Whether a holiday party or tea party, these Easy Pecan Tassies are the perfect bite sized dessert to bring! They’re like mini pecan pies but in cookie form made with an easy cream cheese crust.
I couldn’t be happier to share this recipe with you all. I have to give recipe credit to my husband’s grandmother, or “Gram” as we called her. I discovered her nut cup recipe while going through one of her cookbooks the other day. Apparently they were a family favorite for over 30 years, and were the “best ever”! After making them…I understand why everyone loved them so much!
How to make pecan tassies
These mini tarts are very simple to make I promise. The ingredients are minimal and steps are easy to follow. They came out almost perfect on my first try!
Pecan Brown Sugar Filling
The filling is a simple combination of eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and pecans. That’s it. No corn syrup! Just add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix with a spoon.
You could substitute the brown sugar for white sugar if you must however the flavor that brown sugar brings is deeper and makes a difference in this recipe giving it a toffee/caramel flavor.
How to make a cream cheese crust
The pie crust is not your classic pie crust recipe. In all pie crusts, you need chunks of cold butter which allow for small air pockets while baking resulting in a super flaky crust.
BUT, with pecan tassie pie crust, temperature of your dough does not matter making it easier to assemble with less to worry about.
Gram’s recipe uses butter, cream cheese and flour. That’s it. You have the option to mix your dough by hand or with a mixer. You also don’t need to worry about over-mixing. The only thing you want to make sure of is that your dough sticks together. I like using Philadelphia cream cheese for my dough.
Then you’ll want to press your pie dough into your mini muffin tins. HOW to do this is up to you but you have two options:
- Roll your dough until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Then use cookie cutter or rounds to cut out circles that are a little larger than your muffin cups (about 3″ in diameter). This will ensure the thickness of your crust is even.
- Pinch off a piece of dough and press it into each muffin pan until it reached the rim. You will need to be the judge with how much to use. I recommend using a mini ice cream scoop to keep your cups consistent.
The good thing about the crust is, you can’t have too much. Since they are more like a cookie than a pie, the crust should be thicker, in my opinion.
Although this recipe is pretty straight forward, you can change or tweak it many ways! Here are some ideas or substitutions you can make:
- add 1-2 oz. bourbon to your filling
- add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or clove
- use roasted pecans for another layer of flavor
- use walnuts, almonds or another nut instead
- add maple syrup to your filling
- add bacon bits for a salty, smokey bite
- to remove tassies from the pan easily, use cookie spray and remove them immediately while they’re still hot
Frequently asked questions:
Do these need to be refrigerated?
No but they wont keep for long. Seal them in a Tupperware container for 2-3 days at room temperature and 5-7 days in the fridge. As time goes on, they will dry out so if you want to make them in advance, I suggest freezing them so they last!
Can you freeze these?
Yes! They freeze well and will last for at least 3 months properly stored. To freeze them, wait until they fully cool and lay in a Tupperware container. Then place a layer of parchment paper in between the bottom layer and add a second layer. Continue until your container is full. Seal as well as you can with plastic wrap/foil and or a tightly fitted lid.
Do you need to refrigerate the crust?
No you do NOT need to chill your crust. We are going for a cookie crust not a flaky pie crust so its not necessary.
How do I mix my dough?
Gram mixed her dough “by hand” but you can definitely use a mixer to save you time. You do not need to worry about over-mixing.
Other mini desserts you may like:
Easy Pecan Tassie Cookies (Nut Cups)
- Mini Muffin Pan
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salted butter, melted (2 sticks)
- 6 oz. cream cheese
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup chopped pecans (about 3 oz)
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Reserving one egg, combine your brown sugar, 2 eggs, chopped pecans and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Combine flour, melted butter and cream cheese in a bowl and mix thoroughly. You can use your hands or a mixer.
- Option 1: Using your fingers, press dough into small muffin tins. Make sure the dough is even on the bottom and sides of the tin. Use more dough if you like a thicker crust.Option 2: Use a rolling pin to roll out your dough to no more than a 1/4" thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut each cup out. Aim for rounds about 3" in diameter. Then press pre-cut rounds into muffin tins. *This takes time to roll out initially but goes quickly once your rounds are all finished!
- Fill each tin with your filling all the way up to the rim.
- Scramble your fourth, reserved, egg in a bowl and brush over top of each filled cup. Concentrate on coating the crust.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Enjoy!