A little like mini pecan pies, these Pecan Tassies are easier to make and every bit as delicious. The flaky cream cheese crust with maple and pecan filling is a perfect combination for the holidays and totally addictive.
From these Butter Pecan Cookies to these Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars and One Hour Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns, pecans are a definitely favourite around these parts.
Pecan Tassies Recipe
There are so many things that make pecan tassies so special and also unique. You’ll notice the crust has no sugar in it, but with the sweet filling, it’s a perfect balanced mouthful.
- The crust is incredibly light and flaky and uses a combination of butter, cream cheese flour and ground pecans.
- Toasted pecans give a more intense nutty flavour whilst also providing extra crunch.
- Maple syrup adds a very distinct flavour and sweetness.
Ingredients in Best Pecan Tassies
Obvious things like flour and sugar are definitely in there but, as I mentioned above, there are a few ingredients that make pecan tassies truly unique and should not be substituted.
- Pecans: while other nuts can be used, they wouldn’t be pecan tassies without them and pecans have a slight bitterness that works perfectly with the brown sugar and maple syrup.
- Cream Cheese: this is used in the crust for the texture. You won’t really notice a different flavour but the it adds fat and softness without adding extra liquid. This keeps the dough pliable and helps it get nice and crispy.
- Maple Syrup: This is a must-have ingredient and gives an amazing flavour plus a little sweetness too.
How to Make Pecan Tassies Cookies
What I really love about this pecan tassies recipe is it’s simplicity. The dough is made in a few minutes in a food processor and the filling just beaten together. They really are just so incredibly easy to make!
- Grind the nuts: In a food processor, just pulsing until they are in quite small pieces and there are no big chunks left (image 1).
- Add the rest: of the ingredients to the food processor and blend until it’s starts clumping together (image 2).
- Rest: you’ll pull the dough together (image 3) then chill it for 45 minutes to 1 hour
- Press into tin: You can just cut the dough up into 24 even pieces and press them into mini muffin tin holes but my preference is to roll the dough out first, use a cookie cutter to cut circles and they tend to be a little neater.
- Toast the pecans: This is optional but intensifies the pecan flavour. Just scatter them on a baking tray and bake for 7-8 minutes at 350F.
- Mix the filling: Whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined. Just a hand whisk for 30 seconds or so.
- Assemble: Chop the toasted pecans up roughly, then divide them equally among the 24 tart cases, top them with the filling (image 4) , then bake.
Tips and Variations for Mini Pecan Tassies
- The dough: The dough is quite soft, so don’t play with it too much or the heat from your hands will melt it. Also, don’t skip the chilling time it helps the dough relax and also more easy to work with.
- Storage: store pecan tassies in an airtight container, in a cool spot for up to 5 days.
FOR THE CRUST
- ⅓ cup pecans
- 4 ounce 1 stick unsalted butter, cold
- 4 ounce cream cheese cold
- 1 cup flour
FOR THE FILLING
- ½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
To toast the pecans (optional but recommended), scatter them on a baking tray and bake for 7-8 minutes at 350F / 180C / 160C fan forced.
FOR THE CRUST
Place the ⅓ cup pecans into a food processor and pulse until very small pieces.
Add the flour, butter and cream cheese. Process on low just until it starts clumping. This will happen very quickly, so don’t over-process.
Tip the dough out onto a sheet of baking paper, pull it into a disk with your hands then chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C / 160C fan forced.
Grease a 24 hole mini muffin tin well with baking spray (or grease with butter, then dust well with flour).
Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until very thin.
Use a cookie cutter, to cut out small circles just slightly larger than the muffin holes, then press them into the holes up the sides so they reach the top.
Place the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until well combined and looking a little frothy on top.
Divide the chopped pecans evenly among the tart cases then top each with roughly 1 ½teaspoons of the filling mixture, or until evenly divided.
Bake 22-25 minutes until golden and puffed.