Monday, August 31, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons...

You make Lemon Tassies! August's baking ingredient for Rach's Baking Challenge was, LEMONS- a perfect summer refresher.

I'm usually on the ball when it comes to deadlines and blogging, but I was busy playing board games with my family (Mustang Monopoly and Yahtzee, if you're curious) that I forgot about posting til late last night. I'm supposed to post on the last day of the month, and it looks like I barely made it by the hair of my chinny chin chin. No, I don't have a hairy chin, why do you ask?

So, I have to be honest with you. I made these lemon tassies for Mother's Day. I'm so behind on my posts and I didn't want to make another lemon recipe so I'm pulling this one from the archives. But it's a good one and it deserves to be seen and drooled over. So prep your salivary glands :-)

Their concept is simple but they're tedious to make since you have to portion out 48 pieces of dough then fill the little muffin pans. Not hard, just time consuming. I only had one pan so I went next door to my neighbors' and borrowed their mini pans to get the ball rolling. I'll forever be indebted to them. Because of them I still have hair on my head.

These were very buttery, lemony and creamy. They even tasted like they had coconut in them, but it was just lemon zest. These would also be really good baked into a larger tart. I'll have to play around with that though. They were best the day they were made though because the crust softens over time.

I added a simple lemon glaze to the top of the tassies once they cooled and topped them with jumbo sprinkles for color. Then I packaged them in simple white confection boxes and tied a ribbon around them and tucked in a pretty flower pick. I gave them to my mother, grandmother and mother-in-law. I wish I had saved some for myself.

Lemon Tassies from Martha's Cookies
For the crusts:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • vegetable oil cooking spray

For the filling:

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

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with rack in upper third. Coat two 24-cup mini-muffin pans with cooking spray; set aside.

Make crusts: Process flour and butter in a food processor until mixture in the consistency of fine crumbs. Add sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Process until evenly incorporated and sandy; do not overprocess.

Divide the dough into quarters. Divide each quarter into 12 equal pieces. Shape into balls. Place each ball in a muffin cup; press into cup, stretching dough up the sides. Set muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Bake until lightly browned all over and slightly darker at the edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Tap down any puffed centers of the shells with the end of a wooden spoon. Transfer baking sheet with muffin pan to a wire rack to cool.

Make the filling: In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla on medium speed until completely smooth. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop, fill the cooled crusts with filling.

Bake tassies, rotating sheets halfway through, until filling is set and just beginning to color at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer muffin pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

The tassies may be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers, for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 dozen.

NOTE: This is NOT the same recipe for lemon tassies that is found on Martha's website. The recipe on her website has the wrong filling to crust ratio so I have not linked to it. Instead I have copied this directly from the Cookies book.

The glaze I made consists of about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar mixed with fresh squeezed lemon juice. You want it just thin enough to drizzle. Add more sugar if too thin. Top each tassie with a dime size amount of glaze then top with a jumbo colored sprinkle if desired. Allow the glaze to set.


Laura said...

Those look so good, I'm drooling at midnight here.

Denise said...

Just saw these in Martha's book, took it out of library, and I folded this page down, I am so glad I did. Super YUM!

Heather S-G said...

Oh, these look delicious! I love lemony desserts :D

Debbie said...

Oh they look delicious. I love the round sprinkle on top! So cute!

Me and My Pink Mixer said...

Oh my - they look fabulous! What a great gift idea!

Smitten Sugar said...

These look so good! What a great mothers day treat!

vanillasugarblog said...

bite size is the right size for eating a TON! if I made these I would HAVE to give them all away since I tell myself that bite size is not as fattening and then I eat more. bad, very bad.

Foodiewife said...

I love tassies! This is a version I would LOVE to have. I can almost picture a tea room, a plate of these and I'd be in heaven. Great aerial photo, Monica, with the photos off to the side. Very artsy. These are going in my growing pile of baked goods from Monica that I WISH I had time to bake. I wish Texas was right next door to me.

Spryte said...

I love lemon! Those look so good!

Jill said...

Wish I were your neighbor! These look so good....I love anything lemon!!

Kerstin said...

What lovely little lemon treats! They are so cute and look worth the extra effort - yum!

Lissaloo said...

Those look delicious Monica :)

Maria said...

I love the pastel touch! Super cute!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I needed to post something citrus-y last night and was very tempted to call you to see about posting our tea cakes. unlike yourself I didn't have anything so lovely and lemony waiting in the wings to be blogged about.

I love all your little details. It's what makes everything you make so special.

Coleens Recipes said...

How pretty and what a pretty presentation.

Sophie said...

Sweet gift! I have a soft spot for anything mini, especially if it's sweet :).

unconfidentialcook said...

I can't wait until my neighbor gives me another batch of lemons from his tree--these are gorgeous! (I can't believe you didn't save some for yourself!!!)

pickbet said...

I just saw your decorated cakes, which look wonderful, and wondered if the teacher mentioned a turntable. My Mom made decorated cakes and she had an old record player turntable that my father, who was a real handy man, stripped down to just the basics and she used that. She put the cake on a cardbord disc and put it all on the turntable. Then she just spun it around a little at a time so she never had to move. It put the cake a little higher off the table too. I'm sure today they have "store bought" models that you could buy.

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