Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sweet bite-sized treats...

I love to bake items that are one or two bite treats as they are great for keeping portion size in line and they are just fun to eat. I was going to make some small cookies today, but I happened upon a recipe I stashed away for something I was going to test out for Christmas treats this year.

Orange-Walnut Tassies are small golden cups filled with a sweet and rich filling with a subtle orange tang. The cups are a tender cream cheese dough that are formed in mini muffin tins. The dough is soft and very easy to work with - I didn't even need to flour my fingers to keep them from sticking as I was pressing the pieces into shape. The crunch in the filling comes from a bottom layer of chopped toasted walnuts. The sweet filling is made from brown sugar, brown rice syrup, orange zest, fresh orange juice and an egg. As these bake, the egg makes the filling puff up almost like a muffin - but as they cool, it slowly settles back into a lush dense blend of textures. I thought the best bites were the ones where a little of the filling oozed out and down the sides of the crust making a sticky caramel-like coating. Jeff commented that it kind of reminded him of an individual pecan-type pie, execpt made with walnuts.

Even though we have been eating a lot of veggie-only (no reason really, just how it happened to be planned out) dishes lately, tonight's dinner, Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad, changes things up with a spicy kick. The thick creamy dressing has a smoky bite from cumin and chili powder, but also takes your mouth for a ride with heat coming from chipotles in adobo. The salad is a mixture of crunchy romaine, spiced chunks of chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes, creamy avocado pieces, black beans and fresh corn that I sauteed in a bit of butter. As I read through the recipe, I kept thinking it was lacking a hard crunch somewhere, so I formed and toasted a flavored tortilla in a fun shape for something different. Light, refreshing and between the chicken and beans, we both found this to be very filling. It certainly reminded us of life back in Phoenix!


  1. My Mom makes some sorta pecan version of that...tastes damn good!

  2. Those Tassies look awfully sassy. I think I would really like those.
    I made your M&M cookies recently-Yummo!

  3. Looks like a one bite dessert to me, and I like to take alot of bites! I would get myself in trouble if I made a batch.

  4. individual pecan pies? oh wow that so great


  5. I was slightly confused at first, as 'Tassie' is the term we Australians use to refer to the little island at the southern tip of the country, but I think I prefer your Tassie much more! And I love that toasted tortilla dish!

  6. Wheresmymind - I think that is the most popular version.

    Annie - Thanks! I'll have to check out the cookies!

    Ungouremtgal - They have frozen well!

    Teddy - Thanks!

    Ellie - Cool! I never knew that!

  7. Both of these recipes look great! I'm always looking for a new taco salad dressing - this one sounds really good! I always enjoy your posts!