Home » Recipes » Desserts » Aunt Betty’s Southern Pecan Tassies (Mini Pecan Pie Cookies)
closeup baked pecan tassies on parchment paper

Aunt Betty’s Southern Pecan Tassies (Mini Pecan Pie Cookies)

This super easy mini pecan tassies recipe was given to me by my (very dear) Great Aunt Betty♡ — one part flaky buttery cream cheese pastry crust and one part gooey, caramelly, nutty pecan filling. These delicious pecan tarts taste like mini pecan pies that you can eat in just two bites. Simple and classic this is the best pecan pie cookie recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time of year. Make them a day or two ahead, or freeze them in advance. If you love pecan pie as much as we do, you will LOVE these southern pecan tassies. Plus, they’re especially easy for beginner bakers and kiddos to make. 

 

My Aunt Betty has talked about “making tassies” and (how delicious they are) for years. She sent me her recipe last November and I failed to make them because I was busy working on other recipes. On the one hand, I’m glad I didn’t make them last year because by now, I would’ve probably baked and eaten my weight in these little pecan tarts. On the other hand, they’re SO delicious I can’t imagine not making them often.

In fact, I wanted to make them for a girls’ luncheon this past week because I wasn’t quite feeling “up to par” and needed something easy but still very delicious to take. So, I made them…easy 1, 2, 3…then progressively got sicker as the day went on, and was eventually unable to attend the party the next day. So I ended up eating at least half of this batch by myself over 3 days. This is so sad (or awesome), and it’s 100% true. I’ll be making them a little prettier next time, but no one will care if they look just like these (promise). 

What are Pecan Tassies?

Pecan tassies are the perfect holiday dessert to bake and take to any gathering whether it’s your office party or family celebration because they’re as easy to make as cookies, but taste like little pecan pies. Tassies (also called nut tassies) are often considered cookies, but they’re actually little tarts and are usually made in muffin tins or small tart pans.

Tassies are comprised of a cream cheese and butter pastry dough (that takes about 5 minutes to make and doesn’t need to be rolled out) and a perfectly caramel’y brown sugar butter filling with a familiar “pecan pie crunch” from rich nutty southern pecans. They’re delicious and I’ll be making these for the rest of my life (Thanks Aunt Betty & Kay♡).

Why We Love This Recipe for Pecan Tassies

  • It takes just minutes to prepare the cream cheese pastry dough
  • The pastry dough is very forgiving (even for new bakers)
  • You don’t have to roll out this pastry dough (you just press it in)
  • You can make these as pretty or sloppy as you want and they still taste great 
  • There are only 8 ingredients in these pecan tassie cookies
  • Taste like mini pecan pies (without having to worry if the filling sets!)
  • Make mini nut tassies to serve a crowd or muffin-size tassies for smaller groups
  • It’s an easy recipe for kiddos to help make
  • Tassies freeze really well making it a perfect recipe to make ahead and freeze for the holidays

Can you freeze Pecan Tassies?

Yes, you can freeze pecan tassies which makes this recipe one of the best cookie-like desserts to make for the holidays. Allow the cookies to cool completely and layer them between parchment paper or freezer paper in freezer containers with lids. Freeze for up to 3 months (they probably won’t last that long though). Remove them from the freezer and allow them to rest at room temperature until thawed and serve.

 

Tips for Making the Best Pecan Tassies (Plus a Few Substitutions & Customizations) 

How Much Pecan Filling Should I Put in Each of the Pecan Tassies?

If you’re making mini pecan tassies in a mini muffin tin, you’ll need to add a little less than 1 tablespoon (give or take) to fill the tassies. If you use regular muffin tins, be sure to fill the cups about 1/4 inch below the tops to allow room for the filling to expand and puff up during baking. Whatever pan you use, be sure not to overfill them or they’ll overflow while baking. If that happens though, don’t worry (it’s happened to me) — as soon as you remove the pan from the oven to a cooling rack, use a small spatula or spoon to scrape the filling back onto the tops of the tassies so that it will be easier to release them from the pan to finish cooling. 

How Can You Remove Pecan Tassies From the Muffin Tin or Tart Pan?

Baking pecan tassies requires you to either use a paper muffin mold to bake them in OR to butter or spray the muffin tin or tart pans well before placing the pastry dough in and shaping it into a “cup”. Making sure the pans are greased well and not adding too much filling will ensure an easy release from the pans once the tassies have finished baking. I like to use a small offset spatula or paring knife to loosen the edges of each tassie as soon as I remove them from the oven. I then allow them to cool for about 2 minutes and then tilt the pan a little to allow gravity to help them release. If tassies seem to be stuck, I’ll tilt the pan and also use the offset spatula to help carefully pry them out.

What Can I do With Extra Pecan Tassie Filling?

It’s not uncommon to sometimes have just a bit more pecan tassie filling left over than what will fit into your pastry cups and this can happen for a few reasons. Sometimes it’s because the dough wasn’t exactly portioned correctly leaving you without being able to fill all slots in the muffin or tart pan. Sometimes it happens because you didn’t press the dough in well enough to make a “cup” that would then be able to hold the right amount of filling. Or it might even be because you added too many pecans. You’ll be happy to know none of this matters and you can still bake up that last bit of pecan tassie filling so it doesn’t go to waste. Depending on how much filling you have left (and whether you have any unfilled spots in your muffin tin you can do either of the following:

  • Add a cupcake liner to the empty muffin tin slots and pour in the filling and bake.
  • Fill a small buttered ramekin and bake it alongside the tassies in the pan which essentially produces a gluten-free pecan tassie. Then spoon it over vanilla bean ice cream. 

How Can You Customize Pecan Tassies?

Pecan tassies are essentially just delicious pecan tarts. If you want, you can add extra ingredients to compliment the pecans, substitute a different nut altogether, or switch out the filling. Below are a few easy ways to customize pecan tassies and/or make mini fruit tarts instead. Add your favorite nuts, like walnuts or cashews. You can also try adding mini chocolate chips or pineapple and coconut.

  • Substitute 1/4 cup of pecans with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to make chocolate pecan tassies.
  • Add 1/4 cup unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut to make coconut pecan tassies.
  • Add 1/4 cup of ground pecans to the cream cheese dough for even more nutty pecan flavor. 
  • Make bourbon pecan tassies by adding 1 teaspoon (5g) of bourbon to the filling.
  • Substitute all or a portion of the pecans for another nut like almonds, peanuts, pinenuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or pistachios to make tassie mixed nut tarts.
  • Replace the nut filling altogether and use your favorite pie filling like pecan pie filling, apple pie filling, cherry pie filling, or pumpkin pie filling to make mini fruit tarts.
  • Substitute mascarpone or Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese in the pastry dough.
  • If you’re having trouble pressing the dough into the muffin tin, chill the portioned balls of dough for 15 or 20 minutes longer and then press them into the baking pan.
  • Use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe, or substitute white sugar minus one tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon of molasses. 
  • If you don’t want to worry at all about whether or not the tassies will release from their pan, use cupcake liners (even though if you butter the pans well, you really don’t have to worry about them releasing).
  • Use the scoop and level method when measuring the flour to ensure you don’t add too much. The dough should not be crumbly, but rather a little stretchy or springy.

How Long to Bake Pecan Tassies

You may bake tassies a couple of different ways —  at 350°F/180°C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set. OR You may bake the tassies at 375°F/190° for 15 to 20 minutes. They turn out great either way. If you prefer a light blonde crust or if your oven bakes a little too hot, I suggest baking them at 350°F/180°C. No matter which temperature you decide to bake them on, be sure to keep an eye on them checking periodically to ensure you reach the desired color on the pastry (and also to make sure the tops don’t get too brown before the crust has a chance to crisp up). At any point during baking if you think they’re browning too fast and your pastry isn’t golden brown enough, just cover them loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking them a few minutes longer until perfectly golden.

 

Pecan Tassie Ingredients

This pecan pie cookie-tart recipe consists of 8 ingredients and you probably have at least 7 of them in your kitchen already (and maybe even all eight ingredients if it’s currently the holidays). For the most balanced flavor, be sure to use a hint of salt to even out the sweetness of the filling. I exclusively bake with unsalted butter because it allows full control over any finished dish or dessert. However, if you’re using salted butter just omit the 1/8 teaspoon of salt called for in the recipe and instead add just a pinch of salt to the filling.

For the Cream Cheese Pastry Dough

  • all-purpose or 00 flour
  • butter
  • cream cheese

For the Filling

  • raw unsalted pecans
  • dark or light brown sugar
  • butter
  • egg
  • pure vanilla extract
  • salt

How to Make Easy Southern Pecan Tassies From Scratch

If you love pecan pie, but can’t stand the thought of making homemade pie crust from scratch, or you just need to feed a large crowd this year, these mini pecan tassies are the best (and easiest) pecan pie-like dessert you can make. If you’re really short on time, you can even just chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes and these tassies are still great (I’ve done it:), but if you have time, allow the dough to rest in the fridge for one hour before filling the pans. Easily double the recipe to make 48 pecan tassies. 

