My Great-Grandmother Rosa’s Pecan Tassies

My Great-Grandmother's family recipe for pecan tassies!

Who makes 408 Pecan Tassies as wedding favors for her own wedding?
Crazy people.
And me.

My Great-Grandmother's family recipe for pecan tassies!

Months ago I decided that the perfect parting gift for our wedding guests would be my Great-Grandmother RoRo’s homemade Pecan Tassies. They are deeply personal and a little piece of me all wrapped up in a convenient, delicious, two-bite package!

My Great-Grandmother's family recipe for pecan tassies!

My great-grandmother Rosa, RoRo, was a feeder. You know what I’m talking about — there is one in every family: on top of making a huge feast when family came to visit her, RoRo would bake up dozens of everyone’s favorite treats to send home with them. My favorite was her family recipe for Pecan Tassies.

My Great-Grandmother's family recipe for pecan tassies!

I would eat some tassies in the car on the way back to my grandparents’ house; I would eat some on the plane home; and I would eat some straight from the freezer at home, my signature impatience getting the best of me. I can tell you from personal experience that they taste amazing frozen, so don’t think you’ll just pop half in the freezer for a later date because the freezer is no deterrent! My fiancé can now attest that that fact.

My Great-Grandmother's family recipe for pecan tassies!

Until I whipped up my first test batch of pecan tassies for our wedding I hadn’t eaten one in over 15 years, but I could still describe to you exactly how my favorite childhood dessert tasted. My first bite of that test batch transported me to Berryville, Virginia onto my Great-grandmother’s front porch. If I closed my eyes I could feel the porch swing gently gliding back and forth. As a burst of sweet pecan pie filling hit my taste buds, I was already reaching for the next one. The unique cream cheese crust is tender and flakey. There is no stopping at just one. My fiancé can also attest to that fact!

My Great-Grandmother's family recipe for pecan tassies!

These aren’t just mini pecan pies. No, no. Let me clear that up right now. These are the perfect ratio of flavorful crust to brown sugar filling to pecan topping. It just cannot be achieved any other way.

It’s small town America, love-infused, home-cooked perfection.

My Great-Grandmother's family recipe for pecan tassies!

In case you haven’t figured it out these were an instant smash hit with my fiancé (soon to be husband later today!). After just one bite they were tagged with my fiancé’s Seal of Approval, which is harder to get than one from Good Housekeeping! Every time he eats one, he exclaims, “But they’re sooo goood!” It makes me melt every time. Just like these magnificent Pecan Tassies!

IMG_1976

RoRo’s Original Card

P.S. – Today is finally the day! You know the one I’ve been talking about for months and months and months!

My Great-Grandmother Rosa’s Pecan Tassies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 24

My Great-Grandmother Rosa’s Pecan Tassies

These Pecan Tassies are like miniature pecan pies with a sensational cream cheese crust. They are sweet and completely addicting!

Ingredients

    Shells:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup flour
  • Filing:
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. To make the Shells:
  3. Sift flour into a medium sized bowl. Cut butter into small cubes and add to flour. Add the cream cheese and cut the butter and cheese into the flour with two knives or a pastry blender. Continue until the dough holds together. Since we aren’t adding any additional liquid, you’ll want to continue to blend way past the stage at which you would normally stop with a pie crust.
  4. Gather the crust into a ball and divide into 24 little pieces. I used a kitchen scale and a board scraper to speed up the task but I’m sure RoRo tore little pieces off by sight.
  5. Press each piece into one cup of a miniature muffin tin to create a little crust.
  6. To make the Filling:
  7. Mix egg, vanilla, sugar and butter together until no lumps remain.
  8. To assemble the Pecan Tassies:
  9. Sprinkle a few pecan pieces in the bottom of each shell. Pour the filling into each cup until the filling is just below the top rim of the shell.
  10. Sprinkle pecan pieces over the top of each tassie.
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 24-25 minutes.
  12. Let cool in the pan completely before removing. Twist and lift to remove!

