November 21, 2010

Maple Pecan Tartlets

After Mr. Sideline Chef test-tasted the Peanut Butter Streusel Brownies, my first dessert attempt for my contribution to the Thanksgiving dinner we were invited to he asked me, "You're not going to try out any more recipes?" Oh goodness! Was that his way of telling me he didn't think they were worthy for his supervisor?

Not wanting to risk him being fired over rock hard brownie edges I set out to find another test recipe. Maple Pecan Tartlets sounded like they might be a winner. I had a majority of the ingredients and after a quick drive to the store I picked up the pecans and ground cinnamon I needed along with a 6 pack of Coors Light per Mr. Sideline Chef's request. Probably to help make a baking disaster more palatable if one was to occur.

After a few "oh schnike" moments such as: running out of all purpose flour and substituting 100% whole wheat flour, having to call my mom to find out if the KitchenAid stand mixer will form the pastry dough into a ball or if I would need to do it by hand, and then following what the original recipe called a serving size for the pastry cups and realizing it didn't make a cup and making the decision to make only one dozen cups instead of 2 dozen, I was feeling a bit anxious.

I was fretting while they were baking for 25 minutes. The fate of these Maple Pecan Tartlets rested with Mr. Sideline Chef and whether he would deem them worthy or not. After they cooled down enough I plated one tiny tartlet for him. I literally stood hovered over his plate, elbows on table with my face up in his, and anxiously waiting to hear his response. I could see a piece of the tartlet rolling around the inside of his cheek.

Tell me damn it. "It taste like a brown sugar pop-tart. I'm not a fan of pecans. They're small. Can I please have another one?" After plating the second one he gave me the validation I needed and told me I will need to make at least 2 dozen of them to take. "How much did it cost to make?" Oh goodness! Was this his way of suggesting that this recipe didn't taste like a million bucks and worthy for his supervisor?

No. He deemed them worthy and put an end to my worrying over what dessert would be presented to our hosts for Thanksgiving. Now that dessert is covered what in the hell am I going to wear? and Christmas with Southern Living, 1996
Makes 2 dozen... I don't think that is correct. I ended up with 1 dozen since I needed to use twice the amount of the Cinnamon Pastry Dough.

Stars of the Show for the Cinnamon Pastry Dough:

  • 1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour - I used 1/8 cup all purpose flour and substituted the additional amount with 100% whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
And Action:
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with a mixer until creamy. Gradually add flour and cinnamon, beating at low speed just until the ingredients are blended. Wrap dough in wax paper, and chill for 2 hours.

Divide dough in half. *I skipped this next step.* Divide each half of dough into 12 balls. Place in a lightly greased miniature muffin pan. (Now I see why I needed to use twice the amount of dough and only ended up with 1 dozen. I wasn't using a miniature muffin pan. Smacking myself in the forehead now.) Shape each ball into a shell.

Stars of the Show for the Maple Pecan Tartlet Filling:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
And Action:

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until blended. Stir in pecans. Spoon filling evenly into the Cinnamon Pastry Shells.

Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until set. Cool slightly. Remove from pans, and cool completely on a wire rack.

That's it! Thanksgiving table scape worthy!!!


Bo said...

With the cinnamon crust they sound really REALLY good!

ping said...

And here I thought baking was supposed to be relaxing and therapeutic. :D

Kimberly Peterson said...

Mmmm... they look so good!! And that filling, my heart skipped a beat.. I just want to lick them off my fingers, lol.

Carolyn said...

They look great, I can't imagine that they wouldn't have been worthy of the dinner!

Pretend Chef said...

Bo - The cinnamon crust was fantastic. I like to be able to taste the spice and I should have used more.

Ping - Not for me! Haha! I have 26% kitchen confidence.

Kimberly - They were that good! I was practically licking the plate clean.

Carolyn - Thank you! With Mr. Sideline Chef you never know if it will be something he'll enjoy or not.

Anonymous said...

These look so delicious! And those hearts are adorable! Where did you get heart shaped measuring spoons?

Pretend Chef said...

WonderwallChef - My mom bought them for me as a house warming gift when I had first moved out after I graduated from High School. I don't recall where she got them from. Although I know I didn't get the full set. She kept the measuring spoons for herself and only gave me the cups. I only found that out after watching her cook for me one afternoon.

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