It’s true! I do like butter and I’m not shy about saying it. I’ve tried margarine and vegan margarine in baking but nothing compares to the creamy richness of butter. The smell of a freshly opened block of butter brings back memories of childhood, eating butter on toast, the little puddles of melting butter on the warm bread tasting so rich and deeply satisfying. We all know that butter has received a bad rap over the years and yes, in excess it probably isn’t good for you but in moderation a small spoon of butter can take a dish from good to great.
Now this recipe has more than one spoon of butter. It has 3/4 of a cup. Yes, it’s quite a bit but I’m fine with that because it’s the butter that makes these delicious little tartlets fragrant and delicious. Don’t skimp on the butter and please no margarine in this recipe. You need the full-on, gloriously fat and creamy butter.
These little pucks of goodness can also be called almond butter tarts but they have nothing in common with the traditional Canadian butter tarts that are gooey and wet. These tarts turn out firm and crumbly on the outside with a chewy, dense inside and a hint of almond essence. Simply put, they are a cinch to make and just as easily devoured.
Mine turned out a bit browner than I had wanted thanks to the unpredictable temperature in my oven so it may be a good idea to bake these at a slightly lower temperature, rotate your pan at half time, and keep your eye on them towards the end. I brought these little gems with me to my writing course and they were very well-received.
almond butter tartlets (makes 8 small fluted tartlets; or 1 9-inch fluted tart)recipe adapted from Sweet Amandine
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbs granulated sugar for sprinkling
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tsps almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 all-purpose flour
3 tbs sliced almonds toasted
Preheat oven to 350 F.
1. Melt butter in a small saucepan and put aside to cool slightly. Grease a 9-inch fluted round pan or eight, 4-inch fluted tart pans. I used fluted tins with removable bottoms which I found makes it so easy to remove the tartlets once they are baked.
2. Place the sliced almonds on a baking sheet and toast for a few minutes until they are golden.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Blend the 1 1/2 cups sugar and the melted butter in either a mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Next add in the almond and vanilla extract. Finally add the salt and the flour and mix to incorporate.
4. Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop with a trigger, scoop up the batter and drop into the 8 greased tins or a 9-inch pan. Using the back of a spoon, smooth over the top(s). Sprinkle the toasted almond slices and the reserved 1 tbs of sugar on top of each tartlet.
5. Bake the 9-inch tart for around 35 minutes until golden on top and around 25 minutes for the 4-inch tartlets. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove from tart tins carefully.