  1. Make the pastry dough. Add the cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or to a regular mixing bowl using a handheld mixer), and beat them until smooth and fluffy (1 to 2 minutes). With the mixer on low, add the flour a little at a time just until combined and no flour streaks remain. Cover and refrigerate, covered for one hour. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C & prepare the baking pan. Butter the muffin tin (or tart pan) well with butter or non-stick cooking spray to ensure full coverage.
  3. Make the filling. In a medium bowl, add all of the ingredients except pecans and whisk vigorously to combine until smooth. Add 2/3 cup of chopped pecans and stir them in to combine. Set aside.
  4. Fill the baking pan. Portion the dough equally into 24 pieces and roll them into balls. Press them evenly into and up around the sides of the pan to create a “cup” to hold the filling. Fill each cup evenly and sprinkle them evenly with remaining pecans. 
  5. Bake the tassies. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is slightly puffy and set. Tent the tassies loosely with aluminum foil if you notice the tops browning too much before the pastry is golden brown enough. Remove the tassies to a wire rack to cool for 2 minutes before removing them from the pan to finish cooling, Enjoy!

Best Pecan Tassies step-by-step recipe photos

Looking For a Few More Pecan Desserts?

Here are a few of our favorite recipes featuring pecans that we think you might also enjoy. 

Let’s get started!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
closeup baked pecan tassies on parchment paper

Aunt Betty’s Southern Pecan Tassies (Pecan Pie Cookies)


  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 to 24 Mini Pecan Tassies 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This super easy mini pecan tassies recipe was given to me by my (very dear) Great Aunt Betty♡ — one part flaky buttery cream cheese pastry crust and one part gooey, caramelly, nutty pecan filling. These delicious little pecan tarts taste like mini pecan pies that you can eat in just two bites. Simple and classic this is the best pecan pie cookie recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time of year. Make them a day or two ahead, or freeze them so it’s one less thing to bake during the holiday rush. If you love pecan pie as much as we do, you will LOVE these southern pecan tassies.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Cream Cheese Pastry Dough

  • 1 cup all-purpose or 00 flour (121g to 140g)*
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened (113g)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened (85g)

For the Filling

  • 1 cup raw unsalted pecans, chopped (125g)
  • 3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar (160g)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened (15g)
  • 1 large egg (50g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (5g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (0.5g) *sub a pinch of table salt or sea salt


Instructions

  1. Make the pastry dough. Add the cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or to a regular mixing bowl using a handheld mixer), and beat them until smooth and fluffy (1 to 2 minutes). With the mixer on low, add the flour a little at a time just until combined and no flour streaks remain. Cover and refrigerate, covered for one hour. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C & prepare the baking pan. Butter the muffin tin (or tart pan) well with butter or non-stick cooking spray to ensure full coverage.
  3. Make the filling. In a medium bowl, add all of the ingredients except pecans and whisk vigorously to combine until smooth. Add 2/3 cup of chopped pecans and stir them in to combine. Set aside.
  4. Fill the baking pan. Portion the dough equally into 24 pieces and roll them into balls. Press them evenly into and up around the sides of the pan to create a “cup” to hold the filling. Fill each cup evenly and sprinkle them evenly with remaining pecans. 
  5. Bake the tassies. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is slightly puffy and set. Tent the tassies loosely with aluminum foil if you notice the tops browning too much before the pastry is golden brown enough. Remove the tassies to a wire rack to cool for 2 minutes before removing them from the pan to finish cooling, Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you’re really short on time, you can even just chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes and these tassies are still great (I’ve done it:), but if you have time, allow the dough to rest in the fridge for one hour before filling the pans.
  • Easily double this recipe to make 48 pecan tassies. 
  • Freeze pecan tassies by first allowing cookies to cool completely, then layer them between parchment paper or freezer paper in freezer containers with lids and pop them into the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove them from the freezer and allow them to rest at room temperature until thawed and serve.
  • Do not be tempted to add sugar to the pastry dough because this is the balance to the sweet carmel nutty filling. Adding sugar would create an imbalanced too-sweet tassie. 

Tips for Making the Best Pecan Tassies (Plus a Few Substitutions & Customizations) 

How Much Pecan Filling Should I Put in Each of the Pecan Tassies?

