Friday, November 21, 2008

Raspberry Shortbread Tarts

I made these for the first time last year for our annual Holiday Tea. They didn't remain on the platter more than 10 minutes. Again, for a Christmas party I attended, and they were met with the same response. I'm whipping up a batch tonight for a housewarming get-together I am attending tomorrow. Only time will determine their fate....

Will they ever even make it out of the house?? ;-)

I'm going to take you on a step-by-step journey through the process of making these delectable morsels....

Raspberry Shortbread Tarts

Ingredients ~
For tarts:
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
2 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt

For lemon cream filling:
one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
one 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 t. vanilla extract

First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, with your dough attachment, cream the butter and sugar together.

Next, add the dry ingredients and mix on slow until just incorporated.

Bring the dough completely together with your hands and then divide into 36 small, round pieces. Place them into the compartments of a mini-cupcake pan.

Press your thumb into the center of each morsel and form it around the sides of the cup. I find it easiest if your hands are a little moist. This helps keep the dough from sticking to your fingers and making a mess inside the cups.

After molding the dough to the cups, place the tray into the freezer for about 10 minutes. This helps the shortbread set so that it does not melt into a blob at the bottom of the cup when you place it in the oven to bake.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, poke a fork into each shortbread in order to decrease puffiness in the center.

They are slightly brown around the edges when done. After removing them from the oven, let them sit at least 10 minutes to cool in the pan. They should slide easily out of the holes. I usually attempt to turn them with my finger and if anything is stuck, it effortlessly loosens without causing crumbs. Cool the shortbread tarts on a wire rack.

While the shortbread is cooking, mix together the cream filling after washing out your bowl. After softening the cream cheese with the mixer, add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.

Place the cream filling into an airtight container and place in the fridge. It is best to make the cream at least the day before in order to let the lemon mingle with the cheese and milk. Trust me; it is always better the second day. :-)

To assemble the tarts, take one of the shortbread shells and fill it with about a teaspoon of the lemon cream. Don't assemble your tarts until the day of; otherwise, the cream tends to make the shortbread a bit soggy. Place a piece of your favorite fruit on top. I'm using raspberries and blueberries this time, but I have also used strawberries and kiwis in the past.

Use your culinary imagination to create wonderful flavors!

The only criteria is that it has to be tiny enough to fit on the mini tart....

Someone is in for a special treat tonight. :-)


Christina said...

Those are so cute! Like a little bit of summer during the fall-soon to be winter.

I'm going to give the cheddar biscuits a try. My dad likes savory snack foods and that would make a great Thanksgiving Day snack before dinner.

Rye-Rye said...

Delicious...that is all I have to say! I love how the grout lines meet near the middle of the is almost as if they are intersecting upon greatness!

Dameo said...

That looks like a LOT of work. Do a basic thing for me to follow. :-p