It’s a dark and rainy day here, so I decided to do something completely out of character – bake cookies! I should probably be doing housework, but since I dislike it intensely and can only do it in spurts, I figured making a recipe with passive chilling time would be okay. This recipe fit the bill.
Tassies are an old Southern dessert whose name comes from the French word “tassette” which is a small pocket or pouch. The pastry shell or “pouch” is usually made of only three ingredients – cream cheese, butter and flour. The filling is typically lemon or pecans. Pecans are native to the south and tassies are indeed, an old Southern dessert.
This recipe is easy. The dough took less than 5 minutes to make. While it chilled, I cleaned my daughter’s room and washed linens. By then it, it was time to mold the little dough balls into the cups, which was a little boring. Then again, some might find that part relaxing and fun.
I used a combination of recipes. The dough is from Southern Living and the filling is one I put together after looking at a few others.
8 tablespoons butter — softened
4 ounces cream cheese — (1/2 of an 8 ounce package) softened
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup pecan halves, micro-toasted (see note)
1 large egg
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
24 pecan halves (no toasting required)
Prepare crust first. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add flour to butter mixture and stir until incorporated. Shape mixture into 24 neat balls; cover and chill 1 hour. (I set the balls in mini muffin tin and put the pan in the refrigerator). Press balls into discs and fit them neatly into the 24 indentation mini muffin tin; dough should come all the way up the sides.
Filling: Micro-toast the 1/3 cup pecan halves. Place the pecans in the microwave and “toast” them for 2 minutes. Microwaves are different – so check your pecans after 1 minute. Let them cool and then chop them up to make about 1/4 cup chopped. Stir together egg, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt.
Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly into each pastry dough cup. Spoon filling over pecans. Top each with a pecan half. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven. While tassies are warm, slide a knife around edge and lift tassies from pan.
Tassies freeze very well!