Thursday, November 1, 2007
Somehow in class today I ended up with a two inch doodle that reads "Pecan Tassies!" It's hard to concentrate when the lecture is about TCP/IP and the history of the internet.
I said I needed time to regroup from baking failure, but then I started thinking about how easy Pecan Tassies would be since Alice Medrich's recipe uses melted butter.
They were incredible fresh from the oven; extremely crunchy on the outside but chewy inside with some runny brown sugar/butter sauce that you can almost see in the first photo. The crust was flecked with real vanilla bean since I ran out of extract.
I liked this recipe so much that I wanted to give away the product immediately. My roommates and I don't go through pastries very quickly and it seemed tragic to let these sit for days and get soggy.
I ended up taking them to some friends who work for Apple. Their office is amazing; simple and well designed with some incredible furniture and a gorgeous view of Oakland. I only felt a little jealous!
It was nice to meet some new people and share the baked goods. I really love baking for others, and the folks at Apple said I could ditch things any time. Someone chimed in that they love cheesecakes.
Honestly, if you're in Pittsburgh and have a horde of hungry coworkers I can hook you up. As long as I don't blow my budget on ingredients.
adapted from Alice Medrich's Cocoa Bean Tassies in Bittersweet
for the pastry:
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
scant 1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups all purpose flour
for the filling:
1 large egg white
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup pecans (or cocoa nibs), chopped
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
generous pinch of salt
2 12-cup miniature muffin pans
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
To make the pastry: combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and press each half into a flattened 4 inch square. Cut each square into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Place one ball in each muffin cup and press it evenly over the bottom and all the way up the sides of the cup, forming a neat rim. Set aside.
To make the filling: in a medium bowl, beat the egg white until foamy. Stir in the brown sugar, melted butter, pecans, vanilla, and salt. Divide the filling evenly among the tartlet shells, about 1 tsp each.
Bake the tassies for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the pastry is well browned on the edges and underneath (lift one out with the point of a knife to check.) Let cool in the pans on a rack.
at 3:19 PM