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These Derby desserts are surefire winners

LEXINGTON, Ky. — As the first Saturday in May approaches, cooks are putting together menus for Kentucky Derby parties.

At the top of the dessert list is typically a Derby Pie. But unless the divine chocolate nut pie is made by Kern's Kitchen Inc. in Louisville, the cook can't call it that. Kern's holds the trademark.

Derby Pie was created in 1954 by Walter and Leaudra Kern as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Ky., in Oldham County. Legend has it that this "Oldham" pie is the original Derby Pie and that it came from Leaudra Kern, who shared it with her homemaker friends many years ago. The name had to be changed, but cooks in the area claim to have the original recipe.

The Oldham pie was made with margarine (not butter), sugar, eggs, light corn syrup, salt, vanilla, chocolate chips, black walnuts and bourbon. It was served warm with whipped cream.

The Derby Pie recipe is a secret, although the ingredient label on the box lists granulated sugar, margarine, walnuts, eggs, semisweet chocolate, flour, butter and vanilla.

We decided to take those same ingredients and make some other tasty desserts.

We took butter, sugar, eggs, light corn syrup, bourbon (you can substitute vanilla extract in some recipes), chocolate chips, black walnuts (or pecans), vanilla and whipping cream (the traditional garnish) and came up with six desserts: pie (Derby City Chocolate Pecan Pie); cake (Bet on This Bourbon Cake); dessert bars (Wager Squares); cookies (Twin Spires Chocolate Chip Cookies); torte (Winner's Circle Torte); and brownies (Trifecta Brownies).


Winner's Circle Torte


1 ¾ cups very finely chopped pecans

cup sugar

¼ cup butter, melted


2 cups whipping cream

16 ounces real semisweet chocolate chips


1 cups whipping cream

To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together crust ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Firmly press on bottom and up sides of 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Place tart pan onto baking sheet. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

To make filling: Heat 2 cups whipping cream in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil (5 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until completely melted (2 to 3 minutes). Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate until set (at least 2 hours).

Just before serving, beat 1 ⅓ cups whipping cream in small bowl at high speed, scraping bowl often, until stiff peaks form. Garnish torte with whipped cream.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune


Wager Squares


1 ½ cups flour

¼ cup sugar

½ cup cornstarch

¾ cup butter


1 ¼ cups light corn syrup

1 ¼ cups sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons bourbon (or vanilla extract)

6 ounces (1 ½ cups) pecans, chopped

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into greased 13- by 9-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

To make filling: Stir together corn syrup, sugar, eggs, salt and bourbon or vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Add pecans and chocolate chips.

Pour into crust and bake 35 minutes, until filling is firm around the edges and slightly soft in center. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before cutting into bars.

Makes 24 bars.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune


Trifecta Brownies

2 eggs

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cups butter, melted

¾ cup cocoa

cups self-rising flour

½ cups walnuts, chopped

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons water

Pinch salt

cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon bourbon (or vanilla extract)

1 ½ cups pecans, chopped

To make brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a spoon, stir eggs with sugar and bourbon or vanilla; add butter. Sift cocoa with flour. Stir into egg mixture; add nuts. Stir in chips. Spread into greased square pan. (For extra-chewy brownies, use 8-inch pan. For cakelike brownies, use 9-inch pan.) Bake 20 to 30 minutes. Cut into squares.

To make topping: In a 3-quart saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup, water and salt to a boil. Cook until mixture turns a golden caramel. Remove pan from heat and slowly add whipping cream and vanilla. Quickly stir in pecans, then pour over brownies. Cool on rack. Chill brownies, covered, until caramel is firm, about 2 hours.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune


Twin Spires Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ sticks butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

¼ cup dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon bourbon (or vanilla extract)

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl; set aside.

Beat butter, sugar and egg in a large bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate, corn syrup and bourbon or vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes until edges are set (center will still appear soft). Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to wire racks.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune


Derby City Chocolate Pecan Pie


9-inch unbaked pie crust


1 cup light corn syrup

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

3 eggs

1 tablespoon bourbon

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup pecan halves

½ cup real semisweet chocolate chips


1 1/3 cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place crust into 9-inch pie pan. Crimp or flute edge; set aside.

Combine corn syrup, sugar, butter, eggs, bourbon and salt in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pie crust. Cover pie loosely with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil; continue baking 10 to 15 minutes, or until filling is set. (If pie browns too quickly, re-cover with aluminum foil.)

Cool; refrigerate at least 4 hours or until serving time.

Just before serving, beat whipping cream in small bowl at high speed, scraping bowl often, until stiff peaks form.

Garnish pie with whipped cream.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune


Bet on This Bourbon Cake

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

½ cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons bourbon

2 cups flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

1 cup pecans, chopped

Chocolate icing:

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons bourbon

½ teaspoon salt

1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons hot milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt bittersweet chocolate in double boiler, cool and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar; add melted chocolate. Slowly add beaten egg yolks, vanilla and bourbon.

Sift flour 3 times and mix with baking powder and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to chocolate mixture (beginning and ending with flour). Fold in nuts. Beat egg whites until stiff, and gently fold into mixture. Pour into 2 greased and wax-paper-lined 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until done. Frost with chocolate icing.

To make icing: Combine first 6 ingredients; beat until smooth and satiny. Stir in sugar and hot milk as needed, a small amount at a time, until very smooth and of spreading consistency.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune


Kentucky Derby

Coverage of the 137th

running of the Kentucky Derby begins at 5 p.m.

Saturday on NBC (WFLA-Ch. 8) with post time at

6:15 p.m.

These Derby desserts are surefire winners 05/03/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 4:30am]
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