Monday, September 03, 2007

Mondays with Maida - Almond Tartlets

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

Nutrition Facts

Tea and cookies


Leigh said...

Well, they look tasty to me. In fact they look perfect to go with a cup of coffee.

Rowena said...

The cookies are certainly pretty to look at. I'm thinking that perhaps you're right on toasting them a bit to bring out the flavor. In any case, hazelnuts and macnuts would work too but now I'm thinking...hmmm...pistachios?

Cathy said...

Hi Leigh! Thanks - I really liked them myself. Actually, the fact that they are on the plain side would make them a nice "go with" for lots of different things.

Hi Rowena! Thanks, I think they're pretty too and I honestly think that if all my coworkers hadn't already sampled about 140 other cookies, they'd have thought these were pretty great :)

Oh, pistachios would be very interesting!

Nupur said...

Ooh, I think I would love this cookie and that cup of tea/ coffee! The second picture is gorgeous, Cathy.

Cathy said...

Hi Nupur! Thank you! Those tea bags were a gift from Bob and Chuck... I think they're so cute with the little leaf on top!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what I had forgotten to do Monday...I'm not an almond expert, but I think it depends where the almonds were grown. Here in California there's a variety of almonds. Some are really sweet, others are blander (though I don't know why I'd want to eat bland-tasting almonds...)By the way, there was an interesting article about almond growers in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. And yes, I think hazelnuts might be an interesting alternative.

Cathy said...

Hi Mari! I may have been a bit late trying to read that article - I was only able to read a brief synopsis for free on-line... may have to stop by the library today!