I often get asked how I learned so much about so many different areas of the 'domestic arts'.  My quick answer has always been watching Martha Stewart, but when I went to get this Pecan Tassie recipe from my mom I realized that I should have given more credit to 4-H!

When we younger, my sister, brother and I were members of 4-H.  If you're not familiar with 4-H (attn: city folk...) it is an organization in rural communities that focuses on farming and rural lifestyles.  It is mostly known for its livestock shows and its support of most State Fairs, but Jill and I were enrolled in domestic arts programs like Cake Decorating, Floral Design, Woodworking, Gardening, Ceramic Painting, etc.  Doesn't that sound familiar... it might as well be the headers of this blog!  Anyway... back to the point.

Jill won a Blue Ribbon at the State Fair when she was eleven (I think... Jill, do you remember?) for Pecan Tassies, bite-sized pecan pies.  It was a big deal!  The entire family went to see her prized Pecan Tassies sitting on display with a big Blue Ribbon.  I wanted to share a photo, but I'll refrain from embarrassing her both of us.

She made them in mini muffin pans, but I decided to make them in regular sized muffin tins for a bigger portion - more of an individual serving rather than a bite-size.  The result was a deep dish individual pecan pie with plenty of the gooey filling that makes Pecan Pie amazing.  These will be a great addition to your Thanksgiving pie selection - they can be made a couple days in advance, too!

Petite Deep Dish Pecan Pies
12 big mini individual pies

For the Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter
6 ounces cream cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
11⁄2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups pecan halves
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray.

For the dough, mix together the butter, cream cheese and flour on low until all of the flour is incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface.  Divide the dough into 12 balls.  Roll out each ball until it is big enough to fit in a muffin cup.  Press dough into muffin cups and pinch the tops to create a fluted edge.

To make the filling, mix together the brown sugar, pecans, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.  Pour into muffin cups evenly amongst them.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are set. Cool for a few minutes in the muffin cups and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. The petite pies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.