So, you know how sometimes you meet someone through someone else who no longer means anything to you? Like, a life-long friend you met through an ex. Sometimes, these things happen. And TBH they are kinda confusing. This past weekend, someone told me about how they met their best friend through an ex-husband. It’s interesting because it makes you think — was this the plan the whole time? Or, is the Universe doing me a favor and truly bringing me something “good” from something “bad”?
I think these things, and maybe sometimes that’s not the way things happen, but it sure as hell makes it a lot easier to endure. I haven’t really met anyone special through someone I no longer care for, but I have gotten a life-long recipe that has endured the test of time. And that might be just as good. This recipe is one of my first from scratch bakes ever, and something that was the most complex at the time, probably because I was baking boxed pound cake on the reg.
When I first had these, I literally lost my mind. You know something is amazing when you can taste so many flavors all at once. Rich, creamy, nutty — but mini, so it’s not too much too soon. I now know that these are called “tassies,” which is just another word for small tart or minature pie. The base is a pastry dough, made with cream cheese, butter, and flour. Flaky, but creamy. Super simