Updated: Jan 8
Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Mini Muffins made with 5 ingredients are a special treat to share for family gatherings or getting together with friends during the holidays.
Seventeen years ago today was the last time I saw my mama. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2005 with our then 10 week old baby in tow along with my baby sister and her daughter.
I remember so many details of that visit so vividly, and some not at all. I did have the foresight to pack clothing for myself and several outfits for the baby, in addition to the ingredients to make Pecan Pie Mini Muffins to bake for Thanksgiving Day.
We arrived on Wednesday evening and briefly said our hellos. Mama was able to hold the baby for a few minutes before asking me to take him back, much sooner than I expected. That's when I knew she was doing her best to be cheerful that we were there and had little strength left in her small, frail frame.
Thanksgiving morning, mama had renewed energy. It's like she was awake for the occasion. She requested specific dishes for dinner and laughed and giggled and joked and ate. She had green beans, dressing, Pappy Jello (a family treat), and one of my pecan muffins.
That afternoon as she was winding down, I remember her wanting to hear her favorite Christmas CD, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. She used to play that music at full volume from Thanksgiving day into the New Year!
That evening, she said to me, "Does he know how much I love you? I'm going to miss him so much... No, not him, you! I mean you."
The day after Thanksgiving, we left right after breakfast to come home. I told mama I loved her and that I would be back the next weekend, but I asked my sister in the driveway to be sure she said a proper goodbye. She said, "Why, we're coming back next week?"
We didn't know it at that moment, but we did go back the next Friday to say our final goodbyes as mama had passed away only four days later.
As a tradition every year at Thanksgiving, I make these Pecan Pie Mini Muffins in remembrance of my mama. I am forever grateful for getting to spend my first 34 Thanksgivings with her. I am grateful for the grief I feel that reminds me of how much I love and was loved by my mama.
Pecan Pie Mini Muffins (Gluten-free version)
*makes 24 muffins*
🍁1 cup packed brown sugar
🍁1/2 cup coconut flour or GF flour blend
🍁1 cup chopped pecans, plus 24 halves, separated
🍁2/3 cup (12 Tbsp) melted butter, no substitutes
🍁2 eggs, room temp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and chopped pecans.
In a small glass bowl, melt butter in microwave and the add eggs and beat together.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until moistened.
Grease and flour* mini muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Press one pecan half on top of each muffin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
Remove immediately from pan and cool on wire rack.
*Note: Paper liners will not work with this recipe.