Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pecan Tarts

Long ago, I found little mini-muffin pans at a store for a dollar each! I snapped up six of them. While I use them to make mini-muffins, mini-quiche, and to sort my vitamins, my favorite thing to use them for is to bake Pecan Tarts! These are a Christmas cookie tradition in our house.

The recipe is pretty simple, but they do take a bit of time. They are very much worth the extra effort, though! All you need is:
  • pie dough, enough for a double-crust pie (this will make about 4 dozen)
  • pecans, about 1.5 cups
  • just 1/3 of a recipe of pecan pie filling (I follow the recipe on the back of the corn syrup bottle, dividing everything by 3)
  • mini muffin tins
  • a just-the-right-size cookie cutter is very helpful, mine is just under 3" wide

First, make pie dough and chill, unless you are using store-bought dough. Next, mix up the pecan pie filling, using just 1/3 of each ingredient (I'll give you my measurements at the end!). I mix this little amount in a measuring cup to make it easy to fill the shells later.

Now for the fun! Roll out about half of the pie dough and cut into circles that will fit into your mini muffin pans. My cookie cutter has a nice scallop that make my little tarts look so cute! I also use this little wooden tamper tool I got from Pampered Chef several years ago. It makes the process of getting the dough to sit just right in the pan so much easier.

After all the pie dough is in the pans, put about a teaspoon or less in the bottom of each shell. (You will have filling left over.) I find that tipping the measuring cup slightly, but using a spoon to push a little bit of the liquid filling over the edge into the pie shell works well for me. Spooning into the shells can be messy. And pouring the filling will probably result in way too much. So helping it over the edge with a spoon gives more control over how much goes into the pie shell.

Place 2-3 pecan halves in each shell (more if your pans are bigger than mine). Bake for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Keep close watch on them so they don't burn! You do want them to be nicely browned.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then take the Pecan Tarts out of the pans and let them cool further on the wire rack.

If too much filling was used, the little pies may be stuck to the pan, seemingly forever. I have had this happen, and ended up turning all my cute little pies into crumbs trying to get them out. But, I have since figured out a trick... place each pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then the tarts should pop out just fine.

Don't they look good? Each one is about two bites, and not as sweet as traditional pecan pie. These are supposed to go with me tonight to a cookie exchange! If they make it there, I will have to make another recipe of them before Christmas. We love them!

Here is the recipe measurements for the filling:

  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 recipe of pie dough


Unknown said...

What a GREAT!!! price for something you use a lot. I love your recipe for pecan tarts. AWESOME!!!

Jenny said...

They ARE delicious!!! Thanks for bringing them to share tonight! Great to see you!!!

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Yum! Looks so good! Thanks for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my do these ever look nummy!.. I need to find me some of those little pans. Your pictures and details are so awesome. I am so going to try these.

Thank you!..

dawn said...

yummy!! i am going to have to try these!!

Anonymous said...

I may just have to try this! Thanks for posting on my cookie picture. I actually posted the recipe on my Beauty in all things blog just today! Hope you try them!

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