Teresa’s Bake Shop – Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2012
Pecan Treats are the BEST! The first time I tried these miniature Pecan Pies was shortly after John and I were married and his mom had them displayed on a beautiful 3-tiered candy dish along with pralines and some other goodies for the Christmas holidays. They were A-W-E-S-O-M-E!! I quickly got the recipe and have made them every year since for our annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza.
These scrumptious treats taste just like pecan pie with lots of pecans and brown sugar in a delicious cream cheese crust. We absolutely love these amazing miniature pies. John is the one who has made these for the last 20 years or so. He doesn’t mind helping me make all the recipes that are more work with extra steps, so you will see his hands making these tasty treats.
We made 448 of them this year so we were quite pooped out when we were finished (especially since we had baked about 1300 cookies that day)!
You can’t go wrong by having this delicious recipe as part of your Christmas cookie collection. When we think of Christmas baking this is the recipe that always comes to mind. I can’t remember one person ever disliking this recipe. It’s just wonderful. I think you will like it too if you don’t already have it.
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, Joan McNally. I have no idea where she originally found the recipe but I know she didn’t create it. It may have been off a pecan package at some point, but I don’t know for sure. Regardless, this is the perfect recipe for Christmas baking!
I will offer one suggestion for making these goodies: Don’t chill the dough before spreading it in the muffin tins, but do chill the pecan filling before putting it in the shells. It is much easier to work with this way.
When I initially published this recipe in November 2012, I was still using an iPhone for a camera. Unfortunately, my pictures just weren’t as sharp as I would have liked. I recently remade this recipe (December 2016) for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza this year and snapped a few new pictures. These are still a crowd favorite whenever we make them.
Here are a couple of suggestions when making this recipe. I usually end up making the dough and the filling the night before I’m going to bake it and storing those ingredients in the refrigerator. But it is actually easier to have the crust layer at room temperature and the pecan filling refrigerated. It is much easier to work with the ingredients this way.
John uses a level tablespoon when placing the crust into the muffin tins. As you can see from the pictures it is imperative that you only put a small half teaspoon or so of filling into the shells. If you try to put more pecan filling into the shells, they will expand and overflow while baking. The filling goes over the top of the muffins and then the Pecan Treats are very hard to dig out of the tins. I know it doesn’t seem like they’re getting a lot of filling, but a little goes a long way. Enjoy.
These marvelous little Pecan Treats are great for holiday baking.
If you take a batch of Pecan Treats to a holiday party they won’t last very long. Don’t count on bringing any home!
Here’s a close up view of these amazing miniature pecan pies.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients to make the crust layer.
To make pie crust shell: Soften butter and cream cheese and put in large mixer bowl. Add UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour. Bleached flour toughens baked goods.
Mix on low to medium speed with an electric mixer until mixed. It is easier to work with the dough if it is NOT chilled beforehand.
If you have to make the ingredients the night before hand, you won’t have any choice but to chill the dough. Remove it from the refrigerator first thing the next morning so it will be at room temperature when you’re ready to work with it.
I used these ingredients to make the pecan filling.
To make pecan filling: Place brown sugar, pecans and eggs in mixing bowl.
Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. I prefer using chopped pecans not the really finely diced pecan chips. If possible, chill the filling for an hour or so. This will prevent the mixture from bubbling up so much that it overflows the muffin tins. Chill it while you’re busy with the crust layer.
Spray miniature muffin tins heavily with cooking spray. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough. Roll dough into balls. Place dough balls in each muffin tin. Then form into the tin making sure the crust comes all the way to the top.
Place a scant half-teaspoonful of pecan mixture into pie shells. Be careful not to overfill the tins because the brown sugar and eggs expand while cooking and they will overflow the shell. Then they become really difficult to get out of the pan.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 45 minutes before removing. Remove pecan treats from muffin tins by pressing slightly between pecan pie and tin with a knife to remove. Our oven was running slow and we ended up baking these pies about 45 minutes!
Place baked Pecan Treats in muffin wrappers. You can see how much the filling has expanded during the baking process even though we put so little of the mixture into the shell to begin with.
Here’s a basket of Pecan Treats. Everyone usually wants two or three of these miniature pecan pies when we pass them around!
I guarantee you’ll be hard pressed to stop at just one!
Here’s the recipe.
(Recipe from my mother-in-law, Joan McNally, Largo, FL)
- 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods) (I use a little more flour)[br]
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- Spray miniature muffin tins with Baker’s Joy cooking spray.
- Use about 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough (shell) for each tin.
- Press in bottom and sides.
- Mix brown sugar and egg with mixer.
- Stir in pecans.
- Fill each muffin shell with approximately 1 teaspoonful filling and press lightly into shell.
- Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
- Cool 45 minutes in pans before removing to wire rack.
- Add paper cupcake holders after, if desired.
Your family will love these amazing Pecan Treats.
Pecan Treats are a great treat to put out for your own holiday parties.
You may want to share a few of these Pecan Treats with Santa and his Reindeer!