Desserts

Bourbon Espresso Pecan Tassies

It’s a classic holiday cookie with an indulgent upgrade. These bourbon espresso pecan tassies have the rich flavors of bourbon, robust espresso, and the nutty goodness of pecans. A heavenly holiday treat that will knock your jolly socks off!

Happy cookie season! It’s The ultimate holiday treat and tradition that is celebrated all over the world! And dates back thousands of years!

We’re busting out the butter, shaking on the spices, and bringing people together through cookie exchanges or cookie-baking time with family.

So let’s hear it! Where are you in the world, and what are your traditional family cookies?

My bourbon espresso pecan tassies are a boozy twist on a classic treat my grandpa made every year. I’m sure he would be proud of my additions- he loved his brandy and bourbon. He was from the south, and pecan tassies were a popular holiday goodie.

The marriage of bourbon and espresso is nothing short of irresistible and adds a touch of elegance and a burst of flavor; however, feel free to leave these two ingredients out for the classic pecan tassie.

Tray of bourbon espresso pecan tassies

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

Ingredients for the pecan tassies

For the pastry

All-purpose flour ~ creates a flakey and tender cookie cup.

Cream cheese ~ Don’t skimp! The fat is needed for a soft, rich flavor. Marscapone cheese can also be used.

Unsalted butter ~ If using salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe

Pecans ~ the star! Chopped small so you can fit more in the cup.

For the filling

Eggs ~ holds everything together! I have seen recipes without them; just know that the filling will be runny.

Maple syrup ~ maple syrup is the classic southern version. Most recipes use corn syrup, which you can substitute or use equal parts of both!

Brown sugar ~ white sugar can be substituted; however, brown sugar adds a rich molasses flavor.

Unsalted butter ~ Yes, more butter! It makes the filling rich and glorious.

Bourbon ~ Be sure to use one you enjoy drinking. Or you can omit the bourbon and replace it with

Espresso powder ~ I use a decaffeinated brand. Choose one that tastes good, though! I love how you can see the little flecks of espresso after it’s baked. You can leave it out if desired.

Make Ahead And Storage

These cookies are perfect to get a jump start on your holiday baking! Here are some different options.

For Make Ahead

  • Prepare the Dough: Mix and shape the pastry dough for the tassies. Once it’s ready, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Filling Mixture: Make the filling the day before as instructed, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Assembly: When you’re ready to bake, take out the dough, let it come to room temperature for a bit, and then shape the tassies and fill them.
  • Freshly Baked Tassies: Once your Bourbon Espresso Pecan Tassies are baked and cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • Unbaked Tassies: (Make ahead option) Unbaked filling freezes very well! Make them as instructed, and instead of baking them, freeze them on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake, you can pop them directly into the oven. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Tips For Perfect Pecan Tassies

  • Freeze some and bake them fresh for later! Follow the directions above to make them ahead, unbaked.
  • Use full-fat cream cheese. It lends a subtle tang to the crust that enhances the sweet filling.
  • Use room-temperature butter and cream cheese and butter. It allows the ingredients to cream together without over-mixing the dough.
  • Get toasty! Toast your pecans before adding them to the filling. It adds a boost of nuttiness.
Bourbon espresso pecan tassies

How To Make Bourbon Espresso Pecan Tassies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  1. Make the pastry dough. Beat the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until smooth. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and press the dough into the muffin cups evenly and up the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Make the Filling. Whisk or beat the maple syrup, melted butter, bourbon, espresso powder, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until well mixed. Add eggs and vanilla, and continue to beat until well incorporated. Stir in the toasted pecans. 
  3. Assembly:  Fill the pastry cups until it almost to the top, then place a whole pecan (optional) on top. Baked the tassies: Bake the tassies until slightly puffed and the edges of the crust are golden. Cool in the pan before removing them. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. 
Bourbon espresso pecan tassie cut in half
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Bourbon Espresso Pecan Tassies


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 36 1x

Description

A classic holiday cookie with an indulgent upgrade. These bourbon espresso pecan tassies have the rich flavors of bourbon, robust espresso, and the nutty goodness of pecans. A heavenly holiday treat that will knock your jolly socks off!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the pastry dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, slightly softened

For the filling

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter. If using salted butter, omit salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon. Optional and can be replaced with 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder. Optional.
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans toasted. Plus, whole pecans if you want to top each pastry cup


Instructions

Bourbon Espresso Pecan Tassies

For the pastry dough

  1. To begin, make the pastry dough by beating the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined.
  2. Then, add the flour and salt and continue mixing until all the flour is absorbed. Be careful not to over-mix the dough!
  3. Next, shape the dough into 1-inch balls and press evenly into the muffin cups, making sure to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. 

For the filling

  1. Moving on to the filling, whisk or beat together the maple syrup, melted butter, bourbon, espresso powder, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until well mixed. Add the eggs and continue to beat until well incorporated.

Fill and bake

  1. Lastly, add pecans to the filling and assemble by pouring the filling mixture into the chilled pastry shells. Bake until the filling is set and the pastry is golden brown.
  2. Cool in the pan before removing them. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Enjoy your delicious pecan tarts!
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes plus 1 hour of chilling time
  • Cook Time: 10- 12 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

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