The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Food

November 26, 2013

Fruity inspirations

Holiday cookies combine fruit and festive flavors

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.

Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)

Makes 18 tassies

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 F. 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.

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