These tiny tarts – named for the small cup or goblet they resemble – could be filled with any chopped dried fruit, but we loved the idea of beautiful golden apricots spiked with honey and amaretto. Golden raisins, dried figs, dried cherries or even dried cranberries would all be delicious.
Though technically a tart, tassies are small enough to serve as a cookie. And the rich cream cheese-based pastry used for the crust might remind you of Jewish rugelach.
HONEYED APRICOT TASSIES
The only special equipment needed for this recipe is a mini muffin pan. To make your holiday baking easier, both the filling and dough can be prepped ahead of time.
Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)
Makes 18 tassies
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup water
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apricots, water and honey. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick and jammy, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in amaretto. Allow to cool completely. If desired, the filling can be prepared up to a week ahead, then covered and refrigerated.
While the apricots cook, make the pastry. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, butter, flour and salt. Pulse just until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in two pieces and pat each into a round about ½-inch thick. Cover each round tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30 minutes, or up to two days in advance.
When ready to make the tassies, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly dust a counter and rolling pin with flour.
Working with one round of dough at a time, roll each until it is 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut nine rounds from each piece of dough. Fit each piece into a mini muffin cup. Depending on the number of cups in your mini muffin pan, you might need to work in batches.
Fill each cup with 1 tablespoon of the apricot filling. Cut miniature shapes out of the scraps of dough and top the filling in each cup as garnish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the dough is light golden brown. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Nutrition information per cookie: 150 calories; 60 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 2 g protein; 75 mg sodium.