Soft, Flakey, Mini Tart Crusts Brimming with a Sweet Brown Sugar Filling, Topped with a Mixture of Toasted Nuts
Makes About 4 Dozen (Give or Take)
Recipe by © Alysha Melnyk 2017
I am convinced my MomMom did not leave the kitchen during the holiday season because she baked (literally) hundreds upon hundreds of delicious cookies and creations for friends and family. Her nut tossies are hands down a family favorite – it’s heaven in a dessert, basically.
Oven, Preheated to 350°F
Mini Cupcake Pan (I used this one)
Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
Food Processor, Meat Mallet, or Rolling Pin (you can also use your fist haha) for crushing nuts
Optional: Tart Tamper (I used this one) – saves some time forming the tarts
*Disclaimer – I am including certain brand names of things I use (just because they are personal favorites of mine), but feel free to use whatever brand you like, is the cheapest, is on sale, what you have on hand, etc.*
For the Mini Tart Crust:
12 oz Cream Cheese
4 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Softened (*Tip: Leave the butter out overnight or when you are away at work, which should be just the right amount of time to really soften it.)
For the Filling/Topping:
4 Eggs, Beaten Well Until Combined
3 Cups Light Brown Sugar (*Tip: To soften brown sugar that has hardened, use a knife or spoon to break into hunks and place in a microwave safe bowl, then microwave a few minutes until softened again.)
4 Teaspoons Unsalted Butter, Melted (allow to cool)
1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Chopped Raw Nuts of Choice (I used walnuts and pecans)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- First, cream softened unsalted butter in a mixing bowl using mixer of choice.
- Next, add in cream cheese and incorporate using mixer.
- Slowly add in flour (1 cup at a time) to the mixture until fully incorporated.
- Mixture will be fairly thick. Feel free to use your hands as well at this point to knead/help incorporate everything.
- Transfer dough mixture to another bowl, set aside.
- Next, add the eggs to that mixing bowl (no need to wash the bowl in between) and beat until well combined.
- Then, add the light brown sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add in the melted unsalted butter (cooled after melting) and pure vanilla extract. Mix to incorporate everything.
- Next (according to my MomMom) you take a walnut-sized amount of dough and press it into mini cupcake tin using your hands to form the mini tart shell (*do not worry about greasing the pan since the dough has PLENTY of butter in it and shouldn’t stick after baking haha!). ***I found two things after doing this: first, that a heaping tablespoon (when rolled) will typically give you a walnut-sized amount of dough and, secondly, that using the small end of a tart tamper EXTREMELY sped up the process.
- ***If using a tart tamper, place a rolled walnut-sized amount of dough into each mini cupcake tin and place the small end of the tamper in the center and press down to create a perfect mini tart shell.
- Whether you use a tart tamper or your hands, repeat this process until all tarts are formed to fill the tin(s) being used.
- Next, according to my MomMom you should “put a spoonful” of the brown sugar mixture in each. *My tip: pour the brown sugar mixture into a liquid measuring cup, remix with a spoon quick (since the brown sugar has a tendency to settle to the bottom), and then pour until each tart is filled (almost) to the top. Don’t stress if they overflow a bit, they’ll still bake up just fine!
- Crush the nuts (I use a food processor to get some chopped really fine, but also crushed some in a plastic bag by covering the bag in a dish towel and then pounding it with a meat mallet and also my fist haha). You can also use chunkier pieces of nuts on top (I do a combination) – it’s really just a preference thing.
- Then, sprinkle nuts of choice on top (I used a tablespoon for this – made pouring a bit easier).
- Use a damp towel to wipe off any residual brown sugar mixture/nuts on the tin that may have spilled, then place in the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (I baked mine for exactly 20 minutes and they turned out perfectly).
- After 20 to 25 minutes, remove nut tossies from oven and let rest for 5 minutes in the tin.
- Next, using something with a blunt edge (like a rounded knife tip or spoon), gently lift the tossies out of the tin and place on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
- If the pan is still in good shape (a little bit of residue here or there won’t hurt it, so you won’t have to wash it in between), repeat the process to use the rest of the dough/filling and make remaining the nut tossies. If dough mix is unused (I sometimes have leftovers), feel free to refrigerate it if using soon or freeze for another time.
- Store nut tossies in an airtight container at room temperature. I wish I could give an accurate amount of time they last before going bad, but they are ALWAYS devoured within half a week around here haha!
- Enjoy! 🙂