Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elfin Pies - Pecan Tassies

I love making tassies around Christmas.  Their diminutive stature makes me think of elves.   (Yes, I really am just a big kid)  They equate to about 2 bites, which makes them the perfect size for kids and adults alike.  On top of that, they are just plain cute.... You know, like "chubby cheeked baby" kind of cute.  Though I would strongly discourage pinching the tassies.
Normally, I make Lemon tassies, cause I am a sour puss.  This year, however, I was in the mood for Pecan ones.  I have a sneaking suspicion this is due to the lack of Pecan pie at Thanksgiving.  Thus I have not consumed my traditional 1 piece of Pecan pie this year.

The crust for Pecan Tassies is really more of a cookie, thus it's extremely simple to prepare.  Granted, pressing it into the little muffin tins is a little time consuming, but it's not really all that bad.  I do feel I should mention the wooden "Dough Pusher" things.  I am all for kitchen gadgets that make your life easier, but I have one of those things, and never use it.  The dough always sticks to the thing, no matter how well I flour it.  Nope.... don't like it at all. By the time I get done fighting with it, trying to make it work, I could have just done it by hand in 1/2 the time.  Thus I just use my fingers. Besides, I like to feel how thick the sides and bottom are on each one.  I guess I am just one of those people who needs to "feel" my food. :)

Pecan Tassies

6 oz (170g) Cream Cheese
1 cup (227g) (8 oz) Unsalted Butter
pinch of Kosher Salt
2 tsp Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 cups (320 g) (11.3oz) AP Flour


4 oz Butter, melted and cooled
1 cup (200g) (7oz) Sugar (or 3/4 cup Brown and 1/4 cup Dark Brown depending)
1 large Egg
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 cups Pecans, broken

Beat Cream Cheese, Butter, Salt and Sugar in the bowl of your mixer, until light and fluffy.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour.

Continue mixing until a soft sticky dough is formed.

Gather into a ball and flatten slightly,

then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to firm it up.

Place melted Butter, Egg, Sugars, Vanilla extract, and Kosher Salt in a medium glass pitcher.

Mix well, with a fork, until thoroughly combined, then set aside.

Spread the Pecans out on a sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.

Break up the Pecans into pieces and set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and break of .5 oz (15 g) pieces then roll them into balls and plop them in the holes of your mini-muffin tins. (this will make 2 batches of 24 tassies)

Press in the center with your thumb to make an imprint in the middle.

Use your index finger to gently press the dough up the sides of each mini-muffin depression.

Fill each tassie shell with broken pecans.

Spoon (or pour) about 1 TB of the mixture over the top filling about 3/4 full (I overfilled mine slightly... oops)

Place in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the crusts are golden brown. (They puff in the oven, thus the warning about only filling them 3/4 full)

Remove from the oven and let set for 10 minutes in the pan. (just long enough for the gluten to set in the dough but no longer or they will begin to stick to the pan)

Using an off-set spatula to gently lift each tassie out of the pan.

Place on a cooling rack until they come to room temperature.

Place in a tin and store in the refrigerator until ready to consume. (but remember to leave a couple for Santa's Elves on Christmas Eve)


1 comment:

Patti T. said...

Like little mini pecan pies. I didn't make too many different goodies this year, what I did make I made sure to send most home with my guests.