I love pecan pie. Love it. But it’s kind of a mess to eat. Pie in general, really. So this year, with the number of my husband’s relative descending upon our house growing by the day, I have decided to forego traditional pie in favor of pie-alternatives, or finger-pie. That is, pie you can eat with one hand and no fork.
This recipe is for something called a “nut cup.” At least, that’s what my former news editor Bob Ohap told me it was called. I worked with Bob in Rapid City, S.D., and he was a great news editor because he understood the importance of having an M&M dispenser on his desk and frequently bringing in treats. People in power should always provide snacks, this is one of my management rules. It’s just so darn good for moral.
Anyway, one day Bob brought in these tiny little cupcake-shaped pieces of joy, courtesy of his wife, Peggy. They are about as bad for you as can be — the dough is cream cheese, butter and flour. Holy crap. But they are so good. If you have any willpower, you’ll be able to portion-control. If not, well, there’s always the day after Thanksgiving to work on it.
Peggy uses a miniature cupcake/muffin tin for these, but if you don’t have one, you can just make slightly bigger ones in a regular-sized muffin pan.
Peggy’s Pecan Tassies
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 tbsps butter
2 1/4 tsps vanilla
2 1/4 cups chopped pecans
1 pound of cream cheese
3 sticks margarine
3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix filling and let stand. Combine ingredients for dough. Roll into 1 inch balls and press into small muffin pan (to make small muffins — not a small pan), lined with muffin-cup liners or well-greased. Fill with the nut mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes.