Pecan Tarts

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Made these last week and got 48 EXACTLY . The only modification was that I made 1/2 the filling as others suggested (but added a lot more pecans just because I love them). Here are a few tips that I found worked great. First, divide the dough into equal smaller parts (I did 4) then CHILL thoroughly before placing balls into muffin tins (at least 30 minutes to an hour). Just before taking my dough out of the fridge, I made the filling. When you take the dough out of the fridge, it may become quite firm, but use a large sharp knife to cut into equal parts until you have your 48 pieces (if you have 4 dough balls, you should get 12 “balls” out of each). Roll smaller balls with your hands and place into muffin tins. I tried a shot glass to form in the tin since I didn’t have a tart tamper … didn’t work. Tried a cork from a wine bottle… worked better than shot glass but not much better. What did work was my fingers! Stuck my thumb in first to make well, then I used my fingers to form dough around muffin tin, all the way to the top ledge. Here’s the key… DO NOT FILL TO THE TOP! Fill no more than 2/3 the way full. Baked them for 25 minutes in ungreased, non-stick mini muffin tins. Took them out of the oven and ran a knife around the edge. I let them cool for about 4-5 minutes and popped them out to a cooling rack. These little babies were DIVINE!

I’ve been using this recipe for 3 years now – always at Christmas time. My hubby took them to his work and people were begging him to hand out the recipe! They are always a hit at the cookies exchange too. The only changes I make are to double the amount of pastry, otherwise there is way too much filling left over. Also, to decorate the tops, I melt chocolate chips and place the chocolate in a sandwich baggie to squeeze out thin ribbons of chocolate. It really dresses the tarts up and makes them look so gourmet!

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