Monday, December 21, 2009

4 Days 'till Christmas - Pecan Tassies

Pecan Tassies

Mini, bite-sized pecan pies with a butter and pecan crust. These are simply irresistible.

Pecan Tassies
from Martha Stewart's Cookies
Makes 16

For the dough:
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese (I substituted cream cheese)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 large egg
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (you could probably substitute corn syrup)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the dough: Process pecans in a food processor until finely ground (you should have about 1/3 cup); set aside. Put mascarpone and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour, ground pecans, and salt; mix just until dough comes together. Alternatively, stir together ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.

Roll dough into sixteen 1-inch balls, and press into bottoms and up sides of cups of mini-muffin tins. (I greased and floured the mini muffin tins just to be on the safe side. If your muffin pan is non-stick, you're probably safe.)

Make the filling: Whisk the egg, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, butter, and salt in a small bowl. Stir in pecans. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into each muffin cup. ( I had extra filling which I baked in a heat-proof coffee cup - baker's treat!)
Bake pecan tassies until crust begins to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on wire rack. Unmold. Pecan tassies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days. (They can also be frozen.)

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