Sometimes being put on the spot with only a short amount of time does wonders for the imagination. With very little time to plan and pull this off in grand style, I was asked to provide a dessert; a “small finger-food” type that would not require a fork to eat it. As most of you know by now, I would not be one to turn up with a pan of brownies cut into small squares. I needed to come up with something with a little more pizzazz!!
So, an idea clicked into my head based on a picture I had seen of lemon-filled cookies. I expanded on that concept and turned what would have been the cookie into a small tart, by pressing the dough into mini muffin pan/cups. Once baked, but still warm, I made a depression in the center of each one with a cork, then I filled it with lemon curd. For this recipe I made a sugar cookie dough because I thought the sweetness of sugar cookie would be a nice contrast to the tart lemon curd. As a time saver you could use a roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough sliced and pressed into the mini-muffin pans to make the tart. Lemon curd is available at the supermarket in the area where jams and jelly are displayed, or of course, you could make your own, but this is intended as a quick recipe….let’s not do extra work here.
For a quickie dessert recipe, it got lots of compliments. For the presentation, I dusted the whole tray of lemon tarts with confectioners’ sugar and topped each one with a small wedge of citrus-flavored jellied fruit slice candy. When Mr. D. saw these going out the door with me, he said, “did you save any for us?’ Unfortunately I didn’t, so I really hoped I would be able to bring one or two home for him to sample. (P.S. I rescued four. You know—just to keep him happy.)
Yield: Makes 36
Simple Sugar Cookies:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 ( 10-ounce) jar lemon curd
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Shape into 2 rolls, wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until firm.
2. Preheat oven to 350*F. Lightly grease each cup of the mini-muffin pans. (Need 3 mini-muffin pans)
3. Unwrap dough; slice into 36 slices. Place each slice into a mini-muffin cup. Using your fingers press the dough up the sides of the pan to form a “cup”.
4. Bake at 350*F. for 8 – 10 minutes.
5. While the tarts are still warm, use a cork or small spoon to make a depression in the top of each one. Do not go all the way to the bottom. When the tarts have cooled, remove from the pans, and fill the depressions with lemon curd.
These will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.
6. To serve, dust the tops with a light coat of confectioners’ sugar, and decorate as desired.
SOURCE: Carolyn’s Originals, cookie recipe from Taste of Home