Cherry Almond Teacakes

This classic petit four is all about a spectacular flavor combination: tangerine and almond. In each moist mouthful, sweet, tangy citrus cuts right through the round, rich flavor of nuts. Then there’s a crackly surface of confectioner’s sugar and a bright, jewel-like bit of fresh cherry on top. Almond paste, available at baking supply stores, is slightly different from marzipan; the paste is darker and coarser-ground than marzipan. But marzipan will work fine too.

  • 45 pitted cherries  
  • 13 ounces almond paste or marzipan 
  • 1 tablespoon tangerine or orange marmalade
  • 3 eggs   
  • 1 egg yolk  
  • 1/4 cup (heaping) all-purpose flour  
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 45 miniature ribbed paper cupcake liners (approximately)
  • Pastry bag (optional)

Arrange the paper cups on a cookie sheet or in mini muffin tins and heat the oven to 350°F. Combine the almond paste and marmalade in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until smooth. One at a time, add eggs and mix in. Add yolk and flour and mix in at low speed. Add melted butter and mix. Transfer to your pastry bag.
Pipe batter into the paper cups, filling each one 3/4 full. Place a quarter of a cherry on each teacake, then sprinkle them all liberally with confectioner’s sugar, making sure the tops are lightly but completely covered (use a shaker or strainer if you like).
Bake until firm and lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature in the paper cups.

Yields about 45 cakes