Friday, December 13, 2013

Pecan Tarts and Family Christmas Traditions

Happy almost weekend!

A couple weeks ago I shared over at
for their Christmas traditions series.

And now it's here for YOU!

Ta da!
Pecan Tarts.
Such a simple name for something so truly scrumptious!

My mom got this recipe from my dad's mom...
unfortunately I never really knew her.
But if she made yummies like this, she must have been pretty wonderful!

I don't believe a year has gone by when these tasty
little treats were not present in our house at Christmastime.

Baking is a huge tradition in our family...
we do these tarts, these little snowball looking cookies called Russian Tea Cakes,
and an old world cake recipe, also from my grandmother {and probably hers}
called Potica Cake...funny name...but who cares what
you call it once you've had a bite...or six.

 Well, let's move on to the tarts.

Pecan Tarts

Tart cups:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup {2 sticks} butter, softened
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
Blend together until smooth, using dough hooks if available.
If you divide the dough into 4 equal balls, it will be easier to keep your tarts even.
From each of those, make 12 even balls about 1" each and place into your tart pan.
Using a tart press, or your fingers, press the dough into a cup, up and around the sides.
Be careful that you don't make it too thin on the bottom.
If you're dough is too wet to handle and shape, add about 1/4 cup flour and rework.

Nut Filling:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
In a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients, stir with a whisk. DO NOT BEAT.
Place about 1 1/2 tsp filling into each dough cup...making them about 2/3 full.
We usually split the filling into 2 bowls...that way if you fill and bake 24 at a time, you know just how much you've got left.
Bake at 350° for about 18 minutes or until lightly golden.
Dark, nonstick pans may bake faster and/or cause them to be a little darker.
Cool slightly, then turn out onto a rack.
Careful if you try to eat them straight out of the oven! That sugary liquid center is HOT!

Speaking of sugary, liquid centers...I recommend using only real butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.

 These are my mom's absolute favorite cookie.
She can't resist they only get made during the holidays.

I have to far...our best family tradition?
Spending the holidays together with family.
You just never know what is going to happen...

Yes, that's my daughter and my sister making
strange faces behind my unsuspecting parents.

Below are a couple outtakes from a family photo session we did for my folks.

We really do have some normal traditions, too.
Ever since my sister and I were just little,
my mom would buy us each a unique ornament every year.
So that when we grew up and left home...
we would have something to put on our own trees.

We still do this today...and we have always done the same for Sara.
Family...together...celebrating the season and the birth of the Newborn King.
These are our greatest family traditions.

If you don't already follow along,
I'd love for you to check out all the antics here.
 Really...we're not always this weird.

Sometimes it's much worse!

I hope you've enjoyed spending a little holiday time with my crazy family!

Merry Christmas and all the best in the
New Year from my family to you and yours!

Partying here:


  1. The tarts looks delicious and I love the family photos :)

  2. They look YUMMY! I've pinned, just got to try these myself! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  3. These look delicious and beautiful! Thanks for linking them up to Think Tank Thursday. I have featured them today.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing at Show Me Your Plaid Monday's!! You were one of this weeks features!!!

  5. I pinned this so I don't forget when the holidays roll around.


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