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Mini Almond Tarts

I made these this morning - very tasty. So tasty in fact that I made 4 dozen but by the time I actually finished up the final touches I was down to 2 dozen! Hmmm... I'm pretty sure that DH had something to do with that. I made them with Mother's Kosher unsalted butter, Toffuti Better than Cream Cheese, Soy Milk and Ener-G Egg Replacement in place of the dairy and egg ingredients - once again, if they rock without the "good stuff" then you know they must be good!

Miniature Almond Tarts - makes 4 dozen (unless your hubby gets his hands on them first)

Ingredient list -
1 c. butter, softened
2 pkg (3oz each) cream cheese, softened
2 c. AP flour
6 oz almond paste, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
1c. sugar
1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
3 T butter, softened
4 to 5 t. milk

Maraschino cherry halves (about 48) - make sure to dry thoroughly after slicing! :)

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add flour and mix well - (try not to over-mix, too much gluten does not make for like and flaky goodness :)). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

While waiting patiently for dough to chill, combine almond paste, eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat at low speed until blended.

After an hour shape dough into 1 inch (or a little larger) balls and place in an ungreased miniature muffin tin. press into the bottom and up sides to form a shell. (Make sure to allow at least 1/8 - 1/4 inch bottom or getting them out of the pan is not an easy task!)

Fill each shell with 1 1/2 t. filling. It puffs up pretty good, so for easier removal leave a little space at the top so the filling doesn't overflow.

Bake at 325 for 25 -30 minutes of until edges are golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing and moving to wire racks to cool completely.

While being patient yet again, make the frosting and cut the cherries. - Combine the confectioners' sugar, butter and enough milk to achieve desired consistency (I'd say to start with 2 t. and add 1 at a time until you're happy). Pipe or spread over tarts (I dollop-ed as to not break the tart) - top with a cherry (this helped to "spread" the frosting evenly, it worked great).

*note* I had never made these before - so being a daughter I took the "advice" of my mother when she told me I had too much dough in my cups for the shells. Well, batch 1 was super hard to get out because they were too thin on the bottom. So I ended up with a decent amount of extra shell dough. I used it to make Cranberry Pecan Tassies. Super yummy! Recipe to follow.

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