Of course it’s always really truly about the food!
This week I have been busy getting ready for a very exciting art installation called Come Darkness. While I have been thinking about the artwork and that sort of thing, I swear I have, I have also been thinking about the food! The install went up on Thursday (see below and here to see all of the artwork, all priced under $100, close up) and our opening reception with food and drink was Friday night.
Barbara, who owns the beautiful shop where the installation is hanging (goodness me, she carries le bouton studio, fog linen and pip-squeak chapeau, all so gorgeous!), told me she was already taking care of ‘savory’ so that left me on a sweet. Yes!! My favorite! After some pondering I remembered this recipe from my Mom, one of our stand-by recipes for holiday parties, etc. Perfect! Warm, cozy and a nice addition to welcoming in the Winter darkness that has now arrived.
You will need mini-tart pans for this recipe.
This makes about 48 tarts.
6 oz cream cheese
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup pecans, pulsed in a food processor or chopped coarsely
1/4 t vanilla
Soften cream cheese and butter to room temperature. Whip them together (for a minute or two) using a mixer. Cut in the flour until dough starts to form. Use hands to mold it into a ball. Cover and chill for a few hours.
When ready to prepare tarts preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Mix well all of the filing ingredients. Take a good pinch of the dough and roll it into a ball (this part is very important; don’t forget to roll it into a ball). Take each ball and press it into the tart mold evenly. Do this for the full tray and then add about 1 teaspoon of the filling into the tart shells. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the tart shells start to brown just a bit.
Notes: This is a time-consuming recipe to put together (the making tarts part I mean) and a gooey one. Don’t expect to work this one out if you’re in a hurry. It’s also fun to have helpers on this one because they can fill the shells after you have prepared them. I also find these are best if eaten the same day you bake them but if you have to store them make sure they are in an airtight container.