Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Walnut Cups

Tuesday evening, we made Holiday Cookie #8: Walnut Cups.

I was unemployed during the 2001 winter holidays. I had just accepted a job but didn't start until January, so I had a lot of free time. That was the first year that I did a lot of cookie baking. The year that my family eagerly tasted all 10 or so kinds and played 'Cookie Survivor' and voted one kind off the cookie tray. The year that that I found the Walnut Cups recipe online. I know I found it online, I typed it and printed it, but I have no indication on the paper of the source of the recipe.These cookies seem to be permanent members on the Holiday Cookie Tray.

While SP made the dough (simply mixing cream cheese, flour, and butter) I got out the mini muffin pan, my dough tamper, and got ready for these slightly labor intensive cookies.

The dough is rolled into 1 inch balls. One ball is placed in each muffin cup.Then I use my dough tamper to press the dough balls into cup shapes.The first year I made these, I did not have a tamper. If you are going to make a mini muffin cup cookie, get a tamper. It makes life so much easier and the cookies so much prettier. Just remember to dip the tamper in flour before pressing it into each dough ball or else the dough ball sticks to the tamper.

While I made the dough cups, SP mixed the filling: egg, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts. Sometimes we use pecans.Next I carefully spooned the filling into the cups. This is another time when my baby spoon is very useful! Then the muffin tin goes into a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. The recipe cautions to not fill the cups all the way to the top. I thought I left enough space, but unfortunately, many of my cups boiled over.Ugh. Scraping this goo off the pan is not fun! You'd think that in my 9th year of making these I'd be able to get bakery/pastry chef perfect walnut cups!

I've never used paper liners when making these. I've never greased each cup because it's a non-stick pan. However, after last night, I think I am going to start using paper liners. The dough was just flaky enough that nearly every walnut cup crumbled/lost some cup part when I removed them from the pan. That's frustrating after all the work.In spite of the flaky crusts and boiled over filling, they taste good!

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