Holiday cookies: Honeyed apricot tassies
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. But feel free to substitute an equal amount of another dried fruit. 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 may remind you of Jewish rugelach.
HONEYED APRICOT TASSIES
The only special equipment needed for this recipe is a mini muffin pan. And to make your holiday baking easier, both the filling and dough can be prepped ahead of time.
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 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 the pan from the heat and stir in the amaretto. Allow to cool completely. If desired, the filling can be prepared up to a week in advance, 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 2 pieces and pat each into a round about 1/2 inch thick. Cover each round tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30 minutes, or up to 2 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 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut 9 rounds of dough 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 may 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.
Start to finish • 1 hour (30 minutes active)
Makes • 18 tassies
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.