Taking risks can be a lot of fun, it adds that certain zest - or should we call it spice - to life. Sometimes we fail, but more often than not, we find ourselves with a new skill, a new hobby, maybe even a new home or job. When cooking for others, however, we apparently must never ever take these risks, we should only serve what we know best, and at least taste as we prepare in order to know what is ending up in our guests mouths. But, in the spirit of learning, I decided to bake a cookie for my Christmas Cookie Exchange Party which I have never tried before, nor had I heard of them, but reading through the ingredients and instructions, I found a few new skills I so desired to put under my belt. So I selfishly decided to allow not only my family but now also my friends to be my lab rats. And now I can say I have made a sort of a pastry dough, with a filling to boot and I have successfully melted chocolate on a double boiler. Never mind smashing a baggy of pecan halves with my rolling pin, to acquire roughly chopped pecan bits. That, my friends, is something we should all do.
I needed 8 dozen cookies for the party. My mini muffin pan holds two dozen each, and one recipe makes 2 muffin trays exactly. Which means, if I wanted to taste these little gems, I would have had to make up yet another batch of Tassies. But time was running out and I still had Biscotti to whip up to enjoy with coffee... So I took that risk, and divided my contribution to the party into 8 zip tie bags, without knowing what I was giving away. On a side note, I found out with much embarrassment that cookies for an exchange party should be presented in pretty wrapping?! Next year, ladies, next year - watch out!
It turns out Pecan Tassies are quite enjoyable, they are not overly sweet which my European palette appreciates, and I love how pretty they look beside an assortment of other treats (even without pretty wrapping).