I enjoyed a relaxing day to myself today. My mother-in-law picked up my little girl from school and entertained her until dinner time. I've been feeling a bit off lately as my due-date nears, so it was nice to relax at home and sip some tea and bake, of course.
These almond fillled pastries were simple and quick and oh-so tasty. A quick almond dough is pressed into mini muffin tins then par-baked. While the dough is baking, a simple almond filling is cooked on the stove top then poured into each cup and sent back into the oven. A few short minutes later, yummy, sweet, almondy tarts are ready to eat.
Making these were the extent of my labors today. After these baked, I sat down on my couch with a nice, hot latte, watched Gossip Girls and nibbled on a few of these. It was perfect. If you like almond-flavored treats, these were buttery and sweet with the perfect hints of almond and vanilla throughout, plus a nice little crunch from the nuts. They're not that pretty, but they're very good.Tart Crust
7 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp milk
2 tsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Make the tart shells: In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour, salt and almond extract (if using) until dough is crumbly and has the texture of wet sand. Spoon evenly into 16 mini muffin cups and press the dough down to create tart-shell shapes going up the sides of the muffin cups.Bake shells for 6-7 minutes.
While shells are baking, make the almond filling: In a medium saucepan, combine almonds, sugar, butter, milk and flour. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside until shells are ready.
Remove the tart shells from the oven and use a small spoon to press an indentation into the center of each one (because the dough will puff a bit during baking). Fill each indentation with almond filling.Return tarts to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until shells and the edges of the filling are lightly browned.Use a knife to loosen the tarts from the edges of the muffin tin while they are still warm. Let cool in pan for 15-20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 16 mini tarts.
Adapted from bakingbites.