I have said before that I actually really enjoy making pie.
I think now that I feel confident with pie crust, the idea of creating a shell and a filling that (at least in theory) comes out in whole, beautiful slices is one of my favorite things.
Joey has been a wonderful and willing participant in my pie experiments over the years, with pecan being his absolute favorite, so when I announced I was making pecan tassies, he was on board to be my taste tester.
If you’re not familiar, a “tassie” is a mini pie. An old article by Betty Rosbottom in the Los Angeles Times points out that the word really just means “cup,” but in the U.S., at least, we tend to use the term for the dessert.
The recipe I used comes from the blog “Baking a Moment.” You can find the original at https://bakingamoment.com/brown-sugar-pecan-tassies/. I doubled the vanilla in my version. Also, feel free to skip the whiskey in these. You can’t taste it in the final version outside of it amplifying other flavors, but if you’re not feeling it, it won’t hurt anything to leave it out.
Brown Sugar Pecan Tassies
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 2 teaspoons whiskey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans plus more for tops
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- For the pastry, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, and then beat in the flour and salt. If you’re using a mini-cupcake pan, divide the pastry into 24 equal balls; if using a regular cupcake pan, divide it into 12.
- Press the pastry into the bottoms and up the sides of each well.
- For the filling, beat the egg, brown sugar, melted butter, whiskey, vanilla and salt until it’s smooth. Fold in the pecans and evenly distribute the filling into the prepared pan.
- Top each well with some more pecans, and bake 25 minutes for the mini-cupcake pan or 30 minutes for the regular cupcake pan.
- Let the tassies cool, and then remove them from the pan. Store them in an airtight container.
These were awesome. I opted for the mini-cupcake pan version, and it produced cute little pies that were easy to just pop into your mouth. Especially if you wanted to create a dessert buffet table or had a gathering where people will be snacking, this is the recipe for you.
If you’re not with me on enjoying pie baking, this is a good one to try in order to dip your toe in the pool or to just avoid trying to roll out pie dough altogether. Plus, if you need him, I know a guy who makes an excellent taste tester.
This piece first appeared in print on April 15, 2021.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.