Mini Magic

I did my holiday baking a little early this year since we took a fun Thanksgiving trip to LA (land of sunshine and shopping and family too). The other night, as I was baking my sister Bonnie’s miniature pecan tarts, it occurred to me how many delicious recipes I have for all things miniature.

I make mini quiches, mini grilled reubens, mini cocktail wieners, mini meatballs and mini sausage stuffed wontons. The miniature pecan tart and mini reuben recipes follow below. Both are delicious and you should add them to your party recipes.

Bonnie's Miniature Pecan Tarts

This recipe makes 24 tarts, so I always double it since my husband and son can eat 24 tarts in about 2 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Blend together 3 oz. softened cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, and 1 cup flour. Shape the mixture into 24 balls about 1” each.

Spray your mini muffin tins with cooking spray. One by one, take each dough ball and flatten it in your hand and place in the muffin tin.

Now you are ready to make the filling. Combine 1 egg, 3/4 c. brown sugar, 1 tbs. soft butter, 1 tsp. vanilla and a dash of salt. Mix all together until smooth.

Finely chop about ½ c. pecans and place a small amount in each pastry. Top with about a tsp. of filling. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until pastry begins to get golden brown. Only let cool a few minutes and then carefully remove from pans.

*Becky Knows Everything (or in this case Bonnie Knows Everything): Getting these out of the pan is a monumental task. Every Christmas, Bonnie and I call each other to brag about how many we got out without breaking. She always wins. Use a dinner knife around the edges to loosen and gently lift the tarts from the pan. Also, Bonnie lived in Breckenridge, CO for a few years (ski country) and she says these simply will not turn out properly in the high altitude.

Mini Grilled Reubens

If you love regular sized reubens, you will love these too. They are a hearty appetizer so I would not make them before a dinner party, just for a cocktail party. Here's what you need:

One loaf party rye bread
One can drained sauerkraut (do not rinse)
Thousand Island dressing (I use Kraft)
Swiss cheese, cut into small squares to fit bread
½ lb. thinly sliced deli corned beef or two packages Carl Buddig corned beef (but the real corned beef is better)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter each bread slice. Use about ½ the loaf - you can always butter more if you need to. Place one slice of bread (buttered side down) on a cookie sheet. Place one slice of corned beef on the bread, folded to fit. Top with about 1 tbs. of sauerkraut, then 1 tsp. of dressing. Place a piece of Swiss cheese that has been cut to fit on top. Top with another buttered bread. Repeat until you fill your cookie sheet.

Bake until bottom bread is toasted - about 5 minutes. Flip each sandwich and toast the other side until cheese is melted and they are heated through.

This is one of my most popular hors d’oeuvres and it fills a large cookie sheet.

*Becky Knows Everything: You can make these early in the day - just run a paper towel under water and squeeze dry. Place towel over assembled sandwiches and cover with foil. Remove covering when ready to eat.


Anonymous said...

Dear Becky, your recipes seem so easy and yet so fun. Two questions for you. Do you happen to have any crowd pleasing cookie recipes that "package beautifully?" I'm planning on having one of those cookie parties and want to knock the socks off the old chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin.
Also, wondering if know an easy whole wheat bread recipe that uses ingredients I already have in my cupboard? I've looked online but every one uses wheat germ, molasses, dried orange peel, or some crazy spice I've never heard of. I make a nice white bread, but whole wheat is all the rage these days so thought I'd give it a whirl. Any help is appreciated, JBM.

Anonymous said...

Dear Becky - I LOVE eating food that is mini sized. I feel that I get the taste with less calories!!! I am having my tennis buddies over for dinner next week, and i am going to make the mini ruebens!!! It sounds great AND easy! I'm so jealous of you going to california!! k a t h y

Adie said...

I am having a Christmas party on Saturday and I am definitely serving these reubens! They look spectacular. Love you. -Adie

BECKY B. said...


I definitely have some great holiday recipes to share. I will be posting some fabulous cookie recipes in the next few days. I am thinking about the bread question too - I should have some recipes that you will enjoy.

BECKY B. said...

Kathy - Have a great time at your party. I am sure everyone will love the reubens. They are delicious! I love mini stuff.

BECKY B. said...

JBM- I just posted your question and two delicious cookie recipes. I am still chewing on that bread question - no pun intended.

BECKY B. said...

Hi JBM- sorry for the late reply, but I don't have a great bread recipe to share (besides banana). Maybe another reader will have one to offer. Good luck and happy baking. -B