Merry Christmas!

Hello, my name is Ginny and I suck at updating this blog. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I’m not even going to try and justify why I haven’t updated in like three months. Lets pick up where we left off.

Holiday baking. Wow. We baked a lot of stuff this year. A lot of it was pretty generic, and you can find your own sugar cookie recipes. But I ventured out and made the most delicious tarts for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

The recipe hails from a 1985 Better Homes and Garden cookbook called “Cookies for Christmas”. I cannot stress enough how 1985 had all the best Christmas dessert recipes.

Tiny Holiday Tarts

Choose from multiple different fillings! I made Pumpkin-Sour Cream, Pecan Pie and Brownie-Nut. You will need a mini-muffin pan.

Ingredients for Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 3 oz package of cream cheese (I seem to only find 8oz containers, so I just use half. It works fine) [softened]
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

  • In small mixer bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese. Stir in flour
  • Cover and chill about 1 hour or till easy to handle (The first time I made it I chilled it, it was too hard and I had to wait for it to warm back up. The second time I just used the dough right after mixing. It was perfect.)
  • Shape into 1 inch balls
  • Press onto bottom and up sides of ungreased muffin cups. Make sure to reach the top of the cup.
  • Fill each with 1 rounded teaspoon filling. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes.
  • Makes 24. 
  • If you are making multiple flavors, you will need a batch of dough for each flavor.

Filling Ingredients

Pumpkin-Sour Cream Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cupcanned pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tbs milk, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Top with whipped cream for serving. 

Pecan Pie Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbs melted butter or margarine and 1 tps vanilla. Stir in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans. [Note: the first time I made this I doubled the pecans. Don’t do that. It resorted in the batter over flowing the top of the crust – so the sticky caramelized sugar stuck to the pan, burning some edges and sticking to the pan]

Brownie-Nut Filling: In a small saucepan heat and stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 2 tbs butter or margarine over low heat till melted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup sugar, 1 beaten egg, and 1 tps vanilla. Add one whole peanut in each tart if desired. 

Other fillings I haven’t tried yet

Cranberry Nut Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbs melted butter or margarine, and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir in 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cranberries and 3 tbs chopped walnuts

Lemon Coconut Filling: Beat together 2 eggs, 1/2 c sugar, 2 tb melted butter or margarine, 1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, and 1 tbs lemon juice, stir in 1/4 cup flaked coconut. 

Almond Raspberry Filling: Divide 1/4 cup red raspberry preserves among pastries (about 1/2 tsp each). Beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 c almond paste, crumbled. Spoon 1 level teaspoon of the almond mixture over preserves. Sprinkle coarsely chopped sliced almonds. If desired, drizzle cooled baked tarts with additional red raspberry preserves.

Spiced Fruit Filling: In a small saucepan, combine a 3/4 cup chopped mixed dried fruit and 3/4 cup water and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 8 minutes or til fruit is very tender. Drain. Stir in 2 tbs orange marmalade, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cloves. 

Here’s Ken at Thanksgiving (6 months), being super cute and entertaining at the dinner table.

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