Monday, September 03, 2007
Mondays with Maida - Almond Tartlets
Page 248 in the old book / page 269 in the new book
Tartlets again, but this week they're almond. The recipe is very similar to last week's. The filling is the same but for the chocolate and flavorings and the pastry is still shortbread-like, but even richer this go-round with two whole sticks of butter and an egg. I had no problems making these, but the end-product was generally thought to be bland.
The recipe suggests a couple of variations where either candied cherries or pineapple are put under the filling and the finished tartlets are dusted with powdered sugar. I think this would make for some pretty cookies and might be appreciated by those that were bored with these sweet, but (in spite of all the almonds in them) not very almondy cookies.
I had remembered Suzanne's criticism of last week's cookies (she couldn't taste the almond) and was concerned that the fact that my almonds had been in the freezer for a number of months might have deadened their flavor. Whether or not that was the case, the freshly-purchased blanched almonds in these cookies were no more flavorful. Even though I enjoyed these tartlets, I would have to agree that the almond flavor was subdued at best. Perhaps toasted almonds or maybe even almonds with their skins on (unblanched) would convey more flavor. I think a hazelnut version of this cookie would also be nice.
Here's the panel...
Suzanne: "The Almond Tartlets were the same shape as last week’s cookies and also had the same pie-crust flaky shell. This week I could taste the sweet and crunchiness of the almonds. This was a great cookie with my morning coffee. Rating - 4.0"
Denny: "Very plain. Couldn't taste the almonds. -1 for no chocolate gives them a 1.0 in my opinion. Rating - 1.0"
Laura: "Moist and flaky tartlet crust. Almond filling is sweet but nothing terribly exciting (and I love almond flavor). Rating - 3.5"
Terri: "These are very tasty, but not quite as good as the chocolate version from last week. I'm not a chocoholic, and I do love almonds, but this tart seemed a bit bland. Rating - 3.5"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.0
Next week - Connecticut Date Slices