Chow Bella

Trefoil Cookie Showdown: Pear Frangipane Tart

Got some Girl Scout cookies sitting around? So did we. Hence, the Trefoil Cookie Showdown.

Being one of the newest Chow Bella members, I was a bit nervous about entering this challenge. I had seen last year's Thin Mint competition and wondered if I could make something worthy of all these creative eaters. I decided early on that I would make a trefoil tart crust, but what I would fill it with was muy deficil.

I thought of a lemon or orange curd, chocolate, and custard. When I thought of my favorite thing to eat in a tart I was instantly transported to the tiny french cafe in Del Mar where my mom would now and again let my brother and I share a mini fruit tart. Such a treat. Now, what the heck was that delicious almond filling called? I had to do some googling, but I finally found the right name and recipe inspiration for a Pear Frangipane Tart.

It's way simple and will make you feel so fancy.

Pear Frangipane Tart



1 blue box Trefoils (or 10 oz shortbread cookies)

3 tablespoons butter, melted


6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup almond meal from Trader Joe's (traditionally you're supposed to use ground blanched almonds, I didn't)

2 teaspoons flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 large egg plus
1 egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 jar of poached pear halves from Trader Joe's


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2.  Throw the cookies into your food processor and pulse it until you make fine crumbs. Pour in the butter and pulse again to incorporate.
  3. Pour the buttery butter cookie crumbs into your tart or pie pan and using the bottom of a measuring cup, gently press the crumbs all over the bottom and up the sides a bit until it looks like a good looking crust. Put that in the freezer.
  4. In the same food processor, please don't bother cleaning it, put all the filling ingredients (except the pears) in and mix until completely smooth.
  5.  Take out 4 or 5 of the pear halves and soak up the extra juice it's been swimming in with a kitchen towel until they're pretty dry. Slice each half into thin wedges, keeping the shape of the pears intact.
  6. Take the chilled pan out of the freezer and pour in the almond filling. Gently place the sliced halves on top of the filling and slide the pan into the oven. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, turning the pan half way though cooking.
  7. It's done when the filling is set and the top is a pale golden. Let the tart cool and give it a powdered sugar shower if you're feeling extra fancy.
  8. Pour a hot cup of coffee in your prettiest teacup and enjoy a giant slice with a friend.

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Jennifer Woods
Contact: Jennifer Woods