Derby Day Tassies

Adapted from Three Hundred Years of Carolina Cooking

Note: My mother insists that margarine is essential to the texture of the tassie shell. You can replace margarine with butter, but you'll need to add 1/4 cup extra flour. Make dough one recipe at a time instead of doubling. Please note that the baking temperatures and times for the Lemon and Pecan Tassies vary.

Derby Day Tassies

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 2 dozen per recipe
This recipe appears in: How to Throw a Kentucky Derby Party


  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick margarine or butter, softened (see headnote)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour; sifted
  • Pecan Filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • Dash salt
  • Lemon Filling:
  • 1/4 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • Juice of two small lemons


  1. 1

    For Pastry: Blend cream cheese and margarine and add flour; blend until fully incorporated. Chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator or for an hour in the freezer.

  2. 2

    Divide and shape into 2 dozen balls. Place in ungreased 1 3/4” muffin tin. Press dough in bottom and side of cup.

  3. 3

    Refrigerate pans while making the filling.

  4. 4

    For Pecan Filling: Beat together egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt.

  5. 5

    Divide half of the nuts among cups. Add 1 teaspoon of filling on top of pecans. Top with remaining pecans. The pastry puffs so don’t get the shells too full.

  6. 6

    Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes or until filling has set. Let tassies cool in the pan and remove.

  7. 7

    For Lemon Filling: Cream sugar and butter. Add lemon rind and beaten eggs to the mixture. Stir in lemon juice.

  8. 8

    Divide the filling between the shells, being careful not to over fill them.

  9. 9

    Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

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