Use chopped pecans or pecan halves, but chopping the pecans seems to provide better overall "pecan coverage" and a nuttier flavor.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pie shells on sheet trays. Portion about 2-1/2 tablespoons pecans into each pie shell.
Lightly beat eggs in a large mixer bowl. Add sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla; beat until well blended.
Pour filling into pie crusts using a #16 scoop. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Store pies in refrigerator.
Serve with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Recipe Tips: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly with the back of a spoon - it should spring back when done.
Mini pie shells are available at Wick's Pies, Inc. 800-642-5880 or www.wickspies.com