Nut Tassie Cookies

Nut tassies are a local favorite around here in eastern Pennsylvania. They look like a tiny pecan pie, the size of one big bite! Heavenly sweet and best made with pecans.  I have eaten them at many people’s homes. In all fairness I never made them when I could still eat regular gluten filled white flour. Perhaps it is that I was able to just snag them off a cookie plate at someone’s holiday party.  Now, that is no long a possibility and I was craving a nut tassie. I started looking for a recipe and had some trouble with that; found a cherry one that was gf and thought I would combine it with the filing in my cookie book’s recipe.  Then I lost that location and had to search again.  Inept me….but then on food.com, there it was; a classic tassie recipe complete with cream cheese dough for the pie crust and a filling almost identical to the traditional filling. And it was gluten free for folks like me…eureka!

This weekend my family had a small pre-Christmas gathering and I whipped up a batch of these tassies Saturday morning.  After chilling the dough some I made a dozen.  My crust was very crumbly and with trepidation I started rolling a ball of the crumbs into one ball a bit over an inch in diameter. It held together in a ball. Then I dropped it in my mini muffin tin and used my finger to spread it out and up the sides.  It worked but I fear I used a bit more than specified for the dozen shells so I may not get my full two dozen tassies.  I will make the rest of them next weekend…reason being that gf cookies don’t keep as well as regular flour cookies so best not to bake a whole batch at once shot.  This way you have fresh cookies twice.  I keep the dough and filling in the fridge nice and cold and it will last up to a week or so.

Speaking of filling, I didn’t chop my nuts really fine; left some in chunks to give a bigger texture which I prefer. The filing is so simple; chop the nuts, then dump the sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl, add the softened butter and the vanilla and nuts; stir and it is ready to spoon into the little crust cups you just created.

Here is the link to the recipe I used: http://www.food.com/recipe/gluten-free-pecan-tassies-105371

They are easy to make and totally yummy to devour.  I find it takes me 2-3 bites to down one of these treat.  Happy baking folks!

Pecan Tartlets

As 2016 was my year to blog on pies I feel compelled to share yet more yummy pieness.  This one is a bunch of tartlets; about 4 inches across. Since I didn’t need a whole pecan pie I made a 2/3 batch of filling for six flat bottom tartlets filled with pecan gooey yumminess. Just an idea if you don’t want a whole big pie. Plus everyone loves a tartlet; like a whole pie just for you!  They keep about 3 days in a sealed container…if they last that long.

Notes: You have to use dark corn syrup.  Yes, I know corn syrup is an unhealthy item but sometimes you just have to go wicked!  It’s worth it, I promise. Cross my heart.

These tartlets are awesome as is but are also great with some freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream which is popular at my house.

Angie’s GF Pecan Tartlets 

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Crust directions: Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembles coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you get the rest ready.

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/3 c sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 and a half tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

3/4 cups pecan halves

Sprinkle cinnamon

Filling: Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup in stand mixer until well mixed, can use a hand held mixer.  Stir in pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Assembly: Roll out 2/3 of pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and cut into four sections across the middle.  Take a section and fit into a tartlet pan.  I use the flat bottomed ones; come in a set of four attached together.  Crimp edges all around.   Roll out the rest and form into the other two tartlet shells.I don’t leave a lot of crust at the top so I actually got 7 tartlet shells; the spare one was for me! Fill your shells with pecan mix.  I filled my spare with homemade raspberry jam sprinkled with pie crumbs that I had in the fridge. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven on a low shelf for 25 or so minutes until set and crust edges lightly browned.  Cool at least 1/2 hour before serving at room temperature or slightly chilled.  The raspberry one was equally tasty and we actually each had half a raspberry and half a pecan tartlet with ice cream for dessert last weekend.  Perfection!

 pecan-and-raspberry-tartlets

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s gf flour blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust is from Annalise Robert’s great cookbook.  Gluten-Free Baking Classics, second edition.

Pecan Pie: Fall Classic!

Thanksgiving pie – gotta have it. Posted my go-to pumpkin pie recipe last week.  Here is another classic pie. This is is my favorite pecan pie recipe; been making it for a long while and I have shared the recipe before but not on this blog; right out of Betty Crocker, just now with a gluten free crust.  I add an extra quarter cup pecans to make the pie a bit fatter and I always use dark Karo syrup; it is really the only one you should use if you want a great result.

karopecans

I don’t need a whole pie so I am thinking of making a half batch of filling for four flat bottom tartlets filled with pecan yumminess. Just a thought if you don’t want a whole big pie.  I think my tartlets would be baked in 30-35 minutes.  I’ll let you know how the tartlets turn out.

Pecan pie is awesome on its own but is also great with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  A classic never goes out of style.  I wanted to get the post up so you can have it on Thursday; it looks just like pecan pie should; rich, dark and nutty.

pecan-pie

I haven’t made my pie yet; this is from McCormick Spices but looks a lot like mine.

Angie’s GF Pecan Pie 

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions:Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.  I don’t usually bother with this but feel free to take this extra caution.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you get the rest ready.

Filling:

3 large eggs

2/3 c sugar

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup very soft or melted butter

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 1/4 cups pecan halves

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions: Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup until well mixed, can use a hand held mixer.  Stir in pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Roll out pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with pecan mix.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until set.  Cool at least 1 hour before serving at room temperature or chilled.

 

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s gf flour blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Russian Teacakes aka Mexican Wedding Cookies, Even Better GF

These miniature snowballs were the foundation of the Christmas cookie baking when I was a child.  They were always made every year, sometimes a second batch had to be baked as we ate the whole first one before the big day!  You can use pecans but I rarely do.  Some people call them Mexican Wedding Cookies but we called them Russian Teacakes. For me it is not Christmas without these cookies so I was extremely pleased to find a great recipe.

xmas cookies 006

This year’s batch; made with pecans!

They are easy to make with not too many ingredients.  Be careful lifting them off the pan as they are delicate until fully cooled. The texture and subtle flavor of this GF version is actually superior to the wheat flour recipe of my childhood.  They are delightful with a cup of tea or coffee.

If you like them really sweet sprinkle on extra powdered sugar, less of it makes them perfect for those who are not used to too much sweetness. No one will ever know they are GF and you will get complements on their flavor and texture.  This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ fabulous Glutin-Free Baking Classics with very minor changes by me. Enjoy: they are rather addictive cookies!

russian teacakes

Russian Teacakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

6 tbsp. powdered (confectioners) sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups brown rice mix (recipe below)

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup walnuts or pecans chopped fine

Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Beat butter and powdered sugar in large bowl of stand mixer until light and creamy.  Add vanilla, beat in.  Add flour and gum, mix in until well blended, stir in walnuts until distributed.  Chill dough for an hour.

Form into 1 inch balls.  Roll in confectioners sugar, place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with Pam (not the bakers version that has flour).  Place about 1 ½ inches apart.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on top and bottom.  Cool on pan for 5 min and then sprinkle with more powdered sugar before placing on wire rack to cool.   Store well wrapped: in airtight container, in fridge for a week or two or freezer for up to 30 days.  You could store unbaked dough in fridge for up to three days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: This was originally posted to my old blog site last December (2013).  I just made a batch of them Wednesday night.  Still totally wonderful.