1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Bourbon, optional
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
48 pecan halves (optional)
Chocolate drizzle or confectioners' sugar
Beat 2 sticks (1 cup) of the butter and cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon; lightly mix just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; shape into 6-inch logs. Wrap logs in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Cut each log into 12 one-inch pieces; place in oiled mini-muffin tins. Press dough into the bottoms and up sides of each cup; refrigerate until ready to fill. (Repeat in batches, if necessary.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Divide chopped pecans among pastry cups.
Beat eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Bourbon and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed. Fill each pastry cup 3/4 full with this mixture; top with a pecan half, if desired. Bake until filling is set, about 25 minutes.
Cool pans on wire rack for 20 minutes; remove cups from pan. Cool.
Drizzle with chocolate, if desired, or dust with confectioners' sugar.
NOTE: To make chocolate drizzle, place 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces and 1 teaspoon shortening in microwave-safe bowl; heat in the microwave on medium heat until melted; stir with fork until smooth and shiny. Dip fork tines in chocolate; drizzle over cookies. Allow chocolate to harden before storing or packaging.
Makes 4 dozen.