a(nother) blog about baking. and food. and stuff.

Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie

by b-town baker

I have two very dear friends that are about to receive a surprise in the mail.  I won’t mention their names in case they read this post, but this treat is a LONG time in coming…

I’ve made this pie once before, and the result is a delicious cookie-in-a-pie creation that you slice and eat with a fork.  I think Al expected it to have the consistency of a pecan pie (which it doesn’t), so he was a little confused by it.  Don’t fall into this trap!  Just set your sights on an ooey-gooey, chocolate chip cookie trapped in the confines of buttery pie deliciousness.  (And speaking of the pie crust, I didn’t make my own – I used a store-bought, Marie Calendar’s.)

Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie, adapted from Baked
(my modifications noted in red)

1/2 recipe pie dough, chilled
1 store-bought pie crust, frozen
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 T whiskey
2 T whiskey
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
12 store-bought caramels, cubed into fourths
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 T liquid glucose


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, whisk together flour and sugars; set aside.

Fit an electric mixer with its whisk attachment, and beat eggs on high speed until foamy, about 3 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment, and mix in flour and sugars on low. Turn mixer to high and beat for 2 minutes; add butter and beat on high until combined.  Scrape down sides, add whiskey and glucose (added to keep the texture a bit softer and chewier – not a requirement), and beat on high for another minute, then fold in nuts, chocolate chips, coconut and caramels.

I doubled the amount of whiskey in the recipe because the first time I made this, none of the flavor came through. The alcohol bakes out, so my friends need not worry and can share it with their kids (a hint!).

Pour the filling into the frozen pie shell and spread it out evenly.  Top the filling with the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  (I added all of the chocolate chips to the batter rather than reserving some for the top – your preference.)  Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, then cover the edges of the crust loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 25 minutes (this will prevent the crust from browning too quickly.)

After 25 minutes the pie looked like this, so I put it in for another 15 without the crust protector.  I think my filling was so chock-full-o-goodness that it flowed over onto the edges more than normal, and made a natural protective layer.  No signs yet that the crust is anywhere near over-browning.

The next 15 minutes brought the edges to a nice, toasty brown, so I added the edge protector and left the pie for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Test the pie by sticking a knife in the center of the filling.  If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done.  If the knife comes out with clumps of filling sticking to it, bake for another 5 minutes and test again.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before slicing.

The finished product – including a “homemade touch” of a divet where I speared a chunk of caramel when testing for doneness, and it came dragging out of the top of the pie.  I tucked it back to bed to continue melting.

After the pie cooled completely, I put it in the freezer for a few hours to chill down, and then before going to bed I wrapped it tightly in many layers of plastic wrap, and put it back in the freezer to freeze solid overnight.  This will be my first time shipping a frozen confection, so fingers crossed (for me and MY friends) that it all goes well!

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