Monday, March 12, 2012

March is a sonovobitch. Weather-wise it's a total tease, vacillating between bright, warm days and the occasional resurgence of winter. Like an exboyfriend, it waltzes in and out of your life, controlling your every emotion and keeping you in a holding pattern. It goes this way for a while, before easing into Spring, when we forgive it for its bad behaviour and forget all about the stinking thing for 11 glorious months.

I find I do a lot of baking in these in-between times. November and March. The transitional months. Neither here nor there, it's time to hunker down with cookies and squares. And today I tried something new. Martha Stewart's Pecan Tassies. Somewhere between a tart, a muffin and a cookie, they're like tiny, one-bite pecan pies. Sort of. 

Pecan Tassies

1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

1 large egg
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make the dough: Process pecans in a food processor until finely ground (you should have about 1/3 cup); set aside.

Put mascarpone and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour, ground pecans, and salt; mix just until dough comes together. Alternatively, stir together ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.

Roll dough into sixteen 1-inch balls, and press into bottoms and up sides of cups of mini-muffin tins.

Make the filling: Whisk the egg, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, butter, and salt in a small bowl. Stir in pecans. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into each muffin cup.

Bake pecan tassies until crust begins to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on wire rack. Unmold. Pecan tassies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days.

I did not use an electric mixer. Good old fashioned elbow-grease. Also, the recipe doesn't specify, but be sure to keep your crust-cups as thin as possible. Press the dough until the walls of the cup are good and thin. I think mine have an unsuccessful crust/filling ratio. 

Peanut Butter and Honey (March 29, 2011)
Sweet and Salty (March 28, 2011)
On Cookies (April 13, 2011)


  1. I can vouch for these. Delicious.Worth making.

  2. These look brill. Follow you on Insta and felt it was about time I stopped in to see your work. Lovely stuff!

  3. Your pics are amazing, I always love desserts with pecans.

  4. Gah! I am definitely making these. Hopefully my crazy European oven doesn't let me down.

  5. How do you even have beautiful COOLING RACKS?!? You made me want to make these and I don't even like pecan pie.