Last Halloween Eve, Kelly and I made these up so she could take them into the nurses in the chemo lab on Halloween. She was bummed she had to have a treatment that day, but knew, at least, she would haven't any side effects for a day or two and she'd be able to take Ari out in his Owl costume for Trick or Treat. The recipe we had always made called for dark Karo syrup and since Kelly was eliminating high fructose corn syrup from her diet, we substituted brown rice syrup. They came out beautifully and no one suspected the exchange.
Well, I bought a new cookbook! The Gourmet Cookie Book--The Single Best Recipe from Each Year, 1941-2009. I have had a subscription with Gourmet magazine since the 70s, but sadly, this year the magazine stopped publishing. Every year, I looked forward to the November issue with the lineup of Christmas cookies to bake, but now I have the best of those recipes in this cookbook. Under the 1980s, Pecan Tassies appear and Kelly would have been happy to know that it does not call for Karo syrup, but instead, brown sugar. I know this would have become a favorite to bake for her; it's so easy and you can satisfy that pecan pie craving in about 30 minutes, including baking time!
I will be posting over the next weeks, cookie recipes I have developed, some I've made with my mother, and ones I have found in books to really be easy, but spectacular. The holiday season, is by far, holds the fondest memories I have of baking with my mother and my daughters. I would love to hear from you all what favorite cookie recipes you make for the holidays for your family that you make.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until fully incorporated. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together.
Preheat oven 350F-degrees. Lightly spray two mini muffin pans with a non-stick spray.
Divide the dough into 24 pieces. I do this by dividing the dough in half, then, in half again, and then, one more time. You should have 8 equal pieces. Now, divide each of those pieces into thirds and you will have 24 pieces. Roll into a ball and use a tamper, dipped into flour, and push down on the ball and do a roll and stir to form the tart.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the following ingredients:
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 large egg
1/8 tsp. Vanilla extract (I actually increased this to 1/2 tsp.--I like Vanilla!)
Use a spoon to mix everything together.
Measure about 1/2 tsp. into each Tassie, You will use all of the filling.
Place the two mini muffin pans into the preheated oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool a few minutes in the pan and then, use an off-set spatula to remove to a rack and cool completely. These are so good; they pack and freeze well, so you can make them up ahead of time for your holiday parties; "they look splendid sitting on a try." And, if you like a few different desserts for your holiday meal, this recipe would be the perfect addition for those who love just a taste.
Bake up some memories and Enjoy!