It’s that time of year when we get to make delicious (and ridiculously cute) treats for the holidays! These holiday pecan hand pies are ADORABLE. And they’re surprisingly easy to make. Your secret
weapon ingredient? Pre-made frozen pie crusts!
Frozen pie crusts make it quick and easy to throw together awesome treats! Use your favourite cookie cutters to make awesome shapes and all of a sudden you look like a star baker!
If you want to make this recipe even easier, you can fill them with jam or mincemeat pie filling, rather than whipping up the pecan pie filling. The pecan pie filling is DELICIOUS, but it does add an extra few steps to the process.
I’ll be honest. I bought a jar of mincemeat pie filling, but I just couldn’t bring myself to use it. I’ve never used mincemeat before, and I had visions of these little hand pies tasting like Christmas fruit cake… And I have to say, I am just not a fruit cake person!? Since I’ve never tried mincemeat, this was more of an irrational fear, rather than reality, but it was enough to make me whip up a small batch of pecan pie filling!
In my humble opinion, the best thing about these little Christmas tree mini pies is that they’re shaped like trees, with icing as the garland. Whether you choose mincemeat, jam, pumpkin pie filling, or even chocolate (Mmmm… chocolate) — What you decide to put inside of them is completely up to you!
Check out our video for how to make Holiday Pecan Hand Pies:
If you’re looking for even more delicious dessert ideas, check these out!
How to Make Holiday Pecan Hand Pies:
The full printable recipe is at the end of this post, but here’s what you’ll need:
- Frozen Pie Crust
- Melted Butter
- Chopped Pecans
- Brown Sugar
- Light Corn Syrup
- Icing Sugar
- Tree Shaped Cookie Cutter
This is also the first time I made pecan pie filling, but it was easy enough. You only need a handful of simple ingredients.
You can make pie crust from scratch, but it’s so much easier to use frozen pie crusts from the grocery store!
Once you defrost them (let the box sit on the counter for about an hour), you can pull them out of the pie plates and place them onto a flat surface. Then use a rolling pin to flatten them out. Easy peasy!
Use a Christmas tree cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. When you’ve cut as many shapes as will fit on the pie crust, you can go ahead and roll the dough into a ball, and roll it out with the rolling pin again.
I used both frozen pie crusts in the package, and was able to cut out 20 shapes, for a total of 10 mini hand pies. (Remember, you’ll need 2 shapes per hand pie – one for the top and one for the bottom).
The pecan pie filling was pretty simple to make. You want the consistency to be similar to pudding, but if it ends up being a little thicker, that’s okay too.
You can see in the photos that mine was thick enough that it stayed in place without being runny – which is exactly what we want when we’re making hand pies!
Scoop a small amount of the pecan mixture onto the tree shapes and make sure you leave enough room to seal the edges.
Add a second piece of tree shaped pie crust on top and press the edges down slightly with your fingers.
Then use a fork to press down the edges all around the shape to seal it completely.
Don’t they look pretty already??
I brushed the tops with beaten egg so they’d have a nice golden sheen when they cooked.
Pop them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. I baked mine for 21 minutes, but I probably could have taken them out a minute earlier.
When they look golden brown, they’re ready to come out.
While the pies cool, you can make the sugar glaze! The key to a good glaze is to make sure it’s quite thick. Add as little milk as possible, then stir it up before adding more milk. It needs to be completely smooth, but it also needs to be thick and slow to pour.
When you’re happy with the thickness of your glaze, pour it into a plastic zip bag, seal it closed, and cut off a small corner of the bag. Zip bags make the best (and most inexpensive) icing bags!
Gently squeeze the glaze onto each tree shape, trying to swoosh back and forth on the branches like garland.
Oh that delicious glaze! It’s making me crave these mini pies just looking at it!
These perfectly portioned desserts have just the right amount of pecan pie flavour. Plus they’re super festive for the holidays.
Mmmmm… Don’t they look SO GOOD?!!
Holiday Pecan Hand Pies
For the Pecan Hand Pies
For the Glaze
- 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Milk
For the Pecan Hand Pies
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- When the pie crusts are completely thawed, remove them from the pie tins, set them on a flat surface and roll them flat with a rolling pin. Use a tree cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. If you have leftover pie crust, roll it into a ball, and roll it out with the rolling pin again to cut more tree shapes.
- Beat one egg and set aside. You will use this to brush your pastry later on.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Beat the remaining 2 eggs, then whisk them into the mixture. Whisk until completely combined, then add the pecans.
- Over low, to low-medium heat, stir the mixture constantly until it thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet or a silicone baking mat, set out half of the tree shaped cut-outs.
- Brush the beaten egg over the entire top of each of each shape.
- Add a small amount of pecan pie filling to each tree crust, being sure to leave at least half an inch of space around the outer edges of the tree shape to seal it closed.
- Line up the other half of the tree shapes on top of the bottom tree shapes and the pecan mixture. Press the edges closed slightly with your fingers.
- Using a fork, press around the edges of the tree shape to seal it completely.
- Brush the top of the trees with the rest of the beaten egg.
- Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before adding the glaze.
For the Glaze
- Combine the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl. Add very little milk at a time, stirring as you go until you reach a nice, thick consistency. The icing should be smooth, but thick and slow to pour. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk.
- Pour the glaze into a plastic zip bag, seal it closed, then cut off a small corner of the bag.
- Gently squeeze the glaze over the tree shapes, swooshing back and forth in a zig zag so it resembles garland.
- Serve and enjoy!
These holiday pecan hand pies shaped like little Christmas trees are SO DELICIOUS and are the perfect bite-sized dessert! Gooey pecan pie filling, warm pie crust and that amazing glaze makes the perfect Christmas treat! Using frozen pie crusts makes this Christmas dessert really simple to make! Such a fun treat to add to your list of Christmas baking ideas!
Here’s a few more delicious dessert recipes:
Check out our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids for 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!
Where to buy:
You can purchase Low-Mess Crafts for Kids from Amazon, or wherever books are sold: