Pecan tassies take the best parts of a pecan pie and make them just the right size for hand-held eating. A sweet brown sugar and pecan filling, inside a buttery, cream cheese pie crust, they’re perfect for pecan pie lovers and mini dessert lovers alike.
Southerners are especially proud of their desserts. I have had the opportunity to travel throughout all the southern states, and I am amazed at the sweet treasures that I have discovered in the smallest corners of communities. And there are so many more of these hidden delights around the South waiting to be discovered. What’s more, these communities—with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet—are so open and willing to share.–Belinda Sullivan-Smith
Why did my pecan tassies stick to the pan?
If you’ve overfilled the pastry, even by a little bit, it will bubble up in the oven. Once the syrupy pecan filling starts to harden, it will stick to the sides of the pan like glue. So take that as a warning and fill carefully.
How do I get my stuck pecan tassies out of the pan?
If your pecan tassies bubbled over and have become too difficult to remove, put them back in a warm oven for a minute or 2 (just enough to soften that filling), then poke a paring knife gently between the side of the muffin tin and the pastry and lift.
For the pastry
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the filling
- 1 cup chopped pecans divided
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Spray a 24-count mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, use a to beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add the flour and mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Divide dough into 24 even pieces (using a scoop makes this easier) and, using a small wooden tart tamper, press dough into the bottoms and sides of the prepared muffin pan. (If you don’t have a tart tamper, you can use your fingers to press the dough into the cups.) The dough should reach the top of the cups.
- Evenly divvy 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans between the muffin cups.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, vanilla, and salt. Add brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the remaining pecans and mix until blended and smooth. Using a small scoop, fill each cup evenly to about 3/4 full and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chopped pecans evenly among the cups.
- Bake until the center is almost set, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Nothing says the holidays like pecan tassies! I love the ratio of base to filling and prefer it to a full-blown pecan pie (which I find unbearably sweet).
I started with the base for this recipe and used a small (slightly more than half tablespoon) scoop to portion out the balls of dough – lo and behold I had exactly 24! This was promising! The filling was another story. There was way too much and the end product was too sweet for my taste, so I made the recipe again using 2/3 cup brown sugar. These tassies were much more pleasing; perfectly sweet with only about 2 tablespoons of unused filling.
These pecan tassies are delicious, everyone loved them and asked for more, like a mouthful of pecan pie. The pecan tassies were gone in less than one day. They’re a little bit more work than other cookies but are wonderful for a special occasion.
The crust of the tassie is very good but if it becomes warm it becomes very soft and not easy to mold. Definitely need a little bit of patience to shape the crust. I did not have a tart tamper, I tried molding the crust with a melon baller but that didn’t work out too well. I used my fingers to shape the crust. And you do need to be careful to shape the crust evenly on the bottom and sides of the tart pan.
The filling is delicious and I liked that you added pecans to the bottom of the tassie crust, some was added to the filling and then the tassie is topped off with a sprinkling of pecans.
Originally published October 24, 2021