This recipe has been a holiday favorite for many years. I love getting together with my mom and baking these for Christmas. These come out like mini pecan pies but not overly sweet as most pecan pies seem to be.
EQUIPMENT: Mini-muffin pan (24 cup). Mini-tart shaper (optional but highly recommended to make perfect tarts fast - I got mine from Pampered Chef).
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Blend softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, and flour to form the dough. Chill dough for one hour.
Spray mini muffin pan(s) with non stick spray (Bakers Joy or Pam).
Remove dough from refridgerator and roll into 24 1-inch balls.
Place dough balls into mini-muffin cups and press balls against the bottom and sides to form a mini pie crust. If using the mini-tart shaper, dip shaper in flour and tap off excess then press straight down on the dough ball.
Beat egg, brown sugar, 1 tbsp butter, vanilla, and salt together.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans into dough cups, filling each cup half full.
Fill each tart almost full of brown sugar mixture.
Place a pecan half on top of each tart (or sprinkle with chopped pecans).