The trickiest part of these cookies is making uniform shells. I divide the dough into eight equal pieces, then roll each dough piece into three balls. Each dough ball gets pressed into the well of a mini muffin tin.
Pressing the pastry into cups is much easier with the use of a tart tamper. This simple tool helps spread the dough evenly in the cup. It's a cheap investment and works with both a mini and regular muffin tins, depending on the size of your tarts.
For these tassies, I used hicans, a cross between a hickory nut and a pecan. Feel free to use the nut you prefer: pecans, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia, filberts or a mix. These cookies hold well in the freezer - just place in an airtight container and consume within six months.
|Begin by making pastry: combine cream cheese, butter and flour.|
|Form dough into a flattened circle, wrap and refrigerate for one hour.|
|While the dough rests, prepare the nuts. These delicious hicans grow well in Ohio.|
|Divide dough into eight wedges. Form each wedge |
into three balls for a total of 24 balls.
|Drop pastry into the wells of a mini muffin pans.|
|A tart tamper makes quick work of forming the shells.|
|Just coat the end in flour, then push into dough ball.|
|The dough will be pushed around the tamper, lining the well.|
|Two pans done in a couple minutes!|
|Make the filling. I like using a measuring cup with a spout to help fill the cups.|
|Fill the cups with about 1 Tbsp. filling and bake.|
|Little pecan (hican) pies!|
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook
1/2 cup butter, softened
3oz full fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or substitute your favorite nut)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Make pastry: Beat 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese until combined. Stir in flour. Form into a ball, flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Divide pastry into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into three balls for a total of 24 pastry balls. Place one each in the wells of a mini muffin pan. Using a tart tamper, or your fingers, push pastry into the bottom and up the sides of the well.
Make filling: Combine egg, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir in nuts. Spoon or pour about 1 Tbsp. filling into each pastry cup. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool slightly in pan. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.