My Mom was a fantastic cook. Although I never took the time to be in the kitchen to learn from her I'd still get recipes and talk about how to cook certain things if I ever had questions. During the holidays, she had one of the most amazing spreads of food. I can remember her staying up all night and although I never stayed up with her, I did go to bed with excitement of what would develop by morning. She loved it...exhausted in the end but she loved it. Since her passing in 2001, I have perused her recipes and realized that her secrets left with her. There are a few things that I managed to find, one being her pecan pie recipe. Mama always told me the key to pecan pie was dark Karo syrup and she wasn't wrong. Makes a difference. I have modified the recipe by adding bourbon which I think adds just a little something extra to the buds!
As I was deciding on which flavors to add to the holidays I really wanted to figure out a way to get Mama's pecan pie into a cupcake. So, I actually bake 2 deep dish pies and 1/2 of one goes in the buttercream and the other 1/2 is scooped out and seated in the middle of the buttercream then drizzled with our own fresh caramel. Of course, the 2nd pie is for us;) I think it was a great addition to the holiday flavors this year.