Up next for January 15 are Pecan Tassies – little pecan pie bits, a treat by way of Matt’s Aunt Judy, who insists they aren’t Southern, but are a local regional sweet.
Yield: about 40 tassies
For the tassie shell:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tbl sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the flour until completely combined and a dough forms. Pinch off walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into balls (shoot for about 40 balls). Place each ball into a mini cupcake tin, and use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the cups. Refrigerate. If you’re like me you don’t have 40 mini muffin tins, and you’ll end up doing this in batches. Proceed to make the tassie filling.
For the tassie filling:
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tbl pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until completely combined. Add 1/2 cup of the pecans and stir. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts between the 40 tassie shells. Fill each one 3/4 of the way with filling. Bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 250 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes or until the filling is set. Allow the tassies to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Tassies will keep at room temperature for about 2 days.
Excerpted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2010 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.