Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Cookie #1 - Pecan Pie Tartlets

Let the Christmas Cookie Baking Begin!! Our Goal over the next 18 days before Christmas is to give you 10 different cookie recipes. This seems achievable between 4 people but we will see how it goes. Once the holiday hustle and bustle of decorating  shopping, and wrapping takes over all bets are off. These pecan pie tartlets are the perfect way to begin your holiday baking. Try them tonight as you decorate your tree or address all your Christmas cards they are the perfect combination of sticky and sweet. Happy Holidays!!

Ingredients for the Crust
4oz Cream Cheese - Softened
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter - Softened
1 Cup Flour
2 Tbsp Confectioners Sugar
1/8 Tsp Salt
Pam Spray

Ingredients for the Filling:
2 Cups Chopped Pecans
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Honey
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream

This is a combination of 2 different recipes: The crust is from Shape Magazine & The filling is from

Start by beating the softened cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Combine until creamy at a medium speed. While it is mixing add the salt & confectioner's sugar. Gradually add the flour little by little, you will see the dough begin to form. I stopped mid way through and used a spatula to scrap some of the dough from the sides of the bowl. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and put it in the fridge to harden for at least 3 hours.
Once the dough is firm, begin sectioning it off and rolling it into 24 individual balls. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a mini muffin tray with Pam and set aside. Try and make all the balls the same side if possible. I was originally worried that the dough wouldn't be sweet enough but since the pecan pie filling is super sweet it actually balanced it out nicely.
Take each individual ball and flatten it out. Place the flattened balls into each mini muffin opening. Once they are all in place go back and gently push the dough into the creases and up onto the sides of the opening. When you are done place the tray in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
In a large pan over medium heat begin melting the butter for the filling, stirring constantly. Add the heavy cream, and honey continue stirring. Gradually add the brown sugar letting most of it melt before adding more. Keep stirring the entire time so nothing burns.
Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it simmer for 1 minute stirring the whole time. Mix in the pecans and take the pan off of the heat.
Immediately spoon the mixture into each indivudal tartlet, be careful not to burn yourself as it will be very hot. Fill your tartles to the top of the pan. I over filled my tartlets with heaping spoonfuls and used the entire pecan pie mixture so in the oven the filling bubbled over and made a complete mess. I had to cut out each tartlet out with a knife and remove the extra carmel so learn from my mistake and don't over fill them. Bake for 20 mintues until crust is golden brown and pecan pie filing is bubbling. Let cool completely in the pan.

Enjoy!! - Nicole

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