Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Baking: Two Kinds of Tassies

 Today I made two more holiday cookies. Both were tassies, cookies made in a mini muffin tin.
First up was one that seems to always make the final holiday baking list: Nut Tassies. This year, I used pecans (usually I use walnuts).
SP made the dough for me before he left for work. That was the easy part! I got to shape 24 round balls and then squish them into the bottoms and up the sides of each muffin cup.
Then I made the filling: brown sugar, vanilla, butter, egg, and pecans. This year, I vowed to not overfill the cups. Usually I spoon way too much filling in and then it bubbles over and all over the muffin pan and then I get to curse a lot while trying to chisel off a hard yet gooey and sticky mess.
I think I did a good job with filling the cups this year. I had only one very, very minor bubble over.

Originally, I wasn't going to make the nut tassies. I searched for other tassie recipes because I just had to use the mini muffin tin, but I was feeling pretty anti-nut cup this year. The mini muffin tin is like the holiday cookie cutters - it really only gets used once a year and if I don't use it, I feel kind of guilty for buying it in the first place (even if I did buy it 10 years ago). But then when I was taking inventory of our baking supplies, I found the bag of pecans. Since the only recipe I can think of for which we use pecans is these tassies, they made the final list.

Also making the final list: chocolate tassies.
As I said, I searched for tassie recipes to replace the nut tassies and I found several options. A pumpkin tassie, with or without nuts. Cranberry & nut tassies. Fruit tassies. Key lime pie like tassies. A chocolate peppermint tassie (which used marshmallow fluff in the mint filling!). In the end I opted for a Chocolate Cordial Tassie that is very similar to the Brownie Cups recipe I already have. But I changed the 'crust' of the cordial tassie.
The official crust for the Chocolate Cordial Tassie included cocoa and sugar with the flour, cream cheese, and butter, for a chocolate crust. But that didn't sound too great to me. I'm not sure why because normally, I really like chocolate. But sometimes a chocolate crust like that seems sort of... not chocolaty enough for me. So I decided to use the crust from the Brownie Cups recipe.
I liked the Chocolate Cordial Tassie recipe because the filling wasn't just chocolate brownie, it included a liquor for extra flavor. I chose kahlua. You could use Bailey's, Frangelico, Peppermint Schnappes, Grand Marnier, Chambord. These turned out yummy, but to be honest, the one I tasted didn't seem to have a very strong kahlua flavor. Maybe it's a flavor that comes out over time, as the cookie sits and all the flavors really interact...?
If you're going to make tassies, definitely splurge and buy the little paper baking cups. In the past, I scoffed at the idea of buying those mini paper baking cups because my muffin tin is non-stick. The paper cups really make it easier to get the cookies out of the muffin tin, especially the somewhat sticky nut tassies.

Nut Cups (Nut Tassies)

3 oz cream cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup flour

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine cream cheese, butter, and flour. Roll into 1 inch balls and press them into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared muffin cups.

Mix butter, vanilla, egg, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spoon into prepared dough cups. Do not overfill (do not fill all the way to the top) or else the filling will bubble over.

Bake 375 for 15-20 minutes, until crusts are golden. Makes 24.

Chocolate Cordial Tassies
Better Homes and Gardens

½ cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup flour
¼ cup cocoa

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon chocolate or coffee liqueur

2 tablespoons milk chocolate pieces

Beat ½ cup butter and cheese on high for 30 seconds. Beat in 1/3 cup sugar. Add flour and cocoa; beat till well combined. Cover and chill 1-2 hours or till easy to handle. Divide into 24 balls. Press each
ball onto bottom and up sides of ungreased 1¾-inch muffin cup.

Melt unsweetened chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in ½ cup sugar, egg, vanilla and liqueur. Divide evenly among cups. Bake at 325º about 25 minutes or till set. Cool slightly; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Melt milk chocolate. Spoon about ¼ teaspoon on center of each cup. Let chocolate set before serving, Makes 24. 

Brownie Cups

½ c butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
¾ c all-purpose flour
¼ c powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla
3 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 egg
Mix cup butter and cream cheese. Stir in flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pat scant 1 tablespoon dough in bottom and up side of each of 24 small muffin cups. Heat chocolate and 1 tablespoon margarine over low heat until melted; remove from heat. Stir in sugar and egg. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with chocolate mixture. Bake about 25 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool. Remove cups from pan.

Makes 24.


  1. Blogger needs a "like" button! :) Yummy!

  2. How do you get them out of the pan??

    1. I use the little baking cups and they lift right out of the pan, like cupcakes or muffins. If one sticks from any overflow, I take a toothpick to chisel a bit and coax it out.