Wild Thistle Kitchen: Cranberry and Rosemary Tassies

Have you ever had a tassie? Somewhere between a cookie and a sturdy little pie/tart, these are traditionally made with a pecan filling. While I adore that classic version, I wanted to switch things up and make these festive cranberry and rosemary tassies.

I love the combination of cranberry and rosemary, and the color combo could not be more Christmas-y — especially when you take the extra time to sugar some cranberries and rosemary for decoration (it’s super simple, I promise). These are the perfect addition to your cookie boxes, cookie swaps and any holiday shindigs you might be hosting or attending.

These tassies are my contribution to the Virtual Cookie Party hosted by my friend Cosette of Cosette’s Kitchen. This is a way for bloggers from all across the world to share cookie recipes and participate in a virtual cookie swap. Thank you so much for hosting, Cosette!

Like all tassies, these start with a super-simple dough made from cream cheese, butter, flour, salt and my little touch: a splash of vanilla. The filling and dough can be made days in advance and stored in the fridge for whenever you want to make these little cuties.

The rosemary and cranberry garnish is of course optional, but it is so, so pretty and easy. I used my friend Heather’s recipe. You can find the recipe on her blog, Browned Butter Blondie: Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary. It’s such a fun, slightly sticky project that just takes a few minutes and adds so much sparkle to your holiday bakes, cheese trays, buffets, etc.

The components can all be made in advance: the sugared cranberries and rosemary, the rosemary sugar, the dough and the filling. Then, when you’re ready to bake these, enlist the help of your kids, your spouse/significant other, whoever! Blast some Christmas tunes and have fun with it.

I have the sweetest memories of making Christmas cookies with my granny, and making pecan tassies was one of my favorites. She is one of the most patient people I’ve ever known, so we just took our time, enjoyed the process and definitely enjoyed the finished product! Sometimes we have to rush in the kitchen, but this is one of those can’t-be-rushed projects that is perfect for creating the sweetest, life-long memories.

I hope you’ll give these little babies a try! Let me know if you do by tagging me on Instagram @wild.thistle.kitchen. I love seeing your posts!!

Cranberry and Rosemary Tassies

Yield: 36 tassies


For the crust:

1 8-ounce block cream cheese at room temperature

1 stick butter at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup water

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (feel free to use orange juice if you like that flavor with cranberries)

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

For the rosemary sugar coating:

Leaves from one sprig of rosemary

1 cup granulated sugar

½ stick butter, melted

Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Wild Thistle Kitchen.


For rosemary sugar:

Place sugar and rosemary leaves in a food processor and pulse until rosemary is very finely chopped. Pour into a shallow dish and set aside.

For the filling:

Place sugar, flour and salt in a medium saucepan, whisk to combine, then add water, cinnamon and rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture is thickened. Next, add cranberries and lemon juice and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until some cranberries have popped. Remove from heat, remove and discard rosemary sprigs and stir in butter until it is completely melted and combined. Let this mixture cool to room temperature.

For the crust:

Cream cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Add flour and salt and mix until combined and a soft dough forms.

Wrap dough in plastic and place in fridge for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. If you let it rest for longer than an hour, make sure to let dough soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you scoop into mini muffin cups.

Prepare mini muffin tin by spraying very lightly with non-stick baking spray.

Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into each mini muffin cup. (I use my smallest cookie scoop for this and make a mounded scoop which is about 14 grams if you want to get really precise.) Just aim for a ball of dough that is about 1 inch in diameter.

You can use your fingers to press dough into the bottom and up the sides of each cup. What I like doing is to take the dough ball and squish it between my palms, then use my fingers to work it into about a 3-inch circle. Imagine you’re making a tiny pizza. Then, press the dough gently into the cup. This doesn’t have to be perfect — just make sure there are no holes in the dough.

Once all your tassies are formed, spoon in a small amount of cranberry filling. Fill them almost to the top, but not above the dough.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, until crust is light golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes, then carefully remove and allow to cool on a rack. Once cool enough to handle, brush the outer edges of the tassies with melted butter and roll in the rosemary sugar.


  • You will likely have a little bit of filling leftover. Just save it for another batch or use it to top toast, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, cheesecake or ice cream.
  • The yield for this recipe depends on the dimensions of your mini muffin tin, how much dough you use in each cup, etc. So you will end up with somewhere between 30 and 40 little tassies.
  • The filling for this recipe was adapted from All Recipes.

Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Wild Thistle Kitchen.


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