This is one of Tadd’s favorite Christmas cookies. He loves to eat these right out of the oven when they are warm. These take a little work but it is worth it. The cinnamon and cream cheese tart shells are the best. It really makes these little pies stand out.
adapted from Southern Living
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add flour and cinnamon, beating at low speed just until ingredients are blended. Wrap dough in wax paper, and chill 2 hours.
Divide dough in half. Divide each half of dough into 24 balls. Place in lightly greased miniature muffin pans, shaping each into a shell.
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup karo syrup
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until blended. Stir in pecans. Spoon filling evenly into pastry shells.
Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until set. Cool slightly. Remove from pans, and cool completely on a wire rack.