Well, here we are again; it’s almost Thanksgiving and Holiday Season. Our friends and neighbors have returned to spend the winter with us and we may wish to have something to serve as a dessert or with coffee in the morning. I have just the thing! A small two-bite delicacy that takes the place of baking a whole pecan pie and then having it fall apart when you slice it. This will become one of your favorites for company, unit parties, snack for the grandkids, and yourself. If you have any leftover, they freeze well.
For the Tart Shells:
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
¾ cup packed brown sugar (dark is best)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped (or buy already chopped pecans)
Powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the tart shells: beat butter and cream cheese in a batter bowl until well blended. Add flour and mix until a soft dough forms.
- Use a small scoop, or your fingers, to shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls into ungreased cups of a mini-muffin pan. You could spray the muffin tins with a small amount of PAM spray if you do not have a nonstick pan and you don’t want the tart shells to stick. Dip a small jigger glass in flour; press into dough with even pressure until dough rises slightly above rim of the pan.
- For filling, place butter in a small bowl; microwave on high 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Use a food chopper to chop the pecans if you have not bought the already chopped pecans and add to the batter bowl and mix well.
- Using a small scoop or small spoon, fill each tart shell with a level amount of filling but do not overfill.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, cool in the pan about 3 minutes then cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Or, if you prefer, a small dab of whipped cream on top.