Friday, September 9, 2011

Lemon Tassies

I typically take most of my baked treats to share at work; I’ve got an eager audience there! Since I work at a college, life and work are controlled by when classes are in session and when they are not. When classes are in session, I’m a librarian. When classes are not in session, I often work as a faculty advisor to new students. I really enjoy my work as an advisor; I get to help out new students and make sure that they have a good start at the college.

We work with a number of students in advising, and I had brought cupcakes to share with the students and the other faculty advisors. One of the students lamented that she wasn’t there that day and was so sad she missed my baking. I told her I took requests and that I would make something for her. What flavors did she like? She said that she liked lemon so I started looking through my cookbooks for something lemon. Well, there are lots of lemon desserts out there, but I settled on lemon tassies, which are little lemon cream cheese pies.

I like to make different kinds of tassies, which typically have a cream cheese pastry shell and then the different filling. There are different in that the crust is sweet pastry dough and the cream cheese is in the filling. These have lots of lemon flavor and the petite little cups look so fancy. It’s very tedious to press the dough into 48 cups, but it’s worth the extra effort. I ran out of the cream cheese filling so I decided to make lemonade out of lemons and filled the extra shells with lemon curd. The lemon curd tassies and the lemon cream cheese tassies were both excellent!

Lemon Tassies

2 cups flour
10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 48 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.

Make the crust: in a food processor, process flour and butter until the consistency of crumbs. Add the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest and salt and process until combined. Mixture will be crumbly; do not over process.

Divide dough into 4 pieces and then divide each part into 12 pieces. Place one piece of dough in each muffin cup. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the cups. Set the muffin pans on a baking sheet.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned, rotating the pans around half way through the baking time. If the dough has puffed, press down with a spoon. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before filling. (Keep the oven on.)

Make the filling: in a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Using a small cookie scoop, fill each cup with the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the filling is set. Cool completely on wire racks. Refrigerate once completely cool.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Cookies

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