One year, my cousin brought these to our Thanksgiving meal. Before this experience, I believed that I didn’t like things like pecan pie. And honestly? I’m not sure if I like pecan pie or not. I’ve still never actually had a slice. You see, I may have talked about this before, but I grew up in a house where only my mom cooked. And if my mom didn’t like something, she didn’t cook it. She didn’t like pecan pie. Or pumpkin, or brussel sprouts, or sweet potatoes, or various other things that stunted the growth of the immature foodie-to-be in me. She also wasn’t/isn’t really a big fan of baking (I know, right?! Who is this person and how did she spawn me??) so needless to say, she never made or bought a pecan pie, regardless of how many folks think it’s a staple around the holiday season.
That brings me back to these little babies. These little darlings. I maybe ate the entire batch of these the year my cousin brought them. Cream cheese in the crust? Brown sugar and butter and pecans in the filling? Yes, please. Sign me up quick, fast, in a hurry! I begged her for the recipe and she gave it to me and boy, oh boy, has my life been ever changed. If you haven’t had one of these before, please, please, try them. You won’t regret it. Well, you might. If you like your waistline to stay like it is and not be ever-expanding. But hey, it’s Thanksgiving. That means the calories don’t count, right? Right! Let’s do this…
Makes about 24
For the crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
For the filling:
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan pieces
- For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan.
- Beat together butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes on medium until light and fluffy. Then add flour and mix until a soft dough begins to form. You may have to use your hands to bring the dough together at the end.
- Shape dough into approximately 1 inch balls and place in prepared mini muffin pan. Using a rounded shaper or your fingers, press down to make the dough balls into little crusts for each mini muffin cup. I use the wooden end of my pizza cutter and it works perfectly to form the crusts but I have used my fingers to mold each ball into a crust, as well. If using a shaper, dip it in flour each time to prevent sticking. Also liberally flour hands if using fingers to mold each crust. Set aside and make filling.
- For the filling: Stir together butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add in pecan pieces and stir until mixed.
- Fill each crust with a scant teaspoon full of filling, taking care not to over fill. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Once baked, cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Source: The Pampered Chef
PS. Since this is a Pampered Chef recipe, I feel the need to note that our friend, Paula at All Things Moms is a Pampered Chef consultant. This recipe (and many others!) would be made much easier by utilizing some of their amazing products so please see her for any and all of your kitchen needs!