Oh, the dangers of reading foodblogs--I don't know about you guys, but I am constantly reading other blogs and going "oooh, that looks good, I have to make that." So, of course, I've amassed this huge collection of thinks with recipes I really really want to try which just languish in my bookmarks list, collecting cyber-dust. But once in a while I see something that looks so good that my brain (or my stomach?) won't stop bugging me about it until I try it out. This is one of them!
I first saw these over at Carly's Comfort Zone (go look at her photos, because try as I might, I just cannot get these to photograph well enough to show how truly sticky-delicious they look). They reminded me a little bit (appearance-wise) of a sugar pie that I saw while I was in Vancouver last month, and the ingredients list reminds me of pecan pie (and in fact, you can add pecans to this). And cream cheese tart dough? Hell yes. I am a firm believer in cream cheese pie doughs; that cream cheese, besides providing fat, also gives a nice tangy bite to the crust, which is a nice contrast to the sweet filling.
Doesn't that look gooey and delicious? As I mentioned above, I changed up a couple of things in the original recipe, including using maple syrup in place of corn syrup because I didn't have any, and I did have a jug of lovely maple syrup from Vermont. (Which makes this even LESS Canadian, if you ask our friend who believes the only good maple syrup comes from Canada. Fighting words!) I also reduced the butter and used white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. I don't think that hurt the recipe any, and I felt slightly less guilty! These are perfect to go with a cup of tea or coffee, especially when they are still warm. Thanks for introducing me to these, Carly!
(Maybe Canadian) Butter Tarts, adapted from Carly's Comfort Zone
2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose, or a mixture of regular whole wheat and AP)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
6oz cold cream cheese
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp ice water
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
For the crust, combine flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk briefly. Grate in the butter on the largest holes of a box grater (it helps if you freeze your butter, actually). Add the cream cheese, cut into small chunks, and mix quickly, until the mixture looks like corn meal. It's okay to have chunks of butter and cream cheese, just not huge ones. Sprinkle the ice water over and toss quickly until the dough comes together. Form into a smooth ball, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
After dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, or line with muffin liners.
Roll the tart dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8"-1/4" thick. Cut out approximately 3.5" rounds and press rounds into the prepared pan. (I ended up with a fair amount of dough scraps, which I re-rolled and cut into small cookie size rounds. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon sugar and bake. Good snack with fresh berries!) Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, combine all the ingredients and beat until well combined. Spoon filling into the pastry lined cups until almost full. Bake until the piecrust is browned and the filling is bubbling; in my oven, that took about 25 minutes. Cool slightly, and then serve with hot tea or coffee.