Christmas Baking!! Pecan Tarts start the cookie tray.

I have no idea where I got this recipe or when.  It seems like one I have made forever and is so faded I can barely read it.  But it is tried and true and I find them quite irresistible.  Truly you cannot eat just one, you really do want another!

I am starting my Christmas baking today with these and will double wrap and freeze each batch to thaw and serve when needed.

Ingredients for Pecan Tarts:

1 Cup soft butter
6 Oz. Cream cheese softened
2 C. flour

2 eggs
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 T. instant coffee (optional)
2 T. melted butter
1 t. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray miniature tart or cupcake pan lightly with baking spray.  Set aside.

Combine the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the flour and beat until well combined.  Gather the dough together with you hands or a large spoon to form a rough ball.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, coffee, butter, and vanilla  in a medium size bowl.

Form the dough into balls, about 1", rolling them in the palms of your hands.  Make an small indentation in the center of each with your thumb.  Place the roughly formed cup in the prepared pan.  HELPFUL HINT:  Use the end of the handle of a wooden spoon dipped in a little flour and insert it into the cup you have started to enlarge and deepen it.  This works better than anything I have ever found to form the tiny cups for the filling!

Place a half teaspoon of chopped pecans in the center of each tart and top with a teaspoon of the filling mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven then cool for 10 minutes.  Remove the tarts from the pan and cool on a rack or sheet of waxed paper until cold.  Store in a tightly closed container.  Yield 3 - 3 1/2 dozen tarts, depending on the size.

NOTE:   I also made a batch of Brownies from the "Homemade Brownie Mix" given on 10/15/12.  I omited the walnuts and added 1/2 C. Andes Green and Black mint baking chips.  These I baked in a 12 cup muffin pan sprayed with baking spray.  The chips dissapeared in the brownies and gave a wonderful and NOT overwhelming mint flavor to the brownie bites.  Yield 12.

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