Christmas is a very special time of year in our house. First and foremost is the celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus. The music and the readings at Mass at this time of year are beautiful. I love Christmas Day when the trumpet joins in with the choir. Such a blessed and joyous time of the year!
It also the time to gather with friends and family. We have plans for dinners with our peeps, cocktails with friend’s, post Christmas party with family to keep the spirit of the holiday the whole season through. Our first gathering of the season was my niece’s 2nd annual cookie exchange last night. While it was a small gathering with two of my niece’s, my daughter, my two sisters, one of my sister in laws, my neighbor “Giada from across the street”, my great niece, great nephew and a friend of my niece (the host), all cookie types were well represented.
I remembered that last year there were an over abundance of butter balls so I dug back deep in the recipe file for some classic pecan tassies. This was a recipe I received when I had a Pampered Chef party and purchased the mini muffin tin. I learned a very important lesson preparing for this exchange – don’t try to save time and double the batches. If you need more than the recipe calls for take the time and make separate batches.
We found these great boxes at a local kitchen store and packed each one with 8 cookies. My recipe only makes 24 cookies so the 3 batches gave me 9 sets, 6 for exchanges and the rest for eating!
It was a great party and the cookies are going fast. The boys got into them as soon as they got home.
- Tart Shells
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
- Powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. For tart shells, beat butter and cream cheese in bowl until well blended. Add flour; mix until a soft dough forms.
Using Small Scoop, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls of dough into ungreased cups of Mini-Muffin Pan. Dip Mini-Tart Shaper in flour; press into dough with even pressure until dough rises slightly above rim of pan.
For filling, place butter in Small Batter Bowl; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Finely chop pecans using Food Chopper; add to batter bowl and mix well.
Using Small Scoop, fill each tart shell with level scoop of filling (do not overfill). Bake 17-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven; cool in pan 3 minutes. Remove from pan to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Yield: 24 servings of 1 tart