So I went Christmas shopping with my brother yesterday and let me tell you, nothing makes you feel like more of a dud than watching as someone buys all of the best gifts ever while you have yet to feel inspired to buy anything. That’s right… I have not bought one single present this year. Not one. I am totally uninspired. Usually by now I have all of my gifts bought, wrapped and tucked neatly under the tree. Not only that, I’m usually pretty darn excited about the gifts I’ve gotten people because I know that they are going to love them. This year though, I can’t think of anything cool to get for anyone. My brother, on the other hand, has bought some of the best gifts ever for people. He’s like the rock star of Christmas gifts. I don’t even know where he comes up with his ideas! We walked clear through the mall together and all I came out with was an iced tea from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. To be fair, the only thing my brother bought from the mall came from the food court and was not a gift, but he had major success other places while I did not.
Anyway, failures in shopping call for indulgences elsewhere, so I hope you enjoy this little recipe for Pecan Tassies. A little side note about the recipe… You know how people always say that you should only cook with wine that you would enjoy drinking because a higher quality wine is going to have a better end product. Well right around Thanksgiving, when I was making the filling for this recipe I thought that the addition of a shot of bourbon might add a nice flavor but when I went to get the little bottle of bourbon that I use for cooking at my mom’s house I discovered that someone had drank it all (I don’t drink bourbon, so it was not me). My brother felt bad for my misfortune and didn’t want me to have to go to the store to buy more when I was already in the middle of baking (especially since I only needed 1 Tablespoon). So he offered up his Johnnie Walker Blue Label (I think I may have discovered the guilty party, but because Johnnie Walker Blue is so superior to any bourbon that I would have purchased for baking, I decided that I needed to choose my battles and this was not going to be one of them). These are super tasty and would be a great addition to a nut-lovers holiday cookie tray. They’re like little one bite pecan pies.
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon really good whiskey (Johnnie Walker Blue Label was fabulous)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- To make the dough, process pecans in a food processor until finely ground.
- In a large bowl combine the finely ground pecans, gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, sugar and salt.
- Add in the butter and cream cheese and mix well (I used my hands).
- Form dough into thirty-six (3 dozen) 1-inch balls.
- Press the dough into the bottoms and up the sides of mini muffin tins and set aside while you make the filling.
- To make the filling whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, butter whiskey and salt.
- Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Fill each mini-crust to the top.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cool completely in muffin tins before removing.