Thursday, December 15, 2016

Southern Pecan Tassies

Little bite sized pecan desserts, made with a cream cheese pastry crust baked with a brown sugar based pecan filling.
Little bite sized pecan desserts, made with a cream cheese pastry crust baked with a brown sugar based pecan filling.

Southern Pecan Tassies

These little bite-sized treats are popular on the Christmas tray because they are easy to make and, even better, delicious to eat!

Internet bloggers often confuse them as mini pecan tarts or pies, though us southerners know them as pecan tassies. They're similar, of course, to pecan pie, although most pecan pies have a syrup base - most often corn, cane or sorghum are used - but tassies always have a brown sugar based filling.

Honestly, there is very little variation in recipes among Southerners for this one. Most always they include a cream cheese crust and a brown sugar and pecan filling, though there may be more or less of one or the other of an ingredient, or sometimes another ingredients that someone has added along the way... like tossing in some cornmeal with the pastry. The recipe makes 24 minis, but doubles very nicely also. Things speed along a little better if you have two mini muffin pans in that case, of course.

It's been a harried week 'round here, as I'm sure it has been for many of you, so I'll have to come back later to add in some step-by-step pics. In the meantime, here's how to make them.

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Recipe: Southern Pecan Tassies

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: Makes 24


For the Pastry:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar, packed

Butter a 24 count mini muffin pan; set aside. Cream together the full stick of butter and the cream cheese; add the flour and mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until dough is better manageable.

Pinch off 24 even pieces, pressing dough flat into the bottoms and sides of buttered muffin pans. Dough should reach the top of the cup. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans evenly into each of the cups; set tin inside the refrigerator while the oven is preheating.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg and vanilla; add brown sugar and 1/2 of the remaining pecans; mix until blended and smooth. Spoon the filling evenly into each of the muffin tins, to about 3/4 full, and sprinkle the last of the remaining chopped pecans evenly among the cups.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling sets. Let rest in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of each tassie and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes longer.

Cook's Notes: Generously butter the muffin tin, even if it's non-stick, and press in pastry so that it comes right to the top of the muffin tin. Evenly fill the cups about 3/4 full, leaving about 1/4 of the pastry exposed, otherwise the filling will leak into the tin, causing the tassie to stick to the cup. Chilling the dough makes it easier to work with, however if you overchill it, it will be hard to work with, so let it rest at room temperature until it's flexible again, but not too warm. You may also roll dough to about 1/4 inch and use a round cutter.


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Posted by on December 15, 2016

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