Tag Archives: Christmas

Pecan Tassies 

These homemade Pecan Tassies are sweet bite-sized pies with a buttery and flaky crust and a golden caramel-pecan filling. Take one bite and you will see what I am talking about. The dough that surrounds the filling is made out of a simple blend of butter, cream cheese, and flour. Because there is no sugar in the dough it is entirely savory, buttery, nutty, and slightly tangy from the cream cheese and the golden pecan filling is a scrumptious mix of butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and toasted pecans.  

Course: Dessert
Level: Easy
Prep: 25 mins
Chilling: 1 hr
Cooking: 25-30 mins
Cooling: 5-10 mins
Total: 1 hr 65 mins
Yield: 24 tassies

 Special equipment 

  • Simple food chopper or food processor 
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment
  • Large baking sheet
  • Silicon spatula
  • offset spatula 
  • Plastic wrap
  • Whisk
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Two 12-cup mini muffin pans or a 24-cup mini muffin pan 
  • A tablespoon-sized cookie scoop
  • Cooling wire racks 

 Ingredients 

 Crust 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature  
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature (Do not leave unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours)
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 

 Filling 

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature  
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  1/4 teaspoon fine salt 

 Directions 

 Making Dough for the Crust

  1. In the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  2. Add the flour gradually to the mixer and mix on low until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  
  3. Use your hands to press the dough into a solid mass. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  

 Making Filling 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  
  2. To toast Pecans, place chopped pecans in a large baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the pecans have a nutty aroma and are lightly toasted, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. 
  3. Once cooled, place pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground or the texture of coarse cornmeal, 15 to 30 seconds. Set aside.  
  4. To make filling, in a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until sugar is dissolved and mixture is homogenous. Set aside. 

 Making the Pecan Tassies 

  1. Remove dough from refrigerator.  
  2. Using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, scoop 1 tablespoon of dough into each muffin cup. Use your fingers to evenly press dough into the bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup.  
  3. Place 1/2 teaspoon of the toasted ground pecans in each of the muffin cups.  
  4. Carefully spoon or pour filling over pecans to come about two-thirds up the sides of each crust.  
  5. Top each tassie dough shell with toasted ground pecans. 
  6. Bake until the filling has puffed, and the pastry has lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.  
  7. Remove the pecan tassies from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
  8. Remove from pans to wire racks using an offset spatula. (Note: You may need to run a knife around the edge of the tassie to loosen it. Sometimes the filling cooks over the top of the dough and make the edges of the pan sticky.)
  9. Once the tassies are completely cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days, or place in a sealed plastic container, using parchment paper to separate the layers and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow tassies to thaw at room temperature. 

Almond Tea Cakes

Toasting the almonds is the secret touch to a perfect nutty flavor. Toasting the almonds first forces the almonds to release their oils and take on a richer and nuttier flavor. The cookie dough itself is not very sweet because the cookie balls are coated twice in powdered sugar. The first coating happens two minutes after the cookies come out of the oven. The warm exterior of the cookie causes the powdered sugar to stick, and as they cool, the powdered sugar adhering to the surface becomes very sticky. It is this sticky surface that makes the second coating of powdered sugar cling to the cookie and form a dry and powdery sweet casing for the rich and nutty cookie.

Course: Dessert
Level: Easy
Prep: 25 mins
Chilling: 1 hr
Cooking: 10 to 12 mins
Cooling: 12 mins
Total: 1 hr 49 mins
Yield: 48 cookies

Special equipment:

  • Simple food chopper or food processor
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment
  • Flour sifter
  • Large baking sheets
  • Parchment paper or silicon baking mats
  • Plastic wrap
  • Silicon spatula
  • Cooling wire racks

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsifted powdered sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, for rolling

Directions

Almond Tea Cakes Dough

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bake almonds in a single layer in a large baking sheet 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  3. Place the toasted almonds in the bowl of a food processor, and process until finely ground or the texture of coarse cornmeal, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. set aside.
  5. In the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and almond extracts; beat to combine.
  7. Reduce the speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix on low until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the toasted ground almonds.
  8. Use your hands to press the dough into a solid mass. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Making the Almond Tea Cakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Set aside.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator.
  4. Scoop and shape dough into 1-inch balls, by rolling 2 teaspoons of the dough between the palm of your hands. (Note: The dough will be crumbly, so you will be rolling dough into spheres between the palms of your hands.)
  5. Place cookies 1 inch apart on lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. (Note: Do not allow these cookies to get brown. it is better to undercook them than to overcook them. Cookies look very pale when done.)
  7. When done, remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet until cooled enough to handle but still quite warm, about 2 minutes. (Note: The cookies will immediately fall apart if handled straight out of the oven, but firm up nicely when cooled.)
  8. When cookies are cooled enough to handle, place the sifted powdered sugar into a shallow dish and roll each warm cookie gently in the powdered sugar until completely coated. Transfer the sugar-cover cookies to wire racks to cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  9. Once completely cooled, roll cookies again in powdered sugar until completely coated. Store in an airtight container. (Note: Make sure cookies are cooled before storing them, otherwise they will get soggy.)