Once again, the internet has provided me with another fabulous recipe and Lisa's shower was the perfect excuse to make these little tarts. I found this recipe over at Joy of Baking, where I have found many scrumptious treats that I think really do bring joy, as temporary as it is.
When I contemplating making these, I was just going to use my mini muffin tin and use my fingers to make the tarts. However, I kept on thinking, "why did I never buy that pampered chef tart tool?" I would have loved to just run out and get one (but that might hurt our budget) or I could do with out, so I posted a need to borrow one on Facebook. Suprisingly, my friend Rhonda, whom I used to teach with, had one that she had never used and just gave her tool and pan to me - for keeps! I was incredibly touched by this act of generosity and God's provision - especially when it came to a crazy baking tool! God is definatley good! Also, Rhonda - Thank you so very much!
These treats went quite quickly and were loved by my husband and everybody at the shower (my husband wasn't at the shower, but serves as my taste tester - it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!), especially Jon's grandma.
I also learned a neat little baking wisdom while making these. Apparently a little bit of cornstarch is used to add to the flakiness of your shortbread or pastry, as this recipe calls for - and it worked!
Here's the recipe:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
fruit for a garnish (I used raspberries)
Lightly butter 36 mini muffin tins. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven.
Cream together butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add flour, cornstarch, and salt. Mix until just incorporated.
Divide the dough into 36 pieces. Roll into balls. Place each ball in the center of muffin tin. Using fingertips or special tart tool, make an indentation in the center. Once filled, place the tart pan with unbaked shells into freezer for 10 minutes to allow shells to become firm.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes, but check half way through for puffing. If there is puffing (probably will be), take a toothpic and poke a whole through the center. Check every 5 minutes until finished. Poke, if necessary, if puffing continues.
In your food processer (you can use your electric mixer, but it won't be as smooth), beat cream cheese until puffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and process until smooth. Transfer filling to a bowl and refrigerate until serving time. (I put mine in my decorator gun from Pampered Chef). Spoon (or in my case, squirt), the cream into your tarts. Place fresh berries on top.