Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tea Time Tassies

As I continue my venture into old timey recipes, I decided to celebrate the Christmas season by baking my great-grandmother’s favorite cookies, Tea Time Tassies. My great aunt Fran who is coming to visit us for Christmas requested these, saying they are just delicious. Mom remembers making these and M&M cookies with Na-Na at Christmas time. She says they taste just like mini pecan pies. So, after hearing rave reviews on taste and presentation (they are just precious according to Mom) I decided to start the recipe. Although it calls for 3 sticks of butter, I’m sure it will be worth it. And isn’t that why New Year’s comes after Christmas? So we can work off all the holiday weight? I think yes, so let the baking begin.

Tea Time Tassies

1 3-oz package cream cheese
1½ lb butter*
1 c flour
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 dash salt
1 c nuts (pecans chopped)

Blend cream cheese, 1 stick of butter (½ cup), and 1 cup flour over slow heat. Put in refrigerator for 1 hour*. Pinch off balls of pastry and spread with fingers into small muffin tins. Beat 1 lb soft butter, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and salt. Then add nuts. Put mixture into pastry shells. Bake at 325° for about 25 minutes or until light brown.

This was one of the first recipes where I noticed a major difference from baking recipes we use today. It called for oleo instead of butter. Oleo is made from vegetable oils and can be a substitute for butter. The recipe says to put in the dough in the refrigerator for an hour, but I popped in the freezer for *30 minutes. After all, we want everything instantaneously nowadays.

Even though I have made a few of my own changes, it would be nice to have Na-Na here guiding me along the way. A few mistakes took place today. I should have filled the shells half-way. I went a little overboard and filled them to the top, causing them to overflow the tins in the oven. I would also not put so much dough in each muffin tin. You only need a marble size of dough per tin. They turned out warm, sweet, and quite yummy. But had a little too much dough. The filling was great except for the slight disaster in presentation, however the flavors in the recipe are definitely a hit!

Making these precious little treats was a fun adventure, that probably needs repeating. While creating this dessert, I wondered why they are called “tassies”. After getting 33,000 Google search, I finally came to an answer. Tassies are in fact miniature pecan pies made with a cream cheese dough. Simple enough, and quite delicious! Thank you Na-Na!

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