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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!

https://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

59 Comments

  • Julia | JuliasAlbum.com
    October 13, 2013 at 3:15 am

    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!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 14, 2013 at 12:51 am

      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 🙂

      Reply
      • Cara
        December 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm

        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?

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          December 26, 2017 at 1:37 pm

          Hi Cara,

          I’m sorry I missed your comment so many years ago. You know what, it does look like my Great Grandmother wrote Pecan Passies! Maybe it was a typo? The casualty of handwritting everything? I do miss handwritten recipe cards but also I must say Dropbox is handy so I can have my recipes everywhere!

          Best,
          Lindsey

          Reply
          • Carol Sue
            November 18, 2018 at 9:48 pm

            It was definatly a T. It looks like my Grandmother’s writing. They swirled their letters.

          • Lindsey
            December 5, 2018 at 10:44 am

            Thank you Carol Sue! Their handwriting was really so beautiful – mine is atrocious!

      • Jenn
        December 16, 2017 at 11:10 am

        I started my search looking for the walnut roll ups I found them on your blog and then I venture through other cookies on your blog and I swear we must be family because all of your cookies from your grandmother seem to be the same cookies from mine!!!! It’s so awesome to see these recipes!!! I wrote the recipe when I was little so it just says splash of milk, sugar, walnuts, with no measurements! Finding this completes my cookie list!! Thank you! And I adore the handwritten card!!!

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          December 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm

          Hi Jenn,
          Oh I am so happy to read your comment! And delighted that you found recipes that remind you of your grandmother! Perhaps they baked from the same recipe books!

          Reply
    • Kristin
      October 12, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      I haven’t made these yet, but I bookmarked your recipe to make this weekend. These are my dad’s absolute favorite treat, & he hasn’t had one in several years after a dear family friend passed away. She used to whip up batches of several different kinds of Christmas treats & give a platter to our family. She made the most wonderful pecan tassies, but my dad would always claim most of them for himself. His 77th birthday is next week, so I wanted to bake some for myself to send to him & your recipe sounds like the perfect gift for him. There’s something to be said for these old recipes passed down from generations. I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for posting it!

      Reply
      • Lindsey
        December 26, 2017 at 11:43 pm

        That is a wonderful sentiment and idea Kristin! How did it go? I bet he was very pleased!

        Reply
  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    October 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    omg these are so sweet! I love the sentimental value!!

    but girl! You are much braver than I-baking these for your own wedding, poor thing!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 14, 2013 at 12:53 am

      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?!)

      Reply
  • Franki Elliott
    October 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      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!

      Reply
  • Heather
    October 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    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!!)

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      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!

      Reply
  • Dina
    October 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

    they look yummy! thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 17, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Thanks, Dina!

      Reply
  • Susan
    October 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      *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!

      Reply
  • Kristina
    October 20, 2013 at 10:54 am

    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!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      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.

      Reply
  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
    October 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Oh my gosh – these look sinfully delicious, rich and decadent. I can’t imagine making 408 of them – but I can imagine eating that many. 🙂 When can you send some over? Hahaha! Looks delish!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 22, 2013 at 4:25 am

      I’ll make you a deal: you send me some of your pumpkin cheesecake and I’ll send you pecan tassies!

      I can’t say that I will be baking 400 tassies again mostly because I would definitely be tempted to eat every last one!

      Reply
      • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
        October 22, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        Hahaha! Surprisingly – I can understand that. Maybe we can make them together and can each eat 200. I’m willing to share! :-)Great

        Reply
        • AmericanCooking22
          October 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

          Lol! You have a deal!

          Reply
  • […] ← Previous Next → […]

    Reply
  • Josephine@josephinehavlak.com
    December 13, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    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!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      December 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      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!

      Reply
  • Josephine@josephinehavlak.com
    December 14, 2013 at 12:10 am

    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!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      December 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      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!

      Reply
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    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 5, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m so fortunate to have loyal readers like you!

      Reply
  • […] how I told you that RoRo, my great-grandmother, would send home each relative home with his or her favorite […]

    Reply
  • […] year I was taste testing and practicing making my Great Grandmother’s Pecan Tassies for my wedding, so I had a constant supply of mini pecan pies in my freezer, which, in case you are […]

    Reply
  • Barb Hostetler
    November 17, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    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!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Thank you, Barb! The recipe card says it all!!! Packed full of a great-grandmother’s love 🙂

      Reply
  • Grace Thompson
    December 12, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Made these today and they are delicious! Best Pecan Tassie recipe I’ve tried…Its a keeper. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 21, 2015 at 12:48 pm

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

      Reply
  • Assortment Blog
    August 26, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    These Miniature Bites Of Pecan

    […] t my taste buds are still happy 2 days later! Thank you for sharing them with us […]

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  • Assorted Blog
    December 2, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    These Miniature Bites Of Pecan

    […] pe!!! I love the card, and I too cherish old cards like this. I have a few from […]

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  • Cindy
    December 10, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 20, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      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!

      Reply
  • Caramel Blog
    December 29, 2016 at 10:49 am

    These Miniature Bites Of Pecan

    […] e this. I have a few from my grandmother that I value dearly. The cookies are be […]

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  • Linda Williams
    November 3, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Thank You I misplaced my pecan tassie recipe when I moved hope to find it soon but this one looks to be the same one my mom made every Christmas

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 26, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      Wonderful, Linda! I’m so glad you found it

      Reply
  • […] like I had rediscovered the meditative art of baking, as well as its tasty results! I made some Pecan Tassies, orange curd tarts, mini quiches, and these sweet potato appetizers. By popular vote, I think the […]

    Reply
  • Ruth
    April 14, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    I love your pecan tassies recipe and the card itself brings back memories of patterns of yore…I’m 75 yrs old and have fond memories of family recipes like this although no pecan tassies were ever mentioned or made. My dh loves these and we’ll make them often. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 17, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      I am so glad you found the recipe Ruth! Isn’t the recipe card wonderful? A glimpse into a past life where the only way to keep recipes was handwritten in a box (or in your memory!). Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Barbara
    November 25, 2018 at 9:40 am

    My mom is 95 and this is her exact recipe for pecan tassies. Now I have been making them for 30 years. These old time recipes are still the best. They are delicious!!!!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 5, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I agree! Sometimes nothing beats the way generations past made them 🙂

      Reply
  • Teresa
    December 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Just made my dear mother-in-law’s Pecan Tassies recipe. Basically the same recipe :). I love seeing her handwriting and remembering her today. I cherish hand written, passed down recipes. So loved the picture you shared and your story. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      January 1, 2019 at 11:23 am

      I bet they got it from the same old cookbook or friend who used the same cookbook! I’ve looked for it in my old cookbooks but haven’t been able to find it. I wish I had been a little older when she was moved from her house into a nursing home because I bet she had some well-loved cookbooks that I wish I could pass down to the next generation. Blessings to you and your family! Happy New Year!

      Reply
      • Maria
        June 30, 2020 at 10:22 am

        This recipe looks to be from Better Homes and Gardens new Cook Book. The ingredients are even listed in the same order. Only difference, the recipe in the book calls for a bit less pecans (1/2 cup). I got the recipe from my sister who got it from a friend and have been making them for many years. Then low and behold, one day I was looking through one of my old cookbooks and there it was! My copy was printed in 1981 when margarine was popular, so that is also given as an option. But I prefer the butter. Always delicious.

        Reply
  • Millican Pecan
    June 25, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Tassies are a great alternative to a full slice of pie. I think I will try subbing the all-purpose flour with pecan meal/flour to create a gluten-free option. I have had recent success with this and hope to see if if works in your recipe. We’ll see! Either way, great recipe!!!

    Reply
  • Mary Alice Jansen
    October 13, 2019 at 12:01 am

    If using tart papers in tassi e pans would you bake in tbem or add later

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 21, 2019 at 11:14 am

      Hi! I’m not sure I totaly understand your question but these come out of the tins without papers, so if you want them for decoration, I would put them on after baking and cooling

      Reply
  • Diane
    November 12, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    I love that u have those old well used cards—I hope my daughter will cherish mine! I made my own crust but I tried this filling recipe n altho I made a mess filling it into the cups I must say that it was delicious n it has just the right sweetness I was going for.. Ty for sharing it !

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 21, 2019 at 10:50 am

      I am sure they will, Diane!

      Reply

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