During the holidays, as far back as I can remember, my mama, Pat Brandon has made candies, cookies, breads and pecan tarts. Everybody wanted those pecan tarts. The person she always wanted to make sure got them though was John Tarver. He worked with mom and was a police officer for the City of Bridge City.

John loved those tarts and every time I see him out and about, he asks about mom. I always make sure to let her know he asks about her – and without fail, her response is always ” I need to make John some pecan tarts.”

In recent years, mom hasn’t baked like she used to, but people always remember and make mention about getting one of her “goody trays” with cookies, pumpkin bread, divinity and pecan tarts. They always remember the pecan tarts.

Maybe this year John will get some of his tarts…

Pecan Tarts

Pastry Shells

1 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

Cream together butter, cream cheese and flour. Set in refrigerator to chill. Chill until stiff and easy to work with. Roll into 24- 1 inch balls. Press down and up the sides of a small muffin tin to form pastry shell.


1 egg

1 teaspoon butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup chopped pecans divided into 2-1/3 cup portions

Mix above ingredients together in bowl (except pecans). Sprinkle 1/3 cup pecans into each empty tart shell. Place about 1 Tablespoon filling in each pastry shell. Distribute remaining pecans onto tops of each cup.

Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Cool about 20 minutes before removing from tins. If tarts resist, take a knife and run around edge of tarts and muffin tin.