Nut Teacakes

Christmas just isn't Christmas without cookies. At least, as far as I'm concerned. 

I usually spend the weeks prior to Christmas baking loads of cookies to gift out to family and friends. I carefully hand select my favorite recipes - most of them passed down from family members - and park myself in the kitchen for hours on end.

When I was a kid my aunts would make these little nut tartlets around the holidays that they called Nut Teacakes. These little beauties can be described in one word: "DELICIOUS".

The recipe was given to my mother, then passed to me. See that recipe in the photograph? Handwritten. Oh yeah. But of course, there's no instructions. So I found a similar recipe on Allrecipes.com that had some and figured it out.

When I decided I was going to try and make these gluten-free this year for the holidays, the forces that be decided not to make things so easy for me. I inherited my mother's mini muffin tin when we went to visit back in September. It got packed up in my suitcase, loaded on a plane, and flown from Florida to New York. However, when I packed up everything to take out to my mother-in-law's in Buffalo (where we would be spending Christmas and where I would be doing all my baking), I forgot the darned thing.

It seemed senseless to buy another one when I had a perfectly good one sitting in my cabinet at home. So we tried to find one to borrow. We called grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and friends. One of my husband's aunts thought we meant mini loaf pans and said he could drive over and borrow it. Unfortunately my husband returned with four regular sized muffin tins because of the error. Finally, my mother-in-law called her assistant at work and we were in business!

So, moral of the story - find yourself a mini muffin tin, and make sure you have it in your possession, before you attempt to make these.

Nut Teacakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen

  • 3 ounces Neufchatel (light cream cheese), softened
  • 1 cup Gluten-free Flour blend
  • 1 stick Light Butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Butter, melted
  • 1 Egg, large
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Nuts (pecans or walnuts), chopped
  1. Make Pastry Dough: With a mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Add flour and mix well. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Once thoroughly chilled, divide evenly and roll into 24 balls. Press and shape dough into individual cups of a mini muffin tin. If your tin only holds 12, like mine, put additional dough back into the refrigerator until you're ready for Round 2!
  3. Make Filling: In a medium bowl, measure brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, nuts and egg. Mix until well blended.
  4. Fill the tart shells, being careful not to overfill. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, until crusts are golden brown and filling has set.
Hope your holidays are warm and bright. 
Happy gluten-free baking and...
Happy New Year!

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