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Macadamia Nut Tarts


Taste Tip: This recipe must be prepared in advance. To prepare dried lemon peel, spread the zest of 1 large lemon on wax paper and allow to air-dry overnight. Other nuts could be used instead of macadamia.

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  • For crust:
  • 3 cups flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for tart pans
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Dried lemon zest from 1 large lemon (see Note)
  • For topping:
  • 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped


Servings 4
Adapted from


Step 1

To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease mini-tart or mini-muffin pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt, and reserve.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 3 sticks butter, 2/3 cup granulated sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix just until dough is crumbly.

On a lightly floured surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thickness. Using a 2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter (depending upon the size of mini-muffin pan or mini-tart pan), cut out dough and transfer to prepared pans, pressing into pan and leaving a well in the center (or form dough into a ball, press dough into pans and form desired shape). Prick dough with fork and bake until light brown, about 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies in pans for 10 minutes, then turn cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare topping: Combine 10 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute without stirring, until mixture thickens and large bubbles begin to form. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and cream. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending upon pan size) into each tart crust and cool completely.

2014 Finalist: Trish Cowle of Mendota Heights, Minnesota, who adapted recipe from “The Spirit of Christmas.

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