One of the favorite finger-food sized desserts Grandma Joyce offers at weddings are her Pecan Tassies. Similar to a mini pecan pie, these little pastries are devilishly good, but can be devilishly difficult to remove from the pan after baking, so here’s a Pro Tip: Grease a mini muffin tin with solid shortening before adding the shell pastry. After you remove the completed pastry from the oven after baking, allow them to cool for about ten minutes, but no longer. Once the syrupy pecan filling starts to harden, it will stick to the sides of the pan like glue.
If your pecan tassies become too difficult to remove, put them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes, then poke a paring knife with a sharp point gently between the side of the muffin tin and the pastry and lift. The filling sometimes has a tendency to sink. This isn’t a problem. Just garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and even an additional pecan.
Pecan Tassies – Pastry Shells
Your pecan tassies start with a simple pastry dough. After greasing your muffin tin generously with solid vegetable shortening, form the pastry into 32 small balls. Drop each ball into the bottom of a muffin tin cup. You’ll use your fingers to gently press the pastry dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the muffin tin cup to form a small shell.
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cup soft butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 egg whites (reserve yolks for filling)
- 1½ cups flour
- combine sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and egg whites and blend well.
- Lightly spoon flour into creamed mixture while mixing at low speed -- just until blended.
- Grease nonstick mini-muffin tins with solid shortening (Tassies will stick otherwise).
- Form dough into 36 inch-size balls and press each ball into the bottom and up the sides of a muffin cup.
Pecan Tassies – Pastry Filling
Next, you’re going to sprinkle a few chopped pecans into the bottom of each pastry and fill each shell with filling prior to baking.
- ⅔ cup chopped pecans (do not add to filling mixture yet)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup corn syrup (dark corn syrup is preferred)
- 3 Tablespooons melted butter
- 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- Start by sprinkling ½ teaspoon of chopped pecans into each unbaked pastry shell.
- Combine remaining ingredients: (brown sugar, vanilla, salt, corn syrup, melted butter and eggs)
- Divide the filling mixture among the pastry shells (about a soup spoonful per shell).
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove pastries quickly before filling sets.
- To serve, garnish with whipped cream and a pecan half.