Meg Pace

My Aunt Vicky is the premier cook in our large family of Southern cooks. She makes the Southern Living December white cake every year, and it serves as the centerpiece at Christmas Eve dinner. I knew a recipe from her was going to be divine, but I also figured it was probably going to be advanced. 

Spoiler alert: this recipe is surprisingly easy. I’ll admit I wasn’t convinced I was doing any of it right until they popped out of the oven, looking like warm, gooey, mini pecan pies. It was a lesson in trusting Aunt Vicky’s recipe and all her accompanying footnotes. She graciously agreed to let me share her recipe. Start to finish, these little pecan pie bites took me less than an hour, and I had a full platter to show off at work the next day.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat mini muffin pan with nonstick spray.

Step 2

Cream softened butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar in a bowl until blended. Add the flour and salt; mix until sandy.

Step 3

Press 1 Tbsp. dough into each well of the prepared muffin tins, pressing it up the sides. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, until set and lightly golden around the edges.

Step 4

Remove crust from oven and press the bottoms down lightly with a small spoon.

Step 5

Toast 1 1/2 cups pecan halves on a baking sheet in a single layer until fragrant. Take about 10 to 15 minutes. Chop coarsely and set aside.

Step 6

Whisk sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, eggs, syrup, butter, bourbon, vanilla, salt, and pecans together in a bowl. Pour 1 Tbsp. filling into each shell. Top each tassie with a pecan half, then bake for 15 minutes, or until filling is set and crust is browned.

Step 7

Sprinkle tassies with kosher salt and let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan.