Tiny, bite-size Pecan Tassies are a delicious, chewy, and decadent pecan-filled pastry with a cookie-like crust. This southern-inspired treat is an all-time favorite, and incredibly simple to make for the holidays, or anytime you’re craving pecan pie.
Because they’re tiny as a teacup, these cute and delicious morsels of fall flavor are perfect for afternoon tea, Christmas cookie platters, and most definitely for Thanksgiving.
Simple to make, these tassies are perfect to enjoy yourself or to serve at a party. There is a saying that they’re “as simple as a cookie and as decadent as a pie.” I would wholeheartedly agree!
What are Pecan Tassies?
Almost like a cross between shortbread cookies and mini pecan pies, these bite-size tassies are perfectly proportioned, indulgent decadences. Which, as mentioned, makes them a perfect fit for the holidays.
The cookie-like soft dough that surrounds the pecan filling is a savory combination of butter, cream cheese, flour, and finely chopped, almost ground pecans. There is no sugar in the pastry which lets its rich, buttery, and nutty flavors perfectly complement the sweet filling.
Much like pecan pie, the sweet filling is a scrumptious mix of brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and pecans. While maple syrup is not common, I think it gives these tassies a unique and delicious flavor that highlights the pecans.
Pecan Tassies Origin
The word “tassie” comes from the Scottish for little cup or glass. The term is derived from the French word, “la tasse.” And perfectly describes these bite-size cookies which are baked in mini muffin tins and resemble “little cups.”
Ingredients for Pecan Tassies
Here are the simple ingredients to make these delicious cookies. The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post:
- Butter: I prefer salted butter for flavor
- Cream Cheese: You will want a block of cream cheese rather than whipped cream cheese that often comes in a container
- All-purpose flour for the pastry
- Brown sugar for a rich sweetness in the filling
- Vanilla extract
- Pecans: I like to choose pecan halves and chop them myself.
The cream cheese based tassie pastry is an easy-to-make dough that’s very forgiving. No rolling crusts is necessary making it perfect for a mixer or by hand with a bowl and spoon.
Here is the equipment I like to use:
- Electric mixer or stand mixer to cream the cheese and butter.
- Tart Tamper: This tool is not necessary but does make for quick work in forming the pastry shells. I also use it in Chocolate Ganache Mini Tarts and Pub Style Beef Pot Pies Recipe.
- Mini muffin tin (24 count)
- Nut chopper: This tool is makes makes quick work of chopping nuts, but you can also do it simply with a knife.
How to Make Pecan Tassies
I mentioned earlier in this post that tassies are as simple to make as cookies and as decadent as pies. While the step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, the following is a brief overview.
Let’s start with the pecans. This recipe includes both finely chopped pecans, which are used in the crust, and a medium size chopped pecan for the filling and topping.
Begin by chopping the pecans, reserve a portion for the pastry and the rest for the filling and topping.
Making the dough:
Make the dough using a mixer or by hand. You will need to cream the butter and cream cheese until combined, and then add the flour and finely chopped pecans.
Evenly shape the dough into 24 balls and press into the bottom and up the sides of each mini muffin cup. Add about 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans into the muffin cups.
Making the filling
The filling is simple to make in a small bowl. I like to use a glass measure for easy pouring.
Whisk the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt together.
Pour the filling over the chopped pecans in each cup almost to the top. And then top each with remaining chopped pecans.
While tassies are most delicious on the day they’re baked, they can also be made and ahead to freeze for the holidays!
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Simple Pecan Tassies Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup pecans very finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup pecans chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 24-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray or butter.
Make the Dough
- Chop the pecans using a food processor, nut grinder, or with a knife. Reserve 1/4 cup and finely chop these pecans for the dough. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until fully blended. Add the flour and 1/4 cup of finely ground pecans.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls (a cookie scoop is helpful here) and place them into the mini muffin cups. Use a tamper to press the dough evenly into the bottoms and up the sides of each cup. You can also easily do this with your fingers.
Make the Filling
- Whisk the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. I like to do this in a glass measure for ease in pouring.
- Into each muffin cup, add 1 teaspoon of chopped nuts over the unbaked dough.
- Pour the filling over the nuts in each pastry, taking care not to overfill.
- Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the tassies are lightly golden in color. Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 3 minutes. Then remove the tassies from the cups and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.