Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lemon Tassies

These lemon tassies are by far the most time-consuming cookies I’ve ever made. And to be honest, normally I would have passed this recipe off as too complicated without a second look. But these were Martha Stewart’s Cookie of the Day on an afternoon when I was really craving something lemony, and I was powerless to resist.

I’m so glad I took the time to make these, because they were absolutely delicious. The dough was really easy to work with, the filling was creamy and smooth, and together they had the perfect amount of lemon flavor without being too tart. They lasted for a few days in the refrigerator and I really loved the way they tasted cold. I did decide to forego the candied lemon zest listed in the original recipe, since that seemed like a lot of time to dedicate to a mostly decorative element, but I kept the rest of the recipe the same. (But in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you I added a couple drops of yellow food coloring to the filling just to make them look a bit more...lemony.)

These cookies are so adorable and elegant-looking, but they really aren’t complicated to make at all. In fact, I’ll probably even make these again using orange or lime zest. Yum!

Lemon Tassies
source: adapted from Martha Stewart

For the crusts:

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pans
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt

For the filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with rack in upper third. Lightly butter a 24-cup mini-muffin pan; set aside.

2. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour and butter. Pulse until mixture is the consistency of fine crumbs. Add the sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Process until evenly incorporated and smooth; do not overprocess.

3. Divide the dough into quarters. Divide each quarter into 6 pieces. Shape into balls. Place each ball in a muffin cup; press down in the centers so that the dough fits the cups snugly. Set muffin pan on a baking sheet.

4. Bake until lightly browned all over and slightly darker at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheet with muffin pan to a wire rack to cool.

5. Make the filling: In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla until completely smooth.

6. Using a 1/4-ounce ice cream scoop, fill the cooled crusts. Bake until filling is set and just beginning to color at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer muffin pan to a wire rack. Let cool completely before serving.


Julie said...

Sounds yummy...sometimes it's satisfying to create a dish that's a little time consuming and turns out wonderful!

Keri said...

I'm a sucker for lemon desserts and these look so pretty, too. I might just have to break my no-baking rule and try these. I'll let you know if I have success:-)!

Sherry G said...

Well they may have taken a lot of effort, but they sure turned out great! And I've noticed when I've made a lemon curd or lemon filling in the past that it'll turn out on the pale side. I've never thought to add food coloring; great idea!

Natalie said...

these are so adorable! I love mini desserts--bet they'd be awesome topped with a raspberry too!

Donna-FFW said...

These sound wonderfully refreshing. I will have to add these to my to do list.. Great choice !

Sonya said...

My husband is a a huge lemon fan..bookmarking these! I have everything in the house ot make these.

Thanks Cassie!

Monica H said...

I've made these and they are very time consuming. But I have a question for you. Did you follow that recipe exactly or did you follow the recipe out of the cookie book? The reason I ask is because the recipe that's on her website has different measurements than the one in the book. The one online has double the filling. Did you have filling leftover?

Sorry so many questions. Your tassies look delicious and I bet other citrus would be just as yummy.

Adriane said...

These look sooo good! I make some Martha cookies - the chocolate malt sandwich cookies. I swear they take an entire afternoon. But, boy are they worth it!

Cassie said...

Monica, I have the cookie cookbook, but I actually followed the recipe online. And yes, I did have filling left over, now that I think about it!

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