y’all thought of me as your favorite dessert blog. If you’ve got the time I’d love your vote too. Thank you again! 

Broken plastic eggs and candy wrappers lie about a green, grassy yard. Fingers are stained brown with chocolate and tummies ache in protest to the copious amounts of cloy chocolate shoveled into mouths minutes earlier. A guilty pleasure – enjoying the abundance of bunny-shaped candy Easter provides – becomes a Halloween-nightmare all over again. “Why did I eat so much candy?” someone cries out in pain.

An eye wanders over to a small pink basket filled to the brim with candies and sweets; a wave of nausea washes over a face.  The thought of a frivolous trek back into time, when a kid could eat their own body weight in candy, was entertaining at first. Now it is sickening. Feet carry a guilty soul across the room, out one and into another, anywhere to escape the haunting reminders of candy, candy and more sweet, seductive candy.

The sun begins to set and the mood in the small house changes. Frivolous play is traded for suspense. A scary movie is put on. Shrieks and screams, covering hands and small peaks comfort scared eyes and a terrified mind. Sweet, comforting candy is called upon. “Just a few bites. That’s all I need right now,” someone justifies. Soon the last remaining easter baskets – and hidden bags of extra chocolate – are gone. “Nooooooooooooo!” a blood-churning wail cries out; it’s just the scary movie – but an apropos timed shriek nonetheless.

Life returns to normal. No more does the candy-laden holiday haunting poor tormented, insulin-drained souls. Meals no longer consist of Cadbury eggs and jellybeans but of real, honest-to-goodness, grown-in-the-earth food. Emotions stabilize as sugar peaks and valleys cease to wreak havoc on sweets-addicted families and friends. Laughs will be traded about the gluttonous holiday weekend one day – after the extra five pounds everyone gained is treadmilled off.

One lone, chocolate filled, chocolate coated, chocolate dipped, chocolate filled – did I say that already? – egg rolls out from behind an unfound hiding place as if to remind everyone who is in control. The chocolate egg taunts its impolite deliciousness for everyone to see like a street-corner slut looking for a trick. It sheds a layer of foil in the hands of one weak, chocolate-addicted man. A quick acting friend comes to the rescue and slaps the evil chocolate from his friend’s hands.

The man proclaims to his friends that it is time for real desserts. He shouts, “It’s time for real desserts!” Stiff drinks are poured and busy hands begin work. Dough is kneaded a few seconds until a flaky texture is formed. Ingredients are combined and fillings are stirred. Little cups are lined up on a baking sheet and dough discs are moulded into fluted crevices. Soon filling pours in, some pies capped, and the lot are thrown into a hot oven. Three adult-friendly, candy-protesting desserts bake to perfection, their promise of a new, delicious way of life restores order.

“Some might say these boozy pies are our savior,” one friend randomly rings out.

“No. No one would say that. Delicious? Yes! Redeemer of sin and saver of souls? …Hmm. Actually, I guess in a strictly eating sort of way that definition does fit” says the critic turned believer. Pies are removed and devoured before they can cool – little care taken to prevent burnt tongues and roofs of mouths.

Booze and pie saves the day once again.

Boozy Pie Bites: All three mini pie recipes together use the same amount of pie dough as one full-sized pie (with a top and bottom crust). Each recipe is also baked at the same temperature (375°F) and for the same amount of time (between 40 and 45 minutes). Since each pie filling utilizes the one-stage mixing method (all the ingredients are mixed together at once in one bowl) it is very easy to make all three of these pies at the same time – all you need is three bowls and three spoons. If you choose to make all three recipes (for a total of 12 mini pies) I suggest prepping all the pie shells and dough toppings first before preparing the pie fillings, storing the prepared dough in the fridge while you work on the fillings.

I’ve used 2 ounce brioche cups to bake my mini pies – they have a pretty fluted pattern, are a perfect size and can easily be unfolded – not to mention that a dozen of them are fairly cheap too. You can use a muffin tin, tartlet pans, or any other small baking dishes you have on hand. Depending on the vessel you use I would butter and flour the dishes and put a layer of parchment paper on the bottom of each to aid in removing the pie.

The cherry old fashioned mini pies are a delicious combination of sweet cherry, tart and citrusy orange, and the sweet, slightly spicy flavor of bourbon. If you can not find cherries you can use frozen cherries instead – thaw them before mixing into the filling.


Cherry Old Fashioned Mini Pies

This recipe will yield 4 mini pies.

Difficulty: Easy


4, 2-ounce brioche cups (or other baking pan)
1 bowl
Wooden spoon


8 ounces pie dough (recipe below)
8 ounces sweet cherries, pitted & halved
2 ounces sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon orange zest.


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Line the pans/baking dishes with the bottom layer of pie dough.

3. Add the cherries, sugar, bourbon, cornstarch and orange zest in a bowl and mix until homogenous.

5. Evenly distribute the filling between the dishes.

6. Top with latticed pie dough.

7. Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.


The pecan sidecar mini pies are the classic pecan pie with a lemon and brandy twist. The subtle addition of lemon and brandy make these small pies delicious and nuanced. I suggest chopping the pecans finer than you would for a normal-sized pecan pie.


Pecan Sidecar Mini Pies

This recipe will yield 4 mini pies.

Difficulty: Easy


4, 2-ounce brioche cups (or other baking pan)
1 bowl
Wooden spoon


8 ounces pie dough (recipe below)
5 ounces pecans, chopped
2 ounces corn syrup
1 ounce sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon lemon zest.


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Line the pans/baking dishes with the bottom layer of pie dough.

3. Add the pecans, corn syrup, sugar, egg, brandy and lemon zest in a bowl and mix until homogenous.

5. Evenly distribute the filling between the dishes.

6. Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.


The apple mojito mini pies have the most similar flavor profile to its namesake drink out of these three pies. The mint, lime and rum – flavors that scream mojito – pair perfectly with fresh apples. I used Pink Lady apples because they have both tart and sweet flavors.


Apple Mojito Mini Pies

This recipe will yield 4 mini pies.

Difficulty: Easy


4, 2-ounce brioche cups (or other baking pan)
1 bowl
Wooden spoon


8 ounces pie dough (recipe below)
8 ounces apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
2 ounces sugar
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lime zest.
1 teaspoon mint, finely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Line the pans/baking dishes with the bottom layer of pie dough.

3. Add the apples, sugar, rum, cornstarch, lime zest and mint in a bowl and mix until homogenous.

5. Evenly distribute the filling between the dishes.

6. Top with a disk of pie dough, making sure the center is cut out to allow steam to escape.

7. Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.


While you can use any pie dough recipe of your choice – yes even store bought if you want this recipe to be super easy – I suggest making the recipe below. In the three years I’ve been fanatically baking, I’ve become quite confident in my pie crust recipe. It is adapted from a Bo Friberg recipe and is both wonderfully flaky and deliciously butter. This comes from the use of lard and butter respectively. If you don’t have lard or don’t want to use it you can substitute it with shortening (to create flakiness) or more butter (to create a more buttery, flavorful pie).


Flaky Pie Crust

Difficulty: Easy

This recipe will yield 1 pound 8 ounces of pie dough – enough for one full pie or 12 mini pies


1 Large Bowl
1 French Rolling Pin
Counter Space
Parchment Paper


12.5 ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, very cold,
2 1/2 ounces lard, very cold
1/3 cup water, very cold


1.  Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl, set aside. Cut the butter and lard into  about 1/2″ cubes.

2. Add the cold butter and lard to the bowl. Pinch the butter and lard in between your fingers in the flour. Break apart the butter and lard and lightly mix into the flour until the fat is about pea size.

3. Add the cold water and lightly knead the dough just until it comes together. Don’t over mix. You should see chunks and strips of butter and lard in the dough.

4. Flatten the dough slightly and refrigerate the dough for a couple hours until the dough is firm enough to roll out.




AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking. Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.


  • Cassie

    These are incredible, Russell! You don’t have to tell me twice about boozy pie filling. Apple Mojito? Oh my yum!

  • Kankana

    So very tempting!!! Monday morning and I am already thinking of mixing some drinks to make these mini pies :P ;)

  • Tiffany

    Apple mojito please! Loving the mint theme in your last few posts! :D

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    Dear Lord?!? What are you trying to do to us??? I’m up for boozy anything, so this looks like trouble!

