Puppies. Babies. Cupcakes. It seems to be a reoccurring pattern that when things are miniaturized, they become adorable. Recently I got hooked onto the HBO show True Blood (if you haven’t seen it, go watch it. now!) and there is a scene where one of the main characters eats an entire homemade pecan pie. Needless to say that after watching that scene I was craving something with pecans, brown sugar, and a crust. Luckily, my boyfriend recently bought me Martha Stewart’s Cookies and Cupcakes cookbooks (sweet, i know) so I had a nice variety of pecan recipes to try.
When I saw the recipe for Pecan Tassies I had to try them because they’re just so cute. Bite size pecan pies (that rhymes too!). Martha never fails me. These tassies required a lot of prep work but were easy to make and had just the right amounts of smooth brown sugar filling and crunchy pecans. There’s something about the combination of not only smooth and crunchy, but brown sugar and nuts. Bite sized perfection.
Yield: about 1 1/2 dozen
For the dough:
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (4 ounces)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
For the filling:
1 large egg
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Make dough: process pecans in a food processor until finely ground (you should have about 1/2 cup). Put mascarpone and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour, ground pecans, and salt; mix just until dough comes together. Alternatively, stir together ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.
2. Roll dough into sixteen 1-inch balls; press into bottoms and up sides of cups of mini-muffin tins.
3. Make filling: Whisk the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, butter, and salt in a bowl. Stir in pecans. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into each muffin cup.
4. Bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on wire rack. Unmold. Tassies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.