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Featured in our 2018 Christmas Guide

Yield: about 36 tassies

Buttery, nutty, and satisfying, these two-bite pecan tartlets are as easy to make as they are to like.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 10 oz. (2-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 lightly packed cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Table salt

Preparation

Make the crust

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until smooth, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the flour mixture, stirring by hand with a silicone spatula to make a very soft dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill for about 1 hour.

Make the filling and assemble the tassies

  • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs to combine. Stir in the sugar, pecans, butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
  • Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Divide the dough into 36 pieces, roll into balls, and place each ball into a well in a mini-muffin tin. (To make the cross design in the photo, divide the dough into 38 to 40 pieces, and reserve the extra.) Press the dough into the bottoms and up the sides to form a crust (refrigerate the tins after each pan is fully lined). Fill each crust with 1 heaping tsp. of filling. (If making the cross pattern, roll a couple of pinches of dough into short lengths, then cross over the top of the filling.)
  • Bake, swapping and rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the crust is well browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pans on a rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Variations

Ginger: Add 1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger to the filling mixture.

Chocolate: Add 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips to the filling mixture with the pecans.

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