Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mini Pastries - Cranberry Pecan Pies & Shortbread Cookies

I decided to make something different for the holidays and baked up these super cute, bite-sized treats for a Christmas Eve dinner with family.  I got the idea from another wonderful blog, Created by Diane.

Shortbread Cookies with Jam:
1 Cup (8oz) Unsalted Butter, Softened
1/2 Cup (113g) Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 Cups (300g) Unbleached All Purpose Flour

Mini Cupcake Mold
Mini Cupcake Liners (optional)

Powdered Sugar for dusting
Jam - either Raspberry, Strawberry, or any to your liking

Cream butter and sugar together, add the flour and mix with your hands until it comes together.  Chill the dough for a few minutes to cool down.

Scoop out about 3 teaspoons of the dough into each mini cupcake pan and gently press it down to create a well in the middle for the jam to sit in after baking.  As Diane mentioned, if you don't use the liners, you don't need to grease the pan either.  I got 30 pieces made with this recipe.

Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Once cooled, pop them out, dust them with a little bit of powdered sugar and drop a 1/2 teaspoon of jam in the middle.  I made half of them with raspberry jam and the other half with strawberry.  Super easy, super cute, and just the perfect bite to go with a nice cup of tea....absolutely lovely!

For the Mini Cranberry Pecan Pies, Diane's recipe called for Southern Comfort and in the midst of the pre-Christmas shopping chaos and 3 stores later, I had no luck in finding it.  So instead, I used Whisky.

The recipe is slightly modified from Diane's and it made 24 mini tarts.

Mini Cranberry Pecan Pies:

For the crust:
1 1/2 Cups Honey Graham Crackers, crushed
7 Tbs Unsalted, Softened Butter
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
Mix the crust ingredients all together then scoop out about 3 tablespoons of the mix into each mini cupcake mold pressing it down evenly and up on the sides to form a nice crust.

For the filling:
1 1/4 Cup Toasted and Chopped Pecans
1 1/4 Cup Fresh Cranberries
1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
Mix all together - so pretty!

For the roux:
1/3 C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 C Whisky (I used Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky)
3/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
Combine the flour, cinnamon and Whisky together then add it to the cranberry mix and stir.

Fill each mini tart shell with the Cranberry Pecan mixture, pile it high, really high since it will settle down and the cranberries will cook down.  I made 24 pieces with this recipe.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.  Once cooled, remove and plate - Now these were remarkably delicious!  Just the perfect amount of tartness from the cranberries and sweetness from everything else - I could have eaten the entire batch!

I'll be making these again soon!

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