  • Steph@stephsbitebybite

    Oh my gosh!! How would I even choose!!They all look so incredible!

  • chefroommate

    Holy heck these look delicious! Your pictures are just fantastic, and I love your boozy pie menu! I only recently discovered your site, but I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and make your recipes. Keep it up!

  • Aurelie

    Now that I see the recipes and not only the picture, they look even more delicious! I will definitely save those recipes and try them some day!

  • Mary @ Bake Break

    How cute are these!? I love it! Great pictures, as usual!

  • dassana

    i am loving these pies :-)

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    That’s my boy! Look at these boozy pies!! I’m ready to get drunk with you… on pie, that is!

    By the way, why aren’t you announcing to everyone that you were nominated for the Saveur award! Say it loud and proud, my friend!

  • Sandy @ tinytinyfork

    LOVE the recipe sheet you created for this! Definitely a must-print and bake for my next dinner party :)

  • Spice Sherpa

    Adorable but only because of their diminuitive size. Pie and cocktails in the same bite? Brilliance!

  • Ken┃hungry rabbit

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! After eating a few of these, I’ll be as dark and moody as one of your photos.

  • Suzi

    Pecan Side Car for me here in Florida. I am in love with your photography.

  • Isabelle @ Crumb

    Oh my. These are absolutely BRILLIANT, Russell. I love that you’ve designed the recipe to make all three kinds, because I’m a total sucker for variety (and also for cocktails, but that’s a whole other story).
    PS – Congrats on the nomination. You’ve totally got my vote!

  • Kiri W.

    I love that these are perfect miniatures! Especially that microlattice is amazing. Well done, and I can only imagine how delicious they must be.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Umm…yes please!! Love these!

  • sarah

    Gorgeous, as usual. Also, this made me laugh out loud: “The man proclaims to his friends that it is time for real desserts. He shouts, “It’s time for real desserts!”

    I so enjoy your prose.

  • Meki

    Congratulations Russell! Mojito on pie? I’d love to have that!

  • Stacy Marie

    Congrats and can’t wait to make these pies! Leve’em!

  • Gary

    Thanks for taking time to create these little jewels! I’ll take these over communion wafers any day!

  • Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake

    Russell, congrats on being a finalist, that is so exciting :)! Also, seriously awesome recipes in this post! I would love to sample every one of them and would gladly devour quite a few! What a great idea combining classic cocktails with classic pies, you are truely genious :)!

  • Ilan (IronWhisk Blog)

    These look delicious Russell :)

  • Rikki

    That cherry one is right up my alley! I love how they’re so miniature, it’s adorable [:

    Congrats on being a finalist, that is so awesome!!

  • Jen @ Juanita's Cocina

    You tweeted these during Foodiechats.

    How I have not discovered your fabulousness before is beyond me. But, I’m here now. And I shall go look around.


  • Miriam @ Overtime Cook

    Russel, congrats on your nomination! You certainly have my vote!

    These pies are, as always, absolutely beautiful.

  • Anita at Hungry Couple

    Super creative and very fetching!

  • joy

    Love the recipe! Btw congrats!

  • Kim Bee

    Congrats on being a finalist. I hope you win. You are deserving of all great things coming your way. These pies are absolutely breathtaking. Gorgeous and rustic, and I bet they taste out of this world.

  • TidyMom

    OMG Russell…….you had me at PIE!!

    These are just stunning and I bet delicious!

  • Michael Toa

    You’ve got my vote Russell! Best of luck!!
    The pies look beyond amazing! I want them all + the cocktails. The photographs and illustration are amazing as usual.

  • thelittleloaf

    HUGE congratulations on your nomination…these beautiful boozy little bites look like the perfect way to celebrate and I love all three different fillings. Wishing you the best of luck :-)

  • Jeanette

    I love the way your write, I love your photos and I love this chart you created for all the fillings! Voted for you.

  • Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef

    OMG I’m in love!! I had to pin and I voted for you. :)

  • Erica

    very creative!

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Cool concept for pies- love it! Congrats on the nom- you deserve to win!

  • Mary Ellen @ Pâte à Chew

    Congratulations on the nomination! It is well deserved!

