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 and made with a homemade cream cheese crust!
These nut cups, aka pecan tassies, have turned into my TOP 5 favorite cookie recipes of all time! My other top two here on BSK are my Gooey Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies and my Mocha Vanilla Pudding Cookies.
They are surprisingly so easy to make considering they require making your OWN cream cheese cookie dough (from scratch)! You don't even need a mixer for the dough, just your two hands. They are the perfect cookie to make around Christmas time because they are so unique, unlike sugar cookies, which we see everywhere this time of year. I can guarantee this one will stay in your recipe book for a loong time!
I couldn't be happier to share this nut cup recipe with you all! I HAVE to give recipe credit to my husband's grandmother, or "Gram", as we called her.
After her passing, I was graciously given one of her cookbooks in which I discovered this nut cup recipe. Apparently they were a family favorite for over 30 years, and were, according to her family, "the best nut cups ever!". So I immediately tested them out, and later that day understood why everyone loved them so much.
Pecan tassies are very simple to make. They came out perfectly on my first try! (Well almost perfect...) Here are some cookie tips:
- If your pecans are whole, give them a rough chop so you have small pieces throughout your filling or purchase the pre-chopped pecans to make it easier.
- Use your hands or a silicone spatula to mix your filling. A mixer may crush the pecans.
- You need a mini muffin/cupcake tin to make these so grab yourself one today. This one from Amazon is a nonstick one that holds 24 cups.
- The cookie crust does not need to be perfectly shaped. Your hands will be the best tools for this.
- The filling with expand a bit in the oven from the eggs so make sure to not overfill your cups.
The Pecan Filling
This 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! This is where I get my kids to help!
Tips For The Cream Cheese Crust
This "crust" is not your typical pie crust. You do not need COLD butter! This is something I love because mixing in cold butter is always a pain to do especially if you don't want to use a pastry cutter or food processor!
So the temperature of your butter does not matter when we make this nut cup dough. Just keep it at room temperature NOT melted.
This pecan Tassie 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 because it is creamy and rich in flavor.
Pressing Your Dough
Once your dough is ready, you'll want to press your cookie dough into your mini muffin tins. HOW to do this is up to you. Here are two options:
- Roll your dough until it's about ⅛" 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 a tassie 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, smoky bite
- to remove Tassies from the pan easily, use cookie spray and remove them immediately while they're still hot
Just like cookies, you do not have to but they wont keep for long if you don't. 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 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!
"How do you remove pecan Tassies from pan?" Starting with a non-stick pan is helpful. Then try to scrape the edges loose using a thin spatula or knife. Do this while they are still warm.
Other holiday 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 ¼" 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 brushing the crust.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Use a thin metal spatula or knife to scrape along the outside edges. This will help to loosen your cups. Do this while warm to help them slide out easily.
- Store in sealed Tupperware containers.