Last weekend, I spent all day on Saturday at my friend Beth’s house baking cookies. Baking Christmas cookies is an annual tradition we both love, but we’ve never done it together. Since she is unable to travel home this year to bake with her family, as she usually does, I suggested we bake together. We had such a fun time and I hope this turns into a yearly tradition for us. The best part for me, aside from time with my dear friend, was getting to try out some of her family’s recipes. We made four different cookies, and three of them I’d never made before. My family especially loved the pecan tassies. I’d never heard of them before last weekend, but given how much my family enjoyed them, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
I forgot to ask Beth the origins of her family recipe. But, based on the little bit of research I’ve done, it appears pecan tassies have been around since the 1980s. They are very much like mini pecan pies, but I love that they are bite-sized and perfectly portioned. They were much easier to make than they might appear. Lucky for me, Beth already had the dough chilled by the time I got to her house. It took me maybe 5 minutes to make the filling and ground up the nuts in the food processor. The most challenging part of this recipe is molding the tassies in the mini molds. Not that it’s hard, but it is time-consuming.
Pecan Tassie Origin
If you’re wondering what the difference between a pecan tassie and a mini pecan pie is – the main difference is the cream cheese dough. Traditional pecan pie crust does not include cream cheese. This article has a really interesting history all about pecan pies and pecan tassies, if you’re curious. Another major difference is that pecan pie often has corn syrup as part of the filling. Pecan tassies do not use corn syrup.
If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas cookies recipe, this is the one you need to try! It’s super easy to make and they really are delicious. Given how quickly my family scarfed these up, I’m sure your family will love this pecan tassie recipe too!
Looking for other Christmas cookie recipes? Click here.
Pecan Tassies Recipe
1/4 lb margarine
1 cup flour
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
In a food processor, mix the tart shell ingredients until dough ball forms. Separate the dough into 24 equal-sized balls and place in the refrigerator for an hour (or overnight). Press the dough balls into the non-stick tart pan to form mini-tarts.
Preheat oven to 350. In a stand mixer, mix together the brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and eggs until well incorporated. Next, add 1 tsp of chopped pecans into each of the prepared tarts and top with a spoonful of the tart filling, just to the top of the tart crust. You can add additional chopped pecans or a whole pecan on top, if you like.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust just starts to turn golden brown and the top looks cooked through. Make sure not to overcook!