Well I caved and had to do one more sweet for the season.  I’m going to blame my cooking friend Lucy, over at A Cook and Her Books, for posting her Macadamia-Rum Tassies.  They looked irresistible, so I promptly started working on a grain-free version.  It took a few batches (yeah, we have been eating a lot of cookies), but I am really happy with this cookie–it is not as sweet as a regular tassie, but very rich and the maple syrup flavor really plays well with the distinctive taste of the black walnuts.  If you are not into black walnuts you can substitute pecans or English walnuts, but I think they make for a great little cookie.

Black Walnut Tassies (grain free)

For the crust I first tried using only almond flour, but the dough was not stable enough and the cookies were very hard to get out of the tins in one piece.  I revised the recipe with the addition of some arrowroot powder, and that did the trick.  You will need mini muffin tins to make these little two-bite pastries, and despite the amount of fat in the dough I found that they came out perfectly when I also buttered the tins. I really recommend using grade B maple syrup rather than grade A, as it has a much richer flavor and you can get by with using less as a result.

Black Walnut Tassies (grain free)

Black Walnut Tassies (grain free)
Recipe type: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 22
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup black walnut pieces
  1. To make the dough, stir together the almond flour, arrowroot, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Use a fork to cut in the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. When the mixture is close to holding together, use your hands to finishing mixing the dough and form it into a ball. Refrigerate the dough for an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and butter two mini-muffin tins.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and melted butter. Stir in the black walnut pieces.
  4. Form the chilled dough into 22 balls of roughly equal size. Press the dough into the prepared mini muffin tins. Fill each little crust with some of the black walnut mixture to just reach the top of the dough (it will bubble up a bit while baking, so to avoid run-overs do not overfill).
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the tins before removing.

Black Walnut Tassies (grain free)

They are so small and innocent-looking, so you have to be careful to avoid consuming a half dozen at a time.  I speak from experience.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. These look divine! I can’t do the cream cheese, but maybe I could sub in some form of coconut cream/cashews instead! I love black walnuts. They’re so rich in flavor!

    1. I wonder if coconut cream would work….hmmmmmm. Now I might have to bake more cookies.

  2. These remind me of the Southern pecan tassie, only healthier…they look scrumptious! Happy Holidays!

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