    And these pie bites look so tasty, I love all the different flavor combinations you used!

  • Jaclyn

    i love everything about this. really. really! everything! i am way into pie, and way into booze. also, way into miniature desserts and foods. it’s like you’re speaking directly to my soul.

    the pecan sidecar mini pie is my favorite! i’ll take three dozen, please!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    another fabulous post!!

  • Joanne

    Congratulations! You SO deserve the Saveur honor. Great blog and this post….fantastic! I love those little boozy pies. What a way to knock the socks off guests at our next get-together.

  • Sally - My Custard Pie

    Pies inspired by cocktails is such a great idea. You’ve really got me thinking now! Lovely pics

  • Ann

    These are terrific and congratulations on your Saveur nomination!

  • Jonathan

    Another incredible post. Each week you manage to out do yourself. And this week’s post is no different. Terrific idea and like always, incredible photography. Your attention to detail is very admirable and it never ceases to amaze me how each post is so methodically thought out and executed, down to the tiniest of details. Good job, Russell.

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I want one of each! You deliver right? ;-)

  • Peggy

    No wonder you were a finalist for Best Dessert Blog! These look amazing =)

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    I saw the words “boozy” and “pie” in the same sentence and knew this would be a winner of a post. Damn, I was right.

  • sonia

    Hi There, Congratulations for being on top 9 !!!!!!
    This is looking so delightful and appetizing. A very well made post with beautiful pictures. Loved the presentation. I’ve bookmarked this special recipe of urs and wud love to give it a shot. Have a wonderful week ahead. Thanks & Regards, Sonia !!!

  • Candice

    Great post!
    Your recipes call for 1 ounce sugar, 2 ounce sugar, etc. Can you convert it into tsp, tbsp, cups?


    • Russell

      Thank you very much! You can visit my Conversions page ( to see the volume equivalent of sugar and other ingredients.

  • Anitra

    I am repinning your yummy pies to my Pinterest board right now. I had to go directly to your blog to do it since foodbuzz’s website says that it couldn’t find any pinnable images.
    Are you active on Pinterest? Have you heard about it? It would be another venue for you to get your blog out there. Just saying…
    Thanks for the recipes!

    • Russell

      Thank you very much for sharing my post! And I am actually on pinterest. You can find me at!

  • Denise

    Congrats, you really deserve that nomination!!

    I used to make those mini pies pretty often, but compltely forgot about them. That is, until now, because these look just perfect!

  • Kiran @

    Congrats on Savuer — you can count on my vote, for sure ;)

    And that boozy pie bites?! Enough said :D

  • kitchenriffs

    Wow, major congrats on that nomination! Well deserved, and I’ll go vote for you. Nice recipes this week, too. I agree with lard in pie dough; but it’s tough to find good quality commercial stuff, and I’m too lazy to make my own (I should change that). Mexican markets often have good quality lard, I’ve found. Nice post this week – thanks.

  • Jennifer (Delicieux)

    Congratulations again on your Saveur nomination. It’s very well deserved as your recipes always leave me drooling. And well, as for these pies, they sound amazing, especially the apple mojito one. I’m a sucker for a good mojito.

  • Sara{OneTribeGourmet}

    I want these boozy pies right now and congrats on your have my vote! :)

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  • Thyme (Sarah)

    Congratulations Russell. I am so proud of you. It’s so wonderful to have another Houstonian blogger around. The mini pies are delightful…adorable!

  • Stephanie

    Congrats again on your nomination!!!

    I’d be all over that cherry boozy pie, it sounds amazing

  • Javelin Warrior

    Wow, you made THREE different pie fillings AND the pie crust ALL from scratch – and it turned out stunning! This is simply jaw-dropping awesomeness. I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…

  • Mei-i @gastronomic nomad

    Oh wow…these are amazing! I can’t wait to try the apple mojito and pecan pie sidecar!!

  • Reem | Simply Reem

    OK This is a beautiful torture!!!
    Why can we only see all this goodness and not eat??? Not fair…

    B/W Russell I have subscribed to ur blog but somehow I have been not getting any update recently regarding ur new post WHY?????

    • Russell

      Hmm. That’s strange. Let me check to see if your email made it into the system!

  • Nancy

    these are so cute!

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