Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mini Pecan Pies (Pecan Tassies)

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Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody



Mini Pecan Pies (or Pecan Tassies)
Makes 48 tassies

Tassie Filling
1 cup pecan halves
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour-measured by fluffing, scooping and leveling
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. Bourbon
Pinch salt
8 Tbsp.(4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
8 ounces cream cheese, cold
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., with an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Spray-grease three nonstick mini-muffin pans.

For the filling:
Chop the pecans to medium-fine dice. In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients.

For the pastry:

Place the flour, powdered sugar, Bourbon, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor bowl and pulse-process to mix the ingredients together. Cut the butter into 1/4 inch chunks, add to the processor and pulse on and off, until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Add the cream cheese, by tablespoonful to the processor. Pulse-process until the dough just starts to come together (about 10, 5-second bursts), and then turn it out onto a board. Press the dough together into a cohesive mass and then divide the dough into 48 balls.

Assembly:

The easiest way to press the dough into shape is to use a tart tamper, if not use your hands.

To use the tamper, place a ball in each cup and tamp down on each ball, lightly, just so that the dough is centered and fills the cup.

Dust the tamper with flour and then press down gently, and not all of the way to the bottom, just until the dough starts to curl around the top part of the tamper bulb. To get the tamper out of the dough, rock it side to side and pull up. Use the tamper to thin the edges of the tarts by patting it against the edges. Place the tamper back into the tart and push down until it bottoms out. Touch the bottom to make sure that it is neither too thin nor too thick, pushing the dough up or down to make it right. The dough in the bottom should not be so thin that you can see through it, nor so thick that it feels squishy when you touch it.

Place 1/2 rounded teaspoonful of nuts into each cup. Spoon in 1 1/2 to 2 tsp of the sugar/egg mixture, filling the tarts to within a scant 1/8-inch of the top. Do not fill the tarts up to the top, as the filling expands as it cooks and tarts that have overflowed are hard to remove from the pans after baking.

Place the pans on a cookie sheet and bake for 23-27 minutes, until the filling is puffed and the pastry is lightly browned. Remove the pans to a cooling rack. Let the pastry stand for 5 minutes. While the pastry is still warm, run a skewer along the top edge of the pastry to loosen it from the pan and then remove the tarts from the pans. Set the tarts on a cooling rack to cool completely.