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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Strawberry Cheesecake Tartlets

Makes: 24 cookies
Prep: 25 minutes
Chill: 2 to 24 hours
Bake: 15 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour [140 g]
1/4 cup sugar [48 g]
1/4 cup ground toasted almonds [55 g]
1/4 cup butter [56 g]
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons water
1 4-serving-size package cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 cup evaporated milk [250 ml]
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
Sliced strawberries and/or toasted sliced almonds


1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and ground almonds. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces are pea-size. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the water. Gradually stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined. If necessary, add enough of the additional water to make a dough that starts to cling. Gently knead just until smooth; form dough into a ball. If necessary, cover and chill about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide dough into 24 pieces. Shape pieces into balls. Press dough evenly into the bottoms and up the sides of 24 ungreased 1 3/4-inch muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

3. For filling: In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, evaporated milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.

4. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the filling into each cookie. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

5. Before serving, top each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of the preserves and a strawberry slice and/or a few sliced almonds. Makes 24 cookies.

6. To Store: Layer filled cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw cookies if frozen. Top with preserves and, if desired, decorate as directed in step 5.

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