I'm not going to lie. I made these pecan tassies at the beginning of December. I got my mom to e-mail me her recipe, and I tweaked it with my whole wheat pastry flour and honey instead of all-purpose and sugar. I photographed them, straight out of the oven, against the piney backdrop of our table wreath and wintertime plates. And I'm posting all of this now, in mid-January.
Somehow that post on how much I love pecan tassies and how thoroughly self-satisfied I was when I made them sugar- and white flour-free didn't get written in December. Now it's January, and not only are pecan tassies not the treat you want to be making in January, but the photographs here are all red and green and probably made you do a double-take when you first saw them. No, it's not December anymore. And I also don't care.
Since going sugar-free, these pecan tassies have been my greatest baking achievement. I decided I couldn't live without them this holiday season, and converted them, and I can honestly say that I like my sugarless version better than the original. The tender flake of the cream cheese dough is still there, just with a little more tooth thanks to the whole wheat flour. The honey also showcases the creamy sweetness of the dates, which are what make these mini-pies special, in my opinion. I'm justifying the fact that I'm posting this unabashedly holiday-themed recipe here with the fact that I'll probably make these throughout the year, they're so good.
Plus, after the really nasty flu I was home with for three whole days this week, I'm really needing something to take the edge off of January, even if that something is a month-overdue Christmas cookie.
In other news, today is the last day of our week of Sugar Freedom, which included a lot less posting than we had intended due to both Adriana and I getting sick at once. Sorry about that. We're still excited to hear your sugar-free experiences, though, so feel free to share.
Yields 48 tarts
1 cup butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup pitted, chopped dates
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the 1 cup butter, cream cheese, and flour. Mix until well-blended. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, then separate each part into 12 balls, all the same size. Place the balls in the 2-inch sections of 4 ungreased, miniature muffin tins. Using your thumb and forefinger, press each ball into its cup, working the dough evenly up the sides to the rim.
Cream the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the honey. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Divide among the unbaked shells. The shells may not look full enough, but the filling will increase in volume when baked.
Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool on racks before removing the tarts from their tins.
These will keep several days at room temperature, though you can also freeze and defrost before serving.