Did you know that April is National Pecan Month? According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, April is the month to celebrate and appreciate the “All American Nut.” Pecans were first discovered in North America in the 1600s. The name comes from the Algonquins and means “nut that requires a stone to crack it.” Boy is it worth the stone! Today, 80% of the world’s pecans come from the US. Not only are they tasty, they are also healthy, containing a concentration of plant sterols, which lower cholesterol. They also act as antioxidants. And here I thought they just made perfect pies.
I found this recipe for Pecan Tassies at the Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville, NC. I especially like them because of the cream cheese crust.
1-3 oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp soft butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans,toasted
24 pecan halves
Blend cream cheese with butter, stir in flour. Chill for about 1 hour. Shape dough in 24 1″ balls and line mini muffin cups. Dough must line bottom and side of cups. To make the filling combine eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla and beat until smooth. A dash of salt may be added. Divide the chopped pecans among the 24 cups and add egg mixture and place half of a pecan on top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool and remove from pan with care.
Here’s to a Happy and Nutty National Pecan Month, Enjoy!