What’s a Tassie? Basically all around the world it’s a cup of some sort. This derivation probably comes from Scotland, but in old French, it’s a tasse. A tassah, in Arabic, is a basin and similarly in Persian it’s tast. But here in the good ol’ US of A it’s a transport method for sweet, buttery pecan goodness and just plain delicious. You can find recipes for Pecan Tassies in just about every Church Basement Social, Ladies Auxiliary, or Cookie Exchange cookbook. Mom just called them little Pecan Pies and, you know, for something this basic that’s just perfect.
Some are made with a more traditional flaky pie crust but since there is more crust to filling ratio in these little one bite wonders, I think the crust needs to say something more. Our crust is a variation on Bernard Clayton Jr.’s Cream Cheese Crust, sans the light cream. Our filling is a bit more custardy than some too, although it doesn’t require “custard care” when cooking. Incidentally, Mr. Clayton’s recipe calls for Neufchâtel, a French substitute which has higher moisture content than Cream Cheese and would be great for a full size pie crust, but too moist for these little guys.
Pecan Tassies aka Itty Bitty Pecan Pies
Yield: 48 Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
• 1 Package (8 ounce) Cream Cheese, softened
• 2½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
• 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
• 4 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
• 2¼ Cups Dark Brown Sugar
• 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• ½ Teaspoon Table Salt
• ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
• 2 Cups chopped Pecans
Step 1. Cream together the Cream Cheese and Unsalted Butter in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2. Add the flour in 4 portions, mixing to combine completely after each addition. Stop mixing when the last addition is just fully incorporated.
Step 3. Form the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Step 4. Give two 24 mini-muffin pans a light coat of non-stick spray.
Step 5. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, Divide the dough in half, divide those in halves and continue until you have 48 equal size pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and with your hand, flatten the ball into a circle and press into the mini-muffin pan. Then return the muffin pans containing the dough to the refrigerator.
|Squish Dough between palms|
Step 6. While the pans containing the dough is chilling, heat oven to 375º and prepare the filling
Step 7. Break the Eggs and Egg Yolk into a medium bowl; add the Dark Brown Sugar, Vanilla, and Salt. Mix well and then drizzle in the melted butter slowly while still mixing to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Step 8. Remove the muffin pans from the refrigerator and drop a few pieces of chopped pecan into each dough lined muffin cup, then add filling to each lined muffin cup. If you like more Pecans per Tassie, drop of few larger pieces of Pecan on top of the filling.
Step 9. Bake for 20 minutes remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan until the pans are just cool enough to touch with your bare hand.
Step 10. Use a paring knife to loosen the little pies and remove to a sheet of parchment paper to cool completely.
Step 11. Store wrapped for up to a week in the refrigerator (good luck with that!) or freeze to enjoy later.
Pastry adapted from a recipe from The Complete Book of Pastry
Tips and Trending
~ Pour the filling into a squeeze bottle, like one of those picnic ketchup bottles, and squeeze the filling into each muffin cup – way less messy with the small targets those mini-muffin pans present.
~ For all the Chocolate lovers out there – drop one chunk of Nestlé® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks in with the chopped Pecans, before adding the filling.
~ This recipe can be divided without sacrificing anything. So, you can make just 12 for a small dinner party, do everything but bake and return the pan to the fridge. When you and your guests sit down to dinner, take them out of the fridge and pop them into the oven a half hour before dessert. Serve 3 of them to each person, warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.
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