My Burning Kitchen

Momisms and Mini Pecan Tarts

“Don’t sleep with your hair wet or you’ll go blind.”

“You have carpal tunnel syndrome because you wash your hands in cold water.”

“Don’t eat uncooked rice or your stomach will explode.”

As ridiculous as these seem, these are just some of my mom’s “sage words of advice.” I try not to laugh or roll my eyes but there’s not denying that my mom is a great cook. She fostered my curiosity to play around in the kitchen and to stretch my sense of adventure in eating even though I initially resisted. Lobster? No way. I obviously got over that.

Cooking with her in the kitchen was a hands-on-experience. I always had a job.

I knew there was a special occasion when my mom pulled out her recipe for mini pecan tarts. My job was taking the small balls of dough to create the tart shells and fill each shell with a few pecans which she later topped off with sweet filling. Watching them bake and waiting for them to cool was tedious. But once they were ready to eat, they’re impossible to resist. The crust is tender, flaky and truly melts in your mouth. (There’s no need to oil the tart pan — there’s enough butter to keep it lubricated.) And it’s easily finished in two bites. One bite if you really like pecan tarts.

Going back to my momisms, another one is “Why do you blog? I don’t get it.” I blog because I get to say things like “Happy Mother’s Day” to her online. I love you, mom.

Mini Pecan Tarts

Makes 48 mini tarts

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add flour and mix well.

Form into 48 balls and place one ball in each cup of a mini tart/cupcake pan. Using fingers, evenly spread the dough into the pan. Sprinkle some pecans into each complete mold.

Break the eggs into medium bowl and beat with a fork for a few seconds.

Add sugar, melted butter, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Fill the tart shells with filling.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly brown.


Postscript: My mom passed away due to complications with colon cancer on Thanksgiving 2014. Here are a few memories.