So we are stepping up the effort just a tiny bit, but I really want you to make these cookies!
These were my Dad’s favorite thing for me to make him! He loved them with apricots inside!
And I had one of my favorite people in the kitchen with me, my sister (well in law, but that hardly matters!) Judy. I like being with her.
Basically, you are making a very versatile, very forgiving (as in you can’t mess these up) dough. It’s not sweet! The filling brings in the sweetness and you can do whatever your heart (or taste buds) desire.
The ingredients for the dough are simple:
Butter, cream cheese, a pinch of salt and flour.
Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature, softened that is and put them, along with the salt, into a mixing bowl.
(that’s Judy… isn’t she cute!)
Once you get that all mixed together, dump in the flour and mix just until it looks kind of crumbly. Then take your hands and gently squish it into a ball. (You aren’t trying to mix anything, you are just trying to get it into a ball. Don’t spend a lot of time on this! The less you mess with it, the better it will be!)
Put it in the frig and let the dough get kind of stiff (an hour or more), covered with saran wrap. You don’t want it to dry out!
Get your rolling area ready. Put a piece of wax paper down and sprinkle with flour. Sprinkle some flour on your rolling pin. Pick out something to cut circles in the dough. As you can see, i used a martini glass…
Place the dough in the center of your waxed paper and flatten it out with your hands to make something like a large cookie.
Start rolling the dough out.
Okay.. here is the thing… the ideal thing is make them thin.. very thin, just thin enough to hold together. BUT, and here is what’s really ‘forgiving’ about this dough, you can make them thick and they will still be good! The more you make them, the better you will get at making them thinner and lighter.
Once you get the thickness you like, dip your glass into the flour and cut your circles out!
I used some delicious homemade apple butter that a good friend made out of his apples in his garden to fill my tarts this time. It was a very flavorful filling, with cinnamon and just barely sweet enough. I thought it would make the tarts taste like little bitty, pretty apple pies.
Put a dab in the middle of the circle. With a little bit of milk in a bowl, dip your finger in the milk and lightly coat the rim of the circle. (This will help to seal the tart.
Fold the dough over the filling to make a little crescent moon. Using the tines of a fork, crimp the edges to seal the tart.
Use the fork to poke a little steam hole in the top of the tart.
Place them on a cookie sheet and cook in the over until lightly brown, about 20 minutes.
Important things to know!! You can use this dough for a lot of things. Savory things like ham with a little bit of cheese, a little pesto with tiny bits of pepperoni. You can make them into squares instead of circles, you can line little muffin pans and put fillings inside them!
Once you made them, let your cooking imagination run wild!!!
Cream Cheese Tarts
* 4 ounces cream cheese
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
Blend cream cheese and butter or margarine. Stir in flour just until blended. Chill about 1 hour. This can be made ahead and chilled for up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Roll dough out, very thin, on lightly floured board. Cut in 2 1/2 cin rounds or 3 inch squares. Place jam in center, seal with milk and tines of a fork.
or…..Shape dough into 24 one-inch balls and press into ungreased 1 1/2 inch muffin cups (mini-muffin size) to make a shallow shell. Fill with your favorite filling and bake for 20 minutes, or until light brown.