Pecan Tassies: A Traditional Christmas Cookie

Are traditional Christmas cookies part of your holiday celebration? Make these sweet and delicious pecan tassies as a treat for family and friends!

pecan tassies on pedestal plate christmas dessert

We all have those special Christmas traditions that add meaning to the holiday season for our families. Most of us decorate, some of us watch Hallmark movie marathons, and others spend the weeks before Christmas cooking and baking.

If baking is one of your family’s Christmas traditions, you are definitely in the right place! I’m featuring an old recipe for bite-sized pecan tassies that was given to me at least 30 years ago. 

traditional Christmas cookies dough and rolling pin

Why This Recipe Works

This tiny pecan pie dessert recipe is so delicious. The shell that holds the pecan mixture is buttery, flaky, and has the best flavor. It’s impossible to eat just one of these little gems! The dough mixes up in just a few minutes, and after it’s chilled, it rolls out beautifully.

dough being rolled out on wood board

Baking Instructions

  • With a hand electric mixer, or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the 1/2 cup butter and the cream cheese. Beat for 1 minute.
  • Add flour and blend on low speed until the dough forms.
  • Remove dough from bowl, shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Combine brown sugar, egg, 1 tablespoon butter, vanilla, and salt.
  • Whisk together just until smooth.
  • Set filling aside.
  • When ready, remove dough from refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • On a floured surface, gently roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. (Just like a pie crust.)
  • Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, cut out 24 circles. After cutting, leftover dough can be re-rolled.
  • Place the dough circles in the vessels of a mini muffin pan. Gently form the dough to the muffin vessel with your fingers or the round end of a kitchen tool.
  • Sprinkle pecans in the bottom of each unbaked shell.
  • Divide filling among shells.
  • Top with more pecans.
  • Bake 25 minutes or until set. The crusts should be golden-brown.
  • Cool in pans on wire racks.
rolled out dough with circle cut outs


  • This recipe can easily be doubled to make two muffin tins, equaling 48 pecan tassies.
  • If you prefer ground pecans, they can be substituted for the chopped variety.
  • The easiest way to make the shells for the pecan tassies is to cut out circles of dough, and gently press them into the muffin pan vessels. I used a 2.5 inch fluted cutter, which added a pretty edge to the shells.
  • Another option for making the shells is to divide the dough into 24 small balls. Place the balls in the vessels of the muffin tin. Press the dough evenly against the bottom and sides of the muffin vessels to form the shells.
  • It’s easiest to work in batches. Cut out all the circles and lay them over the muffin pan vessels. Then using your fingers or a tool with a smooth round end, gently pat the circles into the vessels.
  • The end of the wood reamer pictured below did a great job of fitting the dough down into the vessels, without putting holes in it. The end of a spoon will work too, but be careful not to poke the dough.
pecan tassies in muffin tin

Make Ahead Tip

The dough can be mixed up and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to shape the dough into a disc, and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. The dough can also be frozen for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

A tassie is a tiny tart, or miniature pie. The word “tassie” is a Scottish term, and it means “miniature cup.”

Yes! Make sure to cool them completely, and store them in an airtight, freezer safe container. They can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Store these pecan tassies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you need to layer them, place parchment paper between the layers. Or, to keep them for a longer period of time, place the container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Bring them to room temperature before serving.

The easiest way to slip the tassies out of the pan vessels is to use a very small knife, like a butter knife. Pry the cup up just a little, and you will be able to lift the tassie right out.

traditional christmas cookies pecan tassies dough in muffin tin


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traditional Christmas cookies on pedestal plate
pecan tassies traditional christmas cookies

Pecan Tassies

Are traditional Christmas cookies part of your holiday celebration? Make these sweet and delicious pecan tassies as a treat for family and friends!
Rate this Recipe Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes
Servings: 24 tassies
Author: Ann Drake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Refrigeration time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
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