With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve got recipe ideas flying around my
head like freshly falling snow. If only I had the time to make them all! Aahh,
that would be so very nice. Over the next two weeks, I’ll make as many
interesting recipes as I can, that tie into the holidays and help us to bake and
cook up the delicious scents and aromas that we love about them.
I love this time of year and I love all of the desserts and sweets that go with it
These tartlets hold a medley of four different kinds of nuts and red chopped
glace cherries in a cookie-like shell. Wrapped up in a honey caramel, the fruit
and nuts offer a taste and crunch that are a perfect match for each other.
Drizzled with milk chocolate, these tartlets will add a delightful festive
appearance to your holiday table that will have your guests reaching for
more. Make and freeze these tartlets ahead of the holidays and you’ll have one
less thing to do once the festivities begin. Hhmmm, that sure sounds good!
Nutty Cherry Tartlets with Honey Caramel
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) icing sugar
1/3 cup (75 ml) cold butter, cut into cubes
1/4 tsp (1 ml) vanilla
1/2 cup (125 ml) each of pistachios, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts
1/2 cup (125 ml) glace cherries
1/3 cup (75 ml) clear honey
1/4 cup (50 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) 35 % whipping cream
2 tbsp (25 ml) butter
1/2 cup milk or dark chocolate
1. To make shells, coat three dozen mini-muffin cups with cooking spray or
lightly butter. If you have non-stick pans, you can skip this step. Whirl flour
with icing sugar and butter in food processor until butter is in tiny, barely
visible pieces. Add egg and vanilla; whirl until moist crumbs form. Turn out
onto a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper and form into a solid disc of
dough. For ease in rolling, divide dough in half and roll between two sheets of
waxed paper or parchment. Roll out each half until slightly thinner than
normal pie dough. Cut with a 2 1/2 -inch (6-cm) cutter; line cups, extending
the dough slightly above the cup edge. Use scraps to repair any breaks or fill
in thin spots. Freeze while making the filling or for at least 10 minutes.
Note: You could certainly use your own favourite pastry recipe for the shell
instead of following the one here.
2. Spread the nuts onto a baking pan and toast in a 400 °F (200 °C) oven for 6
minutes or until lightly browned. Use a tea towel to rub papery skins from the
hazelnuts. Coarsely chop nuts and cherries. Stir together; set aside.
3. To make the honey caramel, combine the honey and sugar in a medium
heavy-bottomed saucepan. Without stirring, bring it to a boil over medium
heat. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup in the microwave, heat the cream and
butter together for 45 to 60 seconds or until very hot, but not boiling.
Continue boiling sugar mixture until it has turned a deep caramel colour.
Remove the pan from the heat. Avert your face while slowly pouring in the
cream mixture (because it will really bubble up); stir. Reduce heat to low and
return pan to stove. Gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in
nuts and cherries; remove from heat and set aside.
4. Remove tart shells from freezer; immediately place in preheated oven.
Bake until pastry is golden, about 8 minutes (for a dark pan) or 10 minutes (for
a light pan). Cool; then generously fill with caramel nut mixture.
5. Drizzle with melted milk or dark chocolate. For this small amount you can
easily melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe dish for 30
seconds, remove & stir until completely melted. Drizzle back & forth with a
spoon across the tarts.
Covered, these tartlets keep well at room temperature for up to 2 days; or
freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes 3 dozen tartlets.
Thanks for the company, and good luck with all your Christmas baking!
This Sweet Wife ♥