I know what you're thinking...you forgot to list the pecans!
No, no. These wonderful little treats are not made with pecans, even though their name leads you to believe so. By all means, you can use pecans! I bet they will be just as delicious! But my mother never used them. I'll let her tell you the story about our family's beloved pecan crisps!
"This is such an old recipe. If I remember correctly, Grammy saw this recipe in the evening newspaper one holiday season when I was just a kid. She made them for the holidays, but pecans were expensive back then (and probably still are) so she substituted walnuts. She used walnuts my entire life but we always called them pecan crisps. I continued the tradition and even YOU still call them pecan crisps ha ha and I mostly used walnuts. The best thing about these tarts is that they are not made with corn syrup, many are."
At every holiday get-together, pecan crisps always find their way to the dessert table. I remember my mom grinding the walnuts with a hand grinder and my dad helping to form the crusts. This was the first time I made this recipe. My Aunt bought me a set of tiny tart tins for Christmas one year so I could keep up the family tradition. I was surprised at how easy it was to make these. Although the gooey, nutty, center is just heavenly, the tiny crusts are my favorite! They're made with cream cheese and butter! Need I say more.
original recipe unknown
adapted recipe by Jackie S.
makes 24 tarts
1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. melted butter
1 egg, well beaten
3 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix filling ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Mix cheese, butter and flour well. I always cut in the butter and cheese using two knives then eventually got my hands into it.
Pinch off pieces of dough and shape into balls. Using an ungreased small muffin tin, press each ball to line each cup. Spoon rounded teaspoon of filling into each cup. Bake for 20-25 minutes. However, ovens may vary and you only want the dough slightly brown so make sure to keep an eye on them. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and remove with a butter knife. They should slide right out.