Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pecan Tassies

With Christmas right around the corner, I decided to do a post about some holiday cookies that I never got around to last year.  Pecan tassies are classic holiday cookies that always please a crowd.

Pecan tassies are one of my favorite cookies.  I cannot resist fresh pecan tassies.  Tassie dough is a very simple dough with just a few ingredients.  A lot of recipes for this dough call for just two ingredients, flour and cream cheese!  I like to actually make some pecan and some walnut tassies when I make these cookies.  Everyone in my family loves walnuts, so they would all prefer the walnut ones.  I love them both, but I think I like the pecan ones better.  The filling is the same whether I use pecans or walnuts.  It is a mixture of brown sugar, eggs, and butter.  Put all these simple things together in one little cup and you have a delicious little bite of gooey brown sugar filling, crunch and nuttiness from the pecans, and tartness from the cream cheese in the dough.  They are perfect with a cup of hot coffee on a cold winter evening!

Did you know that pecans are not actually nuts?  They are technically drupes, which are fruits with a single stone or pit, contained in a husk.  Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats.  They are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, although contain about only half as much as walnuts.  Pecans can also help to reduce cholesterol by reducing the "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.  Clinical research suggests that eating a handful of pecans a day may help lower cholesterol levels similar to the effects of cholesterol lowering medications.  

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