On Sunday, I embarked on a little baking adventure. I saw these on BHG (my browsing fix of the moment) and loved the idea of somewhat combining a tart with a pseudo-cheesecake in mini form.
These are definitely a little more labour intensive than the regular tart/cheesecake/cupcake, I’ve come to realize this about all mini things really, mini is just a way of saying more work involved. You’ve first got to make the tart dough, then the almond filling and then, if you’re just asking for it (like I was), you make the blueberry compote that goes in the tart (otherwise, you can just use store-bought jam or preserves – probably tastes equally good).
Then you have to press each individual dough ball into the tray. Two notes: Don’t press the dough too thin on the bottom and there isn’t a need to press the edges too high (just a little higher than the amount of filling you’re going to put in) – I ended up having to cut the sides of my shell because they were too tall.
Overall, these were delicious! The ground almonds in the shell added some pizazz and a nice crumbly texture and the filling was pretty delicious (though when I make these again, I’m going to make fewer blossoms with more filling in each). I tried topping them with some cream cheese frosting but thought they were better without, so left them as is.
And lastly, the brother decided to experiment a little with the blossoms. He cut a slice of cheese, placed it on top and toasted the whole thing. His verdict: Not too shabby – in a salty sweet kind of way!
Recipe as follows:
Almond Blueberry Blossoms (makes 24) – via Better Homes & Gardens
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup ground slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/4 cup seedless bluberry preserves(or make your own!)
- Powdered sugar
- Raspberries or blackberries (optional)
- Stir together flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup of the ground almonds in a medium bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup butter with a pastry blender until pieces are pea-size. Stir together egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water; gradually stir egg mixture into flour mixture. If necessary, add 1 to 2 teaspoons more water until dough clings together. Gently knead the dough just until a ball forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
- Meanwhile, for filling, beat 1/4 cup softened butter, cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in egg, shredded orange peel, and juice, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup ground almonds. Set filling mixture aside.
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease twenty-four 1-3/4-inch muffin cups. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces; shape pieces into 1-inch balls. Place balls in prepared muffin cups. Press dough evenly on the bottoms and up the sides of the muffin cups.
- Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon preserves into each pastry-lined cup. Spoon almond filling over preserves. Bake in preheated oven about 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer tarts to wire rack and cool completely
- Just before serving, lightly sprinkle tarts with powdered sugar and, if desired, top each with a berry. Makes 24 cookies.
- To store: Place tarts in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw tarts, if frozen, before serving.