cranberry walnut tassies

Cranberries, the ruby-coloured jewels of the festive season, are typically harvested in the fall between late September and November. Their vibrant red colour makes them visually appealing in a variety of dishes like the cranberry sauce meant to support a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey or in a traditional pastry or dessert that becomes the showstopper on any holiday table.

Cranberry Walnut Tassies combine toasted walnuts and tart fresh cranberries with an egg and brown sugar mixture that mimics a butter tart batter. Grand Marnier is added for a little wow factor ensuring a hint of luxury in every bite.

Cranberry Walnut Tassies

This recipe comes together quickly, however allow time for the dough to rest in the refrigerator. You can replace the walnuts with pecans or hazelnuts and substitute brandy for Grand Marnier or omit altogether.
Servings 2 dozen
Author Wanda Baker


  • mini muffin tin


  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • cooking spray


  • In a medium bowl blend cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in flour until well combined. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to one hour.
  • In a small bowl mix together egg, brown sugar, vanilla, walnuts, cranberries, Grand Marnier and salt. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325F. Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Remove ball from the fridge, unwrap and cut it into four equal pieces. Shape each section into six portions and roll each portion into one-inch balls. Place balls in mini muffin cups and press evenly against the bottom and sides of cups.
  • Give cranberry mixture a stir and carefully spoon into dough lined muffin cups. Do not overfill or the filling will bubble over.
  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until very lightly browned on bottom. Remove from oven and let sit in pan until cool enough to handle. Remove from pan to a rack to cool completely.
  • Refrigerate for up to five days. Can be frozen.


Toasting nuts: Preheat oven to 350F. Spread whole walnuts in a single layer on a parchment lined baking pan. Toast about 3 minutes, then give a stir and toast another 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.