Bess London is a friend of mine. Garth and I have known her son Emmett for years, and when I moved to Oklahoma, she was one of the first people I met. She’s in her nineties and still as active and lively as ever. She is a true inspiration and the kind of woman I want to be. She raised three boys in rural Mississippi and has so many great stories about them. Even though they are grown men now, Bess can still embarrass them with a good story from childhood. She is also an amazing cook, and believes, like me, that one way you can show people you love them is to cook for them. The first treats Miss Bess ever made for me were these Pecan Tassies. I have to say that, even following her recipe to the letter, I find that hers are lighter and tastier than mine. It must be all of that love!
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cup½ butterroom temperature, plus 1 tablespoon butter, melted, 1 stick
With an electric mixer, beat the ½ cup butter and the cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour and beat until fully combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
Shape the chilled dough into 24 balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Press each ball into a cup of the muffin pan, then spoon 1 teaspoon of the pecans into each muffin cup. Fill each cup with the egg mixture until evenly distributed. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the muffin pan.