Derby Hand Pies

Derby Hand Pies by Wood and Spoon. These are mini pop tart pies filled with bourbon pecan pie filling and topped with a chocolate ganache and pecans. Inspired by the famous Kentucky derby party dessert, these little bite sized desserts are great for feeding a festive crowd while watching the derby. Read more about making these tiny southern pies on by Kate Wood.

These derby hand pies are miniature versions of the classic Kentucky Derby dessert! Give these tiny pies with bourbon, chocolate, and nuts a shot!


For the pastry:

  • 13/4 cups (210 gm) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 gm) butter
  • 1/3 cup (70 gm) shortening
  • 5 tablespoons (approximately) of ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 cup (200 gm) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (200 gm) corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup (40 gm) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 11/2 cups (170 gm) pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

For the hand pies:

  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup (60 gm) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • Extra pecans, if desired


To prepare the pastry:

  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until it is the consistency of a course meal with small, pea-sized chunks of butter throughout. Add water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, tossing gently until pastry comes together in moist clumps. Pat the dough into a round, flat disk. Wrap with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To prepare the filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and eggs. Stir in the pecans, salt, and bourbon. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat to low and keep at a simmer for 10 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl and allow to chill in the fridge until barely scoopable.

To prepare the hand pies:

  1. Allow the dough to sit out about 5-10 minutes to allow it to become rollable. On a floured surface using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to just shy of 1/8”. Make sure to keep your surface under the dough floured so it doesn’t stick! Cut out 2-1/2” rounds of dough using a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife and rim of a glass. Place the rounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Whisk the egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water and using a pastry brush or basting brush to brush a thin layer of egg wash around the perimeter of the dough on half of the circles. Spoon 2-2-1/2 teaspoons of the cooled filling into the center of these dough pieces and top each with a round of dough that doesn’t have the egg wash. Use the floured prongs of a fork to crimp the edges and arrange them on the baking sheet 1-1/2” apart. Repeat this process with any remaining dough by re-rolling and cutting and filling. Place the prepared pies in the freezer for at least 3 hours to chill.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 and brush a thin layer of  the remaining egg wash on the top of the pies. Vent the top by pricking a fork into the top of each and bake until bronzed, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven to cool while you prepare the topping.
  3. Gently heat the heavy whipping cream on the stove or in the microwave until just barely bubbling. Pour the cream over top of the chocolate in a small bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 5 minutes. Whisk the melted mixture together to combine and allow it to sit out about 10 minutes until it becomes a thickened mixture that won’t spill over the edges of the pies. Spread a small round of the ganache on top of each cooled pie and top with additional chopped pecans, if desired.