The folks that I work for were so wonderfully supportive during the two months when my mom was extremely ill. They granted me a flexibility that allowed me to spend as much time with my mom and family as I desired, and I will forever be grateful for this.
As I told them, I didn't know how to thank them (apart from being a good employee!) at first, but then an idea popped into my head.
My mom was a wonderful baker — so much so that a handful of people at her wake mentioned the food of hers that they remembered and will miss at holiday gatherings. Me, too. In her memory, I decided to establish a "Cookie of the Month" at my workplace. It was therapeutic to take the time in the kitchen to make this first batch.
Everyone loved my mom's tassies, and rightfully so. I know that she didn't make up the recipe, but no one's tassies compared to hers, and she freely shared the recipe. I made a batch of these wonderful little pecan-pie-like cookies around Christmas and have been wanting to post the recipe since then.
My Mom's Tassies
For the crust:
• 3-oz package of cream cheese (room temp)
• 1/2 cup of butter (room temp)
• 1 cup flour
For the filling:
• 1 egg
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar
• 1 TBS butter, softened
• 1 tsp vanilla
• pinch of salt
• 2/3 cup broken pecans
Blend butter and cream cheese, stir in flour. Chill slightly (about 1 hour), then shape into 2-dozen, 1" balls. Place the balls into the cups of a mini muffin pan. Press dough onto bottom and sides of cups and divide the pecans among the cups.
Beat together the egg, sugar, the TBS of butter, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add this filling mixture to the cups. (I have most recently been placing this mixture in a large plastic bag, then cutting the corner to make a spout for neater pouring.)
Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool slightly and remove from the pans (they are easier to remove while still warm).
My God, they are good! (Part 2 to follow...)