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Pecan Tassies are like a mini pecan pie (but not as sweet) made with a cream cheese tart shell. They’re buttery, lightly sweet, nutty and oh-so easy to pop right in your mouth! These mini pies are really great for gifting during the holidays. They freeze well and travel great. All you need is a mini-muffin tin and a mixer.
Pecan Tassies Recipe
These little treats have been around for ages. Everybody’s got a recipe for Pecan Tassies proclaimed to be the best ever. While I haven’t actually tried all recipes in existence, I’m here to say that this version is terrific, failproof and very similar to many I’ve found through research in cookbooks, online and from friends and family.
This recipe came from my husband’s sister-in-law Rita, which she got from her mother Annie. (I’ve tweaked it a bit by reducing the sugar, etc.) Annie was a phenomenal baker and shared many of her favorite recipes with me. Many years ago I wrote about Annie and her “family famous” Roczki Cookies which are a must-make!
For the tart shells:
- unsalted butter at room temperature
- block cream cheese at room temperature
- all-purpose flour, sifted after measuring
- table salt
For the filling:
- unsalted butter melted
- light brown sugar
- dark or light corn syrup (or maple syrup)
- large eggs
- vanilla extract
- table salt
- chopped toasted pecans
Equipment needed for Pecan Tassies:
- mini-muffin tin (affiliate link)
- electric mixer (affiliate link)
- tart shaper – not required but very helpful (affiliate link)
- small (one tablespoon) cookie scoop – not required but helpful (affiliate link)
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How to make Pecan Tassies
1. First prep the pan and oven
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a mini muffin pan with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Next make the tart shells
Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or electric hand mixer beat until combined. Add the flour and salt and blend until a soft dough forms.
Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll into a ball and place in the prepared muffin tin. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan using your fingers or a spoon to form a tart shell. A tart shaper (tart tamper) is very helpful for quick and easy forming of tart shells.
Freeze the shells while preparing the pecan filling. This helps the dough hold its shape when baked.
3. Prepare the filling
In a medium bowl combine the melted butter, sugar and corn syrup. Add the lightly beaten eggs, vanilla and salt until blended. Fold in the chopped pecans.
4. Fill the tart shells and bake
Fill each tart shell with one tablespoon of filling taking care not to overfill. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops and crust are light golden brown.
Pro Tip: If you have any filling leftover (a tablespoon or two), simply pour it in a small ramekin lightly coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake along with the tarts until the edges are bubbly and the center is set. This treat belongs to the baker!
Cool the cookies in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar or add a dollop of whipped cream just before serving.
Can you freeze Pecan Tassies?
Pecan Tassies freeze very well. Store in a well sealed airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Substitutions and Add-in’s
- For this recipe you can use light corn syrup, dark corn syrup or maple syrup
- Light or dark brown sugar both work well
- Substitute walnuts for the pecans
- Fold in a few tablespoons of sweetened shredded coconut
- Stir in a few tablespoons of mini semisweet chocolate chips
- Add a teaspoon or two of bourbon or whiskey to the filling before baking
Storing Pecan Tassies
Store Pecan Tassies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerate for longer storage, up to 5 days.
Serving Pecan Tassies
When ready to serve simply dust the tops of the tassies with powdered sugar. You can also add a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
These little pies disguised as cookies are great on a buffet. The recipe is easily doubled to make 48 tassies. You can eat these cookies out of hand in two average size bites or one big one!
What is a Tassie?
According to the Washington Post, tassie comes from a Scottish word meaning little cup or glass. Therefore, these mini pies are baked in little cups or a mini muffin tin.
It’s said that Pecan Tassies first appeared in US Newspapers back in the 1950’s and 60’s and have been a Southern staple ever since!
- mini muffin tin
For the tart shells:
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature (113g or 8 tablespoons)
- 3 ounces block cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour sifted after measuring (126g)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed (170g)
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (like Karo)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans (112g or 4oz)
To prepare the tart shells:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a mini muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat until combined. Add the flour and salt and blend until a soft dough forms.
- Working with 1 tablespoon of dough (about 16g) at a time, roll into a ball then press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup.
- PRO TIP: To make the process easier I use a small cookie scoop to portion the dough and a mini-tart shaper to press the dough into tart shell shapes.
- Once filled freeze the muffin tin while preparing the filling. Chilling will help the dough hold its shape when baked.
To prepare the filling:
- Stir together the melted butter, sugar and corn syrup until combined. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir until blended. Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Fill each tart shell with one tablespoon of the filling taking care not to overfill. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown. Cool the cookies in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar or add a dollop of whipped cream just before serving.
- Cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerate for longer storage. You can also freeze tassies for up to one month well sealed in an airtight container.
- Toast the pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 350 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly fragrant. Cool then chop fine