Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pecan Priority Mode

        I tend to surprise myself on a regular basis. For example, I cannot believe that in all this time since I started posting I've never even alluded to one of my favorite desserts (possibly THE number one) of all time--pecan pie. While I love all pies, there's something about a nice, warm pecan pie, its sweet and gooey filling topped with toasted, russet-colored pecans... It can't be beat. Luckily the beloved dessert often goes hand-in-hand with the Fall season, meaning I have even more reason to bake one in the very near future. 
        I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving at my cottage this weekend and, of course, a pecan pie is present in my menu plan. Here's the thing… I couldn't wait that long. I needed something to carry me through to the weekend. Alas, I found my solution in the form of an individual, bite-sized pecan pie. Meet the Pecan Tassie.
Pecan Tassies
        I have a slight obsession with miniature things. It's as if the moment I see a tinier version of even an everyday object or food it becomes instantly more adorable and interesting to me. For this reason, I don't think I'd survive if anything ever happened to my precious mini-muffin tins. I always leap at the opportunity to use them for a recipe, so I can produce more and more cutesy bite-sized treats.
       Take a bite of a tassie and out comes that gooey, brown sugar pecan filling you know and love, its flavor complete with a tender and interesting tart shell.
        The cream cheese crust was nothing short of miraculous-- it was so easy to whip up and work with, near impossible to fail, and very tasty to boot. It baked into lovely tender shells to cradle the filling, which was quite addictive and dotted with pecan pieces. I ended up with more filling than I needed but I think this was due to the fact that I used a bit more dough per each cup of the mini-muffin tins. Next time, I think I will add butter to the filling seeing as it's a taste I love in pecan pie. Also, butter makes everything better. Except your health.
        As my Dad put it, you can't eat just one of these. Despite your best efforts you will go back for more.
        With our Thanksgiving celebration rapidly approaching, these Pecan Tassies quelled my craving for pecan pie for the time being. I can hold off a little longer now. 

Pecan Tassies
(adapted from Baked Explorations)
Print This Recipe
Yield: approximately 40 tassies

For the Tassie Shells:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Tassie Filling:
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

To Make Tassie Shells:
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until mixture is lump-free. Add sugar and beat again for 15 seconds. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Add flour in four parts at low speed, until mixture is just combined and a dough forms. 
  2. Pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough, roll it into a ball, and place into one of the cups of an individual mini-muffin tin. Continue pinching, rolling, and placing dough pieces in the tin until all of the dough is gone. You should have approximately 40 pieces. Use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of each tin. Once all the tassie shells have been formed, place muffin tin in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
To Make Tassie Filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until they just break apart. While whisking, gradually add brown sugar until completely combined. Add vanilla and salt; whisk again. Add 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans and stir until completely mixed in.
  2. Remove muffin tin from refrigerator. Spoon filling into each shell until they are about three-quarters full. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup chopped pecans over the filling.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until crust is cooked and filling is set.
  4. Allow tassies to cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room-temperature. Pecan tassies taste best the day they are made, but can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room-temperature for up to 2 days.
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  1. It's 12:41am, I can't be looking at these delicious things right now!

  2. Hi Nicole. these mini pecan pies look really delicious! I don't think I can have just one of these  tassies, I can probably wipe out an entire plate just by looking at the photos! Beautiful photos, as always. 

  3. Beautiful blog, love your photos! :)

  4. I love minis donuts, mini pancakes, mini croissants, and the list goes on and on. I just think more intricacies in preparation is needed for miniatures. I will definitely try this mini pecan delight dish!

  5. These are gorgeous! So cute and pretty almost a shame to eat them! Your posts are always lovely and the photos are always mouth watering. Have a great weekend =] 

  6. I heart pecan and particularly pecan desserts.  These look so good!  And bite-sized, which I love.

  7. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.October 7, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    I love mini desserts too because it allows for me to have 3, or 5, or 10...These look adorable and delectable!

  8. Oh my gosh, I love these things! My mom makes them every year as a part of our xmas cookie collection. I'm so happy to see them:)

  9. MMM!!  I just go that book for my birthday and haven't had a chance to make really good use of it yet.  These look awesome!!  My mom's favorite pie is pecan,  I know she would love these!

  10. Yum, I would absolutely adore these! Great for parties. :)


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