Pecan Tassies are like pecan pie, but more adorable! Flaky cream cheese crust and rich brown sugar centers filled with buttery pecans and a touch of coffee liqueur.Jump to Recipe
One of my most favorite relatives when I was growing up was my grandfather’s cousin, Linnea Bagley (my daughter is even named after her!) Linnea had the biggest heart and was a glorious Swede in all the best ways. Every summer our family would visit her at her home in Iron River, Michigan in the UP. She ALWAYS had a Hills Bros. coffee can filled to the brim with delicious Pecan Tassies for my brother and I to share. Just the scent of them baking today takes me back to her charming Victorian home and memories of all the delicious food she made in her cozy kitchen. Linnea would likely disapprove of, yet cheerfully giggle, about my addition of liqueur to this old family recipe but I think it adds a depth of flavor and a festive flair to my treasured childhood treat!
The Process for making Pecan Tassies:
Pecan Tassies have a flaky, savory cream cheese crust that really makes them different from other tartlets. Make the dough in advance and chill for several hours or a day ahead so that it is easier to work with and keeps its shape while baking.
An easy way to chop the pecans for the filling is to put them in a plastic bag and break them into small pieces with a mallet or even the back of a heavy spoon or small pan.
Once the dough is chilled, form it into walnut-sized balls and press it into oiled mini cupcake or muffin tins all the way up to the rims.
The picture below shows the steps of assembling the shells with the pecans and filling, which is a mixture of brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, Kahlua or other coffee liqueur. Top each Pecan Tassie with a whole pecan half.
After the Pecan Tassies come out of the oven, brush them with additional Kahlua to give them a bit of sheen. Use a heat-proof pastry brush for this step.
Once cooled, the Pecan Tassies are fairly easy to release from the pans. Just make sure that the tins were well-oiled to prevent any sticking of the crust.
Pecan Tassies make a wonderful gift and are perfect to place in decorative tins (or a Hills Bros. coffee can!). They are also a tasty addition to holiday gatherings, for which I have a couple of fun beverage-pairing ideas.
The gorgeous Mercat Brut Cava has a lovely golden hue and hints of nuts and cream on the palate, which pair beautifully with the nutty sweet and savory flavors of the Pecan Tassies. Not only does this Cava over-deliver for the price, but it has a striking label that makes for a perfect gift with a Tassie tin.
For sherry lovers, the Alvear Cream Sherry is a stunning pairing with these Pecan Tassies. It has a dark, sweet nuttiness that is perfect with the buttery soft brown sugar centers of the Tassies.
- Mini muffin tins
- 1 1/3 cups butter, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua, or other coffee liqueur
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- Whole pecans, for garnish
- In a mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in flour until smooth dough forms.
- Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Form dough into 1-inch balls. Press balls into bottoms and up sides of greased miniature muffin tins.
Filling and Assembly:
- Mix brown sugar, butter, Kahlua, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Spoon about 1 teaspoon chopped pecans into each tart shell.
- Pour 1 teaspoon brown sugar mixture over pecans. Top with one whole pecan.
- Bake at 325° for about 20 minutes until crust is light brown and filling is set. Cool slightly and remove from tins.
- Makes 5-6 dozen Tassies, depending on size of tins.