Notes:

I never had the opportunity to watch RoRo make these tassies, so I had to read her card and do some experimentation. I like salted butter in the filling, but I doubt she used two different types of butter. I sifted my flour and I used way fewer pecans. I used the whole 2/3 cup in one test batch and I didn’t like them as much. Use to your taste!

http://americanheritagecooking.com/2013/10/pecan-tassies/

More Tempting Holiday Dessert Recipes:

Traditional Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

 

Easy, Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

Easy Foolproof Pumpkin PieSalted Caramel Butter Bars

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Maple Caramel Pecan Bars {These are soooooooo gooood!}

Maple Pecan Brown Butter BlondiesClassic Pecan Pie

Classic Pecan PieSalted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

Heritage Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

Mary Randolph's Sweet Potato Pie


Comments

  1. says

    I’ve never heard that word before – “tassies” 🙂 but loved reading the story behind this dessert! What a perfect Fall treat! My favorite part was your great-grandmother’s hand-written recipe card. Wow – what a treasure!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks Julia! They are so amazingly delicious! I love the recipe card too! I actually love all old, handwritten recipe cards but I’m weird like that 🙂

      • Cara says

        I love that you have your grandmother’s recipe card, too-water (and maybe vanilla?)stains and all! Gone are those days when people would share recipes by writing them out on those cards with their beautiful penmanship! Now it’s all computers or IPads and maybe printing it out! lol
        I have always called them Pecan Tassies too but looking at your Grandmother’s writing it kind of looks like she wrote Pecan Passies? Do you think where she lived they called them that? Or it was her own special name for them?

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Aww thanks! It was well worth the effort in the end! Aren’t they the cutest? Who can resist such an adorable dessert? (Who can resist any dessert for that matter?!)

  2. Franki Elliott says

    Having personally been special enough to receive two of these tassies I can attest to the fact that they taste so delicious that my taste buds are still happy 2 days later! Thank you for sharing them with us and thank you for the recipe!!! I love the card, and I too cherish old cards like this. I have a few from my grandmother that I value dearly. The cookies are beautiful, but so are you Lindsey!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thank you, Franki! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I hope you get a chance to make them and if you ever want to share any of those favorite recipes from your grandmother, I would love to try them!

  3. Heather says

    I totally used to eat these straight out of the freezer too… and RoRo’s peanut butter cookies…. so much enjoyed these as favors at your wedding, brought back memories for me too! (and happily I got an extra package from your mom’s house!!)

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Aren’t they so good frozen!?! Oh those PB cookies were amazing too – I don’t have that recipe but it will go on my list! I’m glad you snagged an extra package…I took two!

  4. Susan says

    They were the best take away gift ever Lindsey, you did a fabulous job! Beautiful bride & beautiful wedding! Will always cherish my memories of the night!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      *Blushing* You are so sweet, Susan! I’m so glad that you were able to be there! I’m glad you enjoyed them. They got Granddad’s approval, so I consider that a win!

  5. says

    Haha aww that recipe card! So much love all over it 🙂 These sound fabulous – and you are a crazy lady for making all of those! Your guests had to be so excited, such a sweet idea!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks! A tad crazy but it was so worth it! It got my grandfather’s approval which that’s more than I could have hoped for! Shhh don’t tell anyone but he said they were better than RoRo’s.

  6. says

    I just spent at least 3 hours making 48 tassies. Wow! Lindsey, how did you do 408 of these the week of your wedding and manage to look fresh and beautiful on your wedding day? I am NOT taking these to my cookie exchange!! I have to have 60 that day. These will go only to special people. I can’t wait to eat one!!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      lol! I don’t even want to tell you how many I made leading up to the wedding just to make sure they were perfect! When my Grandfather told me they were better than his mother, RoRo, ever made them, I could have died of happiness! They took patience, love and lots of Country music!

  7. says

    Oh my!! Just munched my first one. Divine!! These are definitely NOT going to the cookie exchange. Some of the ladies come with store boughten cookies. One comment – I did save some time by using a Cuisinart for the pastry instead of an old fashioned pastry cutter, and they were fine. Yum, yum!!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I’m so glad you made them and love them as much as I do!! As you are well aware, there was a tad bit of stress involved with making (and packaging) 408 tassies! I’m glad you tried them with the Cuisinart, and trust you when you say they turned out fine! I am fully in support of you keeping them for special friends (or all for yourself…no judgement here!). Who brings store-bought cookies to a cookie exchange? For shame!

  8. Barb Hostetler says

    When I saw that recipe card I new this recipe had to be great! Had this recipe year ago will give it another try. That was the sweetest gift for you wedding guests! Have a happy life!! 🙂

    • Lindsey says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Grace! They are still my favorites too! Thanks for stopping back to leave such a sweet comment!

  9. Cindy says

    My mom made these for my wedding in 1981. And many other cookies. When I saw your recipe, I dug hers out and compared them. They matched! These are sooooo delicious. I especially miss her at Christmas when we all enjoyed all her treats. TY for stirring up memories.

    • Lindsey says

      No way! That is crazy, Cindy! What a wonderful thing for your mom to do! Thank you for your lovely comment filled with memories. You should make them in her memory! Happy holidays!

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