With Christmas and New Year coming close, the gorgeous Susan from Food Blogga is hosting a special event called “Eat Christmas Cookies“. This is a great chance for bloggers to share their favourite Christmas cookies. Comer over to Susan´s blog from now until 17th December and you will be filled with wonderful ideas.
For this event, I will be participating with some really tasty sweet miniatures using my recently acquired petit four moulds. These are mini tartlets to be precise since they have buttery cookie-type dough, which can be filled with different types of filling.
The nice thing about these tartlets is the crust can be pre-baked at least a week in advance. And the sweet dough, which comes from the talented Flo Braker, is wonderful to work with. There is no need to rest the dough in the fridge. You just need to blend everything together in a food processor and it is ready to be rolled out and baked. When it comes close to serving time, you can fill these tarts with whichever you like – thick jam, chestnut cream, melted chocolate etc. The version you see here is filled with chopped walnuts and rich caramel sauce. They are called Swiss Bettinas, which are dangerously addictive. I also like to fill these empty shells with some chestnut cream and enjoy them with my afternoon coffee.
These are great petits fours to serve with tea/coffee when friends are around. And for festive season, they can be served at the end of the meal, too.
Miniature Tartlet Pastry
From Flo Braker´s Sweet Miniature. This amount is enough for 8 dozen round fluted mini tart shells, 1.5 inches in diameter. I used about 1/3 for this round. The rest can bekept in the freezer for up to a month.
1 ½ cups (350g) un-sifted plain flour (I use half plain, half whole-meal)
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup (65g) castor sugar
8 oz (225g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
1tsp pure vanilla extract
Put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor bowl. Pulse a few times to blend ingredients together. Scatter all the butter over the flour, pulse off/on until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal.
Whisk egg and vanilla together in a small bowl. With the motor on, pour the egg mixture down the feed tube. Process until the mixture forms a ball. Remove to the lightly floured work surface, press the dough together until it is smooth and cohesive.
Grease your tartlet shells. Now, you can roll out the dough then fit into the tartlet tins. Or, pinch about 1 -1/5 tsp of dough and press into the tins to distribute the dough evenly. Just remember not to create a very thick shell.
Place the tart tins on a baking tray. Bake these tartlet shells for 10-12 mins at pre-heated oven of 350F (170c) or until lightly golden. Cool. When the tins are cool enough to touch, squeeze each tin gently with your thumb and forefinger, turn it upside-down and let the tartlet shell drop into the palm of your hand. The pre-baked shell can be kept at room temperature for up to 1 week.
This amount is enough to fill ½ recipe of the pre-baked Miniature Tartlet Pastry above.
½ cup (100g) castor sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 tsp honey
Put sugar un a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally with wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, without stirring, until the sugar caramelized with nice dark color. Turn off the heat, add butter, then, cream. Stir until everything blends together. Stir in the chopped walnuts and honey white the cream is hot. Cool for at least 30 mins, then spoon about 1 tsp of filling into each baked shell.