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.