Food & dining
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    Recipe for Pecan tassies

    Rick McKee/Gibbs Smith

    Makes 24

    If you have a tart tamper (a wooden dowel that comes with different- size rounded ends), use it to press the dough into the bottoms and sides of miniature muffin tins or tartlet molds. Otherwise use your fingertips.


    1cup flour
    ½cup unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and
    3ounces cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces and chilled

    1. Before measuring the flour, whisk a portion of flour in the container to lighten it. Take a large spoon and scoop up the flour from the container and slide it into a dry measuring cup. When full, level off any excess flour with the back of a knife. Add the flour to a food processor.


    2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like oatmeal. Add the cream cheese and pulse quickly until the mixture turns into a dough. Scrape the dough onto a long sheet of plastic wrap or onto a large plastic bag. Keeping all sides of the dough covered, press the dough into a smooth, flat disk about 8 inches in diameter.

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    3. Transfer the dough to a clean plastic bag or wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or for up to 5 days.


    ½cup packed light or dark brown sugar
    1tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1teaspoon bourbon extract, bourbon, or vanilla
    teaspoon salt
    cup chopped pecans

    1. Have on hand 24 miniature muffin cups or individual tartlet molds. Set them on a rimmed baking sheet.

    2. Divide the dough into 24 equal balls. Chill the balls for 30 minutes. Move the balls to the cups or molds. Press the dough into the bottom and sides. Refrigerate the baking sheet of molds while preparing the filling. If any of the pastry cracks during refrigeration, press a small amount of dough onto the crack to mend it.


    3. Set the oven at 325 degrees.

    4. In a bowl, beat together egg, brown sugar, butter, extract, and salt until all the lumps are gone. Place half the pecans in the dough-lined pans and carefully spoon in the egg mixture, taking care to keep the filling below the top edges of the dough to prevent it from slipping under the dough. Dot with the remaining pecans.

    5. Bake the tassies for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the tassies from the pans while they are still warm. If tassies are reluctant to come out of the pan, insert a small knife between the pastry and the pan to ease them out. Adapted from “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking”