Artisanal Hand-Crafted Fine Chocolate

Bake the Season Bright!

When I’m not creating Plum Brook Chocolates in December (which is most of the time), I love holiday baking.  Since December is by far our busiest time, I stick to recipes I’ve adapted through the years that I know are not too time consuming and fool-proof with a delicious cut-above-the-rest result.  Here are two of my favorites!


I recently took this pie to a girlfriends holiday lunch and it received rave reviews all around.  Whether you are planning to celebrate at home or travel to be with friends or family, pecan pie is a holiday staple.  The addition of bourbon and chocolate elevates a basic recipe.



1 9″ unbaked pie crust
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
2/3 cup best quality dark chocolate chips
1 cup light corn syrup (non gmo preferred)
1/2 cup each light and brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄4 cup melted butter
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp bourbon
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1⁄4 cup melted butter
Whip cream and chocolate shavings (or cocoa powder)


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Fit piecrust into 9″ pie plate; crimp edges.  Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips evenly over piecrust.
2. Whisk together corn syrup and sugars in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until sugars are dissolved, about 5 min.  Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat a cool slightly.
3. Whisk together eggs, butter, flour, bourbon, vanilla and salt in heatproof bowl.  Slowly drizzle in hot corn syrup, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.  Pour mixture in piecrust.
4. Bake until edges are set and pie puffs up about 45 min. Use a crust protector or foil to cover pie crust edges while baking.  Let pie cool 2 hours.
5. Serve with a dollop of whip cream and chocolate shavings (or cocoa powder) if desired.



This is not actually baking but I had to include this at-home super easy chocolate truffle recipe.  It’s a fabulous dessert offering on its own or as part of a cookie tray.  Bourbon and chocolate make a perfect combination. The results are spectacular!

Be sure to use the very best quality chocolate you can find. The best chocolate for making truffles is block chocolate or chocolate bars.  Do NOT use chocolate chips (they will not melt properly for truffle making).  Guittard is my recommendation. Ghirardelli also makes baking bars. Look in the baking aisle for chocolate with 60% or higher cacao content.


6 oz. whipping cream
14 oz. 61 – 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped*
1 oz. butter, very soft
2 oz. bourbon whiskey
1 cup  cocoa, chop pecans or cocoa nibs for rolling


Bring whipping cream just to boil.

Pour slowly over the chocolate and mix rapidly to create an elastic and shiny mixture. Cool slightly.  Add butter and mix it again with the spatula. Add bourbon and mix to incorporate. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface (to avoid condensation) and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Tip: Pour into a flat, plastic lined shallow baking pan, so the mixture sets evenly and quickly.  Check often.

Dust hands with cocoa powder, scoop the truffle mixture with a tablespoon and shape truffles before rolling in cocoa powder or nuts.

Cover tightly and store truffles at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Serve at room temperature. Yield: 24-30 truffles.

Happy Holidays to All!