These Pecan Tarts are a family favorite! They look like mini Pecan Pie's and are also known as Pecan Tassies! With a few simple ingredients like brown sugar, pecans and a fool-proof cream cheese pastry crust, they look so pretty on a holiday cookie tray! These also freeze beautifully.
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The Christmas Season is officially upon us. We haven't fully decorated (and may not fully decorate this year...too many much cuter things to focus our time on). Though I've tried to resist, I'm officially sucked into another holiday season. But I don't mind, this gives me an excuse to
make eat cookies (and by cookies I mean everything).
Speaking of cookies, my beautiful grandma Rose had a business making cookies and baked goods for special events. This was long before the days of regulations regarding commercial grade kitchens and the like. Back in the day when kids had to walk three miles to and from school in knee-deep snow, up hill both ways. There was also much less concern for food-borne illness.
Rosie did all of this out of her own, not-extremely-large kitchen. I've heard many stories of all-nighters in that glorious kitchen and I can only imagine the whole kitchen as well as the dining room covered in her delicious cookies.
Of all the cookies she made, these are by far my favorite to eat. The process of putting them together can be tedious, so they're absolutely not may favorite cookies to make, but I love them so much that I can't not make them. Even last year, when I was just coming out of the first trimester mist and was still exhausted and so busy trying to prepare to host out-of-town guests, I still made these cookies. Because even in their tedium, they're still pretty easy to make and hard to screw up.
There is a method to my madness. I'm going to go really in depth in my own words for this recipe and I can only hope that I do a good job of communicating. Give them a shot- they are pretty simple.
Some of my other favorite Christmas Cookie recipes are:
Grandma Rose’s Pecan Tarts
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese softened
- 2 ¼ sticks of margarine softened (I used butter)
- 2 ⅔ cups of flour
Filling (please note: I ended up making an additional half batch of the filling, and this ended up being the perfect amount in combination with the 8oz. bag of chopped pecans I had):
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups of brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. of margarine I used butter
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- Chopped pecans I ran then quickly through my mini food processor until the with quite small (I had an 8oz. bag)
For the Crust:
- Preheat your over to 350 degrees.
- Beat together the cream cheese and the butter; add flour and mix.
- Refrigerate overnight (or if you're impatient like me, for an hour).
- Spray your mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
- Roll into nut sized balls and press into the mini muffin tins. I did this by poking my finger into the middle of each ball and using that as my guide to press it into place. I'm pretty sure if Rosie were here she'd have a lot to say about the size of my balls (That's what he said! I know, I'm at the maturity level of a high schooler). Specifically, that they are a bit too big because you want the crust really thin. I could never get this as well as she could as my crusts would crumble if they were too thin, so I do it the best I can.
- At this point the recipe says to refrigerate the tins all night, but again impatience takes over and I don't chill it any further.
For the filling and through the end of the recipe:
- Mix the brown sugar, remaining butter, eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Take a small amount of nuts and put them at the bottom of each tart shell.
- Next put a small amount of the brown sugar mixture (don't fill them up to the top, as the filling expands a bit while baking.).
- Finally, top this with a bit more nuts.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
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