I adapted my recipe from my mom and my mother-in-law’s. I wanted to take the best of both worlds and make my own.
My mom’s Mini Pecan Tart recipe has the best filling! It has a nice crunchy top but a wonderful fragrant inside. The smell is amazing, like walking through a vanilla, butter field. The only problem is that her dough was kind of on the dry side. I think her flour/butter ratio is off. Sorry, mom.
My mother-in-law’s dough is the best I’ve ever had. She makes this delicious Mini Walnut Tart with this cream cheese dough. It has this beautiful crunch but delicate crumble. The filling on the other hand…is just as crunchy. Its like breaking the top of creme brûlée but harder. I think her sugar/butter ratio is off. Sorry, mom-in-law.
My version is a combination of both. Although, I brown the butter before incorporating it.
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 bar of cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 sticks of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Get out your mini cupcake tin.
Start the dough by creaming the cream cheese and butter. Once, its nice and creamy, sprinkle the salt and add the flour. Mix this well.
So, you can form the dough two ways:
1. Take a 2 tbsp cookie or ice cream scoop and scoop away into the mini cupcake or mini tart pan. Use your fingers to shape up the dough. Make sure the bottom is about 1/8 inches. From here, you can either use a small knife or a cheese cutter to create an even edge or just leave it. This is my favorite way.
2. Roll out your dough to 1/8 of an inch by a very well floured rolling pin. Then use a small cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut circles and mold that into your tin (see picture below).
Start the filling by melting your butter in a small saucepan on low-medium heat. Continue to watch it. In a large bowl, beat the egg, sugar, and vanilla together. Return your attention to the butter. Turn the heat up to HIGH. Yes, I said HIGH, but watch it. Wait for this slightly brown, right before burnt color, and take it off the heat. While beating the egg mixture, slowly incorporate your butter.
Add 2-3 walnuts then add filling to the top.
Bake for this for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.