Fran’s Almond Tassies

Here’s a sweet little treat to feed the madding holiday crowds you may be expecting this season.  Who doesn’t like to have their own little individual dessert?

I love making finger food desserts whenever I’m expecting a large number of guests.  They look so pretty on a serving table, and you don’t have to worry about cutting any messy slices of a cake or pie.  Guests can help themselves, and the mini desserts are small enough that they can sample 2 or 3—or 3 or 4 as the case may be without having to decide whether to have that slice of cake vs. the slice of pie.

These tassies are a rebirth of my Swedish mazarin.  I’ve changed the size of them and also added a layer of jam at the bottom which is then covered with a frangipane-like filling, similar to the English bakewell tart.  If you are as big a fan of frangipane desserts as I am, you will love these tassies.  They are truly scrumptious.

The size of these little gems makes for perfect portion control—as long as you can refrain from eating 5 or 6 of them, not to mention 9 or 10!

One year ago:  Cappuccino Brownies

Two years ago:  Cream-allini Soup

Fran’s Almond Tassies

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Ingredients for Pastry Crust

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups flour

Ingredients for Almond Filling

  • 8 oz. almond paste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbl. sugar
  • 6 tbl. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of raspberry or your favorite jam for bottom of tassies

Ingredients for Confectioners’ Icing

  • 1 tsp. of butter
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3+ tbl. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions for Pastry Crust

Spray three 12-count mini muffin baking tins with a baking spray which includes flour.  Depending on the size of your mini muffin tins, you may need four tins.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.   Beat in flour.  Using a digital kitchen scale, measure out balls of dough weighing 1/4 oz. dough for the mini muffin pans.  If you don’t have a kitchen scale (you need to get one!), eyeball and divide the dough amongst the tins.  With floured fingers, press the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pans you are using.  Keep in mind that you don’t want to have the dough be too thick.  It should cover the inside of the muffin well with an opaque layer of dough.  (If you have leftover dough but not enough filling, you can bake some empty shells and fill them with pudding and whipped cream.)

Drop a teaspoon or so of jam into the bottom of each muffin well.  Set aside.

Directions for Almond Filling

Using the same large mixing bowl as for the pastry (no need to wash), beat the almond paste to break up and soften.  Add the softened butter and beat until combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until smooth.  Add the sugar; beat.  Mix in the flour and almond extract and beat until smooth.

Fill the muffin wells (covering the jam) to just slightly under the top edge of the pastry crust (approx. 1/8″ under).  During baking, the filling will rise up a little higher than the pastry crust but will fall back down to be approximately level with the top of the crust after cooling.

Bake the mini muffin pans at 400o F for approximately 12 to 14 minutes.  In my oven, the tassies were baked to perfection at 14 minutes.

I have found that the muffin openings in Wilton mini muffin pans are slightly larger than those of my older mini muffin pans, so do watch the baking carefully.  I would start checking around the 10-minute mark.  The toothpick test works fine here—you want to see a tender crumb clinging to the toothpick rather than bone dry.

After cooling on cake rack for approximately 10 minutes, turn over the tins, lightly tapping to get the tassies out.  Finish cooling on rack and frost with confectioners’ icing.  You can add some sliced almonds once frosted for a decorative touch as well–or add a few sliced almonds to the top of the batter before baking.

Directions for Confectioners’ Icing

Whisk the butter and confectioners’ sugar and enough of the milk to get your desired consistency.

Source:  A frantastic original

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