Cashew tassies

In my chats with people, there seems to be this mutual agreement that while October moved at a nice, healthy clip, November has been zooming by.  We just finished celebrating my husband's birthday and now, we're looking forward to Thanksgiving just a few days away.
We'll be gathering with family and just sitting around to eat, talk, and be in the moment.  This holiday season, from now until Christmas and New Years, I'm determined to enjoy myself, stress less, and just savor the moments.   I look back at last year feeling like I had a little too long of a to-do list, too much of an agenda during the last 2 months of the year.  This year, I'm going to chill a little bit more and when it comes to cooking and baking, I plan to stick closer to old favorites and keep homemade gifts simple.  
That doesn't mean I won't try a few fun recipes that call out to me.  Here's one I made that I thought would be a great dessert option for Thanksgiving or a dinner party.  You often hear of pecan tassies but since my family and I are not huge fans of pecans, I substituted it with one of our favorites - cashew nuts.
I used cashews (ground in the crust and chopped in the filling) in this recipe instead of pecans
"Tassies" refer to the Scottish word for "little cups" and these are basically little tart cups filled with a filling of cashew nuts, sweetened with good things like maple syrup and brown sugar.  It's got the warm flavors you associate with autumn and pie, plus a small presentation that's so nice for times like Thanksgiving when everyone has already enjoyed a big meal and might want to savor smaller bites at dessert (or make room for a greater variety of dessert on their plate).  In any case, if you love small bites and mini desserts like I do, these little tassies are a nice dessert anytime. 
For those a little pie-phobic like me and anxious about making crusts, the crust for these tassies is very easy to make.  Cream cheese - and butter - give it a lovely tenderness.  The dough is easy to handle and you simply roll out small balls and press each into mini muffin tins.  I substituted a little of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour with no problems.  

The filling is even easier to make.  Stir together an egg, the brown sugar and maple syrup I mentioned, a tablespoon of butter, and a good amount of toasted cashews, and simply fill the cups and bake.  The finished tassies pop right out of the tin.
These end up with a tender pastry and a sweet - but not too sweet - filling loaded with toasted cashew flavor.  I made these to enjoy for our "mini" or pre-Thanksgiving dinner at home, just the three of us.  On the actual day, we're getting together with more family and I'm simply on dessert duty.  I'm bringing an ice cream pie and a chocolate-hazelnut torte but now that I've auditioned these little cashew tassies, they just might be a contender for next year's gathering.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


I saw this recipe, originally for pecan tassies, on Martha Bakes a while back and thought it looked so easy.  Happily, that's just how it turned out to be!  I've never made tassies before so it was a lot of fun to try something a little different.  And Thanksgiving was the perfect time to give these a test drive so here we are!
This recipe makes exactly 18 tassies, baked in mini muffin tins.

Mix the ingredients for the dough - cream cheese (you could also use mascarpone), butter, flour (I used a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour), salt, and half a cup of finely ground cashews.  Needless to say, you must toast the cashews and its best to buy them un-toasted and do it yourself for maximum flavor.  A dough will come together that you can simply pinch off to make small 1-inch balls from.  Plop it into a muffin tin cavity and use your thumb to press it up and around the muffin cups.
Divide the filling among the cups.  Make sure to fill it evenly with the sweet maple liquid that binds all the coarsely chopped cashew nuts.  
In about 22 minutes, you'll smell the nutty sweet aroma in the air.  The tassies will be lightly golden.  Let sit on a wire rack until fully cooled and I found they popped right out of the ungreased muffin tins.
These tassies are easy to make, adorable to look at, and certainly enjoyable to eat.  I adore the sweet, buttery, luxurious taste of the cashew nuts.
They're also easy to pack up and transport.  You can also place them in an airtight container for a couple of days in the case of leftovers.  I'm also going to freeze a few, since I hear nut tassies freeze well, and experiment with that.  

Happy feasting, entertaining, and living!

Recipe:

Cashew Tassies
Adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe for pecan tassies

- Makes 18 - 

For the dough:
1/2 cup toasted cashews
1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese or mascarpone, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute with more all-purpose flour)
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 large egg
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make dough: Place cashew nuts in a food processor or small chopper and process until finely ground.  Set aside.  Place cream cheese or mascarpone and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined.  Add flour(s), ground cashews, and salt.  Mix together just until a dough starts to come together.  Avoid over-mixing and finish by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula if necessary.  

Roll dough into 18 one-inch balls.  Press each into the bottom and up the sides un-greased mini muffin tins cups.  

Make filling: Whisk egg, maple syrup, vanilla, butter, and salt together in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the chopped cashews.  

Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into each muffin cup.  Bake tassies until the crust begin to turn golden, about 20-22 minutes.  Remove from oven to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Unmold (the tassies should slide right out) and place on a serving platter.  You can store the tassies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.





38 comments:

  1. I've heard of tassies before, but wasn't even sure what they were. Now my mouth is watering and I can't wait to try them!

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    1. I've seen them and they always look easy and good for a crowd. Glad I finally made some. It's amazing how many things we cook and bake and still there are a million things we haven't done.

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  2. Yes November and in fact the whole year has gone by so quickly! Tassies are new to me-we have a state in Australia called Tasmania and we call it Tassie sometimes but this clearly has nothing to do with it :)

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    1. haha - definitely a different thing but my understanding is it's just meant to mean "little cups"...you can fill it with different things. : )

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  3. I can't believe I've never made tastes! I've eaten a pecan version once but I love your take on this lovely bite. I hope you have a wonderful, low stress, blessed Thanksgiving Monica. No worries!

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    1. Who would allow you not to bring your famous pies and opt for tassies instead?! You don't get that crisp buttery crust with a pie and trade it in for tenderness and a very easy preparation. I think there's room for everything. I feel very chilled and relaxed, thank you, Tricia. ; ) You enjoy Thanksgiving with your family!

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  4. These tassies look freaking good, Monica. I made some almond tassies YEARS ago and I can't wait to try yours for this holiday season.

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    1. Thanks so much, Angie. Almond tassies are right up my alley!!

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  5. Your family could have assigned you any part of the meal and it would have been special, Monica, but they apparently are well aware that they have a dessert expert in their midst! :) Your tassies are beautiful. I love how you adapted them to your favorite cashews. I hope your Thanksgivings, big and small, are lovely and that you can live in the moment for a peaceful holiday season!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my posts, Wendy. : ) I do love cashews and have a jar of mixed nuts to munch on everyday. As for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I am more focused on trying to slow time down a little (impossible as it is) and just savoring. : ) I am hardly an expert but in my family of no-bakers, maybe I am the point person for dessert by default. You have a great Thanksgiving!

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  6. This month just flew by. I can't believe we're almost near the end of the month. These cashew tassies look so delicious! I've never made tassies before too but I love the cashew twist! They would make the perfect treat for Thanksgiving! I feel the same way and am planning on cutting back on some stress this year as well. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family! xo

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    1. Hi Kelly - thank you! I'm glad someone else feels the same way. I don't want to whine but be more aware. The goal is to enjoy everything, right, so we need to adjust when we feel things are a little out of whack. : ) Hope you have a more relaxing holiday season!

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  7. I completely agree - November has been moving even faster than the rest of fall! It's my goal to actually enjoy the holidays this year ... so I'm working on it!! haha smaller to-do lists :) These cashew tassies sound wonderful! And I hope you have the happiest of thanksgivings Monica!!

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    1. I'm really glad you share my sentiments, Ashley. I love a good to-do list but sometimes, they get just a little too long and I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy it. Otherwise, what's the point! : )
      Here's to a fabulous Thanksgiving for you and yours!

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  8. This is something new to me. It sounds super delicious and very tempting one! Bookmarked!

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    1. Thank you! Hope you have a chance to give it and try and see how you like it.

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  9. Hi Monica, I love mini desserts, these look delicious, smart idea to use cashews. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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    1. I think mini desserts are so neat, especially if there is a ton of them and a bunch of variety to pick from. : ) Have a great Thanksgiving, Cheri.

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    1. Thank you, Medha. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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  11. Oh! I have never made tassies before. These look fantastic, Monica — they mush have tasted wonderful. I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. They were really easy to make so that makes it fun. Thank you!

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  12. I have never heard of tassies before but these seem like a great way to please my sweet tooth! A great festive dessert for the upcoming holidays. Have a great week. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Pamela. Enjoy Thanksgiving!

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  13. Nice treats! I am big fan of cashews but haven't had them for ages.

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  14. I have never heard or tried tassies, and I am loving it...like the cute little sizes and the nuts in it, both the crust and filling...these would be lovely for the holidays.
    Have a wonderful week Monica :)

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    1. Great for a crowd, a party, for sure. Have a good one, Juliana.

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  15. This looks awesome and completely addicting! Lastest post of my blog : BEST ELECTRIC RESIDENTIAL BATHROOM WALL HEATER

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  16. I was just telling my husband I feel like we just skipped this month!! Time is going too fast! Love these lassies and may just need to add them to my cookie trays this year :)

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    1. November just flew! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and glad you liked these little nutty cups. : )

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  17. I love cashews... You inspired me so much! I think I'll bake something similar really soon!

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    1. That's such a nice compliment. I know you'd make a great rendition of tassies!

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  18. Wow..looking at the pictures, I am getting hungry. Super yummy. I love cashews and this is the perfect recipe for me. Love it :)

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    1. Cashews are so buttery and utterly delicious. I wanted to try to use them more beyond just snacking or adding them to our chicken stir-fry. : ) Glad you like them, too.

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  19. These tassies look delicious, Monica! Cashews sound like a great variation and the cream cheese crust sounds delicious (: Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy and relax for the upcoming holiday season! I just finished up with final exams and am excited to be home and baking for the holidays! Can't wait to see what else you have baking up!

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    1. Hope you are doing well, Monica. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Thanksgiving was so nice and relaxing. I hope you get some breathing room to unwind, bake, and just enjoy a little 'off' time for yourself.

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