Tea Time Tassies – A Holiday Tradition
Holiday baking was always something that involved weeks of planning and prep – and lots of freezer room for all the confections that would be needed for the big day and all the family visiting. Baked goods to represent the the Lugar (Croatian) and Curry (Lebanese) side of our family would be created and squirreled away in the freezer. Or, as was often the case at this time of year, the garage would be rearranged to house long tables that could hold all the mountains of food. In the mountains of western Pennsylvania it was typically cold enough by this time of year that garages and closed in porches worked just as well for keeping your food refrigerated/frozen.
Every holiday, I remember all those wonderful delicacies so vividly that I can often taste the memory itself. Even though we do holiday baking, it doesn’t hold a candle to the baking of my childhood, as Mom had to prepare for the army of family (you have to remember there were six siblings on my Mom’s side, and 17 living siblings on my Dad’s side, with most of them living in the area), friends, and neighbors that would visit during the weeks between Western Christmas (December 25), to New Year’s (January 1), to Orthodox (Eastern) Christmas (January 7). People don’t seem to visit now to the same extent they did way they did back then (something that I REALLY wish would make a resurgence), so I typically just make the items that my tribe say they need to make it feel like “Christmas”.
This year, as I was prepping for my contribution to our Thanksgiving feast and items I could make for the Grinch’s band fundraiser at the beginning of December, I found my Mom’s recipe for one of her favorite holiday cookies, Tea Time Tassies.
These are essentially light, tiny Pecan pies – and if I made them for the holidays I would be the only one in my tribe that would eat them, and that would NOT be a good thing! BUT – since I needed to bake cookies for the Grinch’s Santa Breakast the first Saturday in December, I thought, “This is prefect! I can bake a batch and just keep a one or two (OK — six) for myself!” I even made a second batch for Chai Time! Neither batch were nearly as pretty as the ones Mom would make, but they tasted just like I remembered.
Tea Time Tassies
One of my Mom's infamous holiday classics! They remind me of mini pecan pies.
- 6 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cup flour sifted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 T butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup pecans chopped
Mix together softened cream cheese and butter
Mix in flour as you would a pie dough
Chill for one hour
Shape into 24 - one inch balls. and place each piece of dough in a mini muffin tin. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of each tin (like a small cup or pie crust)
Beat together eggs, sugar, butter and vamilla.
Divide pecans. Place 1/2 in each pastry tin. Add filling, and top with remaining pecans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes