Raisin Nut Cups Are Super Easy to Make
These raisin nut cups are tiny pastry-like cookies are baked in mini muffin tins. Rich cream-cheese dough is formed into a small cup, which is filled with a buttery-sugary mixture of pecans and raisins. They appear fancy, but are relatively easy to make. The pastry is very buttery and flaky and friends will think you slaved for hours!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces cream cheese, chilled, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- 2 large eggs, separated
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
- 1 cup raisins, chopped
- Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- For the dough: Place flour in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade and pulse on and off to aerate. Turn machine on and add cream cheese and butter a few pieces at a time through feed tube and process until evenly combined and the dough begins to form moist clumps. Remove dough from machine, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (You may freeze dough up to 1 month, double-wrapped in plastic wrap; defrost in refrigerator overnight before proceeding).
- For the filling: Whip egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl with balloon-whip attachment until soft peaks form. Scrape out into small bowl; set aside. Use same bowl (just wipe dry; no need to wash) to cream butter and sugar. Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat with flat paddle on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla extract. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition, again scraping down the bowl once or twice. Fold in egg whites, pecans and raisins until evenly combined.
- Position racks in upper and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 4, 12-mini-muffin tins with nonstick spray.
- Roll dough out to ⅛-inch thickness on lightly floured surface, cut out circles using a 2½-inch round cookie cutter (fluted or straight edged), press rounds into each muffin well and smooth out the bottom and sides. Fill with about of teaspoon of filling – it should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides; do not overfill.
- Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown all over the top and slightly darker brown around the edges.
- Place muffin tins on racks for a couple of minutes. To remove tarts from pans, insert the tip of a sharp knife along the edge of each tart and gently apply inward and upward pressure to release the tart. Place tarts directly on racks to cool completely. (Tarts may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.) Dust tops with confectioners’ sugar right before serving, if desired.
Image: Dédé Wilson