If you’re making mini pecan tassies in a mini muffin tin, you’ll need to add a little less than 1 tablespoon (give or take) to fill the tassies. If you use regular muffin tins, be sure to fill the cups about 1/4 inch below the tops to allow room for the filling to expand and puff up during baking. Whatever pan you use, be sure not to overfill them or they’ll overflow while baking. If that happens though, don’t worry (it’s happened to me) — as soon as you remove the pan from the oven to a cooling rack, use a small spatula or spoon to scrape the filling back onto the tops of the tassies so that it will be easier to release them from the pan to finish cooling. 

How Can You Remove Pecan Tassies From the Muffin Tin or Tart Pan?

Baking pecan tassies requires you to either use a paper muffin mold to bake them in OR to butter or spray the muffin tin or tart pans well before placing the pastry dough in and shaping it into a “cup”. Making sure the pans are greased well and not adding too much filling will ensure an easy release from the pans once the tassies have finished baking. I like to use a small offset spatula or paring knife to loosen the edges of each tassie as soon as I remove them from the oven. I then allow them to cool for about 2 minutes and then tilt the pan a little to allow gravity to help them release. If tassies seem to be stuck, I’ll tilt the pan and also use the offset spatula to help carefully pry them out.

What Can I do With Extra Pecan Tassie Filling?

It’s not uncommon to sometimes have just a bit more pecan tassie filling left over than what will fit into your pastry cups and this can happen for a few reasons. Sometimes it’s because the dough wasn’t exactly portioned correctly leaving you without being able to fill all slots in the muffin or tart pan. Sometimes it happens because you didn’t press the dough in well enough to make a “cup” that would then be able to hold the right amount of filling. Or it might even be because you added too many pecans. You’ll be happy to know none of this matters and you can still bake up that last bit of pecan tassie filling so it doesn’t go to waste. Depending on how much filling you have left (and whether you have any unfilled spots in your muffin tin you can do either of the following:

  • Add a cupcake liner to the empty muffin tin slots and pour in the filling and bake.
  • Fill a small buttered ramekin and bake it alongside the tassies in the pan which essentially produces a gluten-free pecan tassie. Then spoon it over vanilla bean ice cream. 

How Can You Customize Pecan Tassies?

Pecan tassies are essentially just delicious pecan tarts. If you want, you can add extra ingredients to compliment the pecans, substitute a different nut altogether, or switch out the filling. Below are a few easy ways to customize pecan tassies and/or make mini fruit tarts instead. Add your favorite nuts, like walnuts or cashews. You can also try adding mini chocolate chips or pineapple and coconut.

  • Substitute 1/4 cup of pecans with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to make chocolate pecan tassies.
  • Add 1/4 cup unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut to make coconut pecan tassies.
  • Add 1/4 cup of ground pecans to the cream cheese dough for even more nutty pecan flavor. 
  • Make bourbon pecan tassies by adding 1 teaspoon (5g) of bourbon to the filling.
  • Substitute all or a portion of the pecans for another nut like almonds, peanuts, pinenuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or pistachios to make tassie mixed nut tarts.
  • Replace the nut filling altogether and use your favorite pie filling like pecan pie filling, apple pie filling, cherry pie filling, or pumpkin pie filling to make mini fruit tarts.
  • Substitute mascarpone or Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese in the pastry dough.
  • If you’re having trouble pressing the dough into the muffin tin, chill the portioned balls of dough for 15 or 20 minutes longer and then press them into the baking pan.
  • Use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe, or substitute white sugar minus one tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon of molasses. 
  • If you don’t want to worry at all about whether or not the tassies will release from their pan, use cupcake liners (even though if you butter the pans well, you really don’t have to worry about them releasing).
  • Use the scoop and level method when measuring the flour to ensure you don’t add too much. The dough should not be crumbly, but rather a little stretchy or springy.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Cookies + Bars
  • Method: Oven Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 Mini Pecan Tassies

Keywords: pecan desserts, best pecan tassie cookie recipe, pecan tassies easy, pecan tart easy, easy pecan tarts, mini pecan tarts, mini pecan tart recipe, easy pecan dessert recipes, pecan pie tassies, best pecan tassie recipe, easy pecan tassies recipe, christmas cookie recipe, best christmas cookie recipes, best thanksgiving cookie recipes, best cookie recipe, best cookies to make for a crowd, easy pecan cookies, easy pecan pie cookies, cream cheese pie crust, best cream cheese pie crust recipe,

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

*