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Day 11 of the Free Press's 21 Days of Holiday Cookies features Cherry almond cookie tarts. We will be publishing one cookie recipe every day — Monday to Saturday — till Christmas.
Marlene Oldham of Winnipeg has been making this delicately flavoured tartlet for over three decades. This year she made them for the Poinsettia Tea at her church.
Cherry almond cookie tarts
227 g (1 cup) butter, softened
125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar
1 egg, beaten
500 ml (2 cups) sifted flour
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
2 egg whites
30 ml (2 tbsp) maraschino cherry syrup
10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice
Maraschino cherries, quartered
Cream butter with 125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Gradually blend in flour until dough comes together. Wrap dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill about one hour.
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Pinch off pieces of dough, about 2 cm (3/4 in), and press into small tart pans, covering bottom and sides. Mix until blended ground almonds, 250 ml (1 cup) sugar, egg whites, cherry syrup and lemon juice. Fill tarts with approximately 5 ml (1 tsp) of almond mixture. Top with cherry quarters. Bake 20-30 minutes until pastry is golden-brown at the edges and filling is puffed up slightly.
Tester's notes: A delicious combination of shortbread and almond tart. The small size makes it a good dessert after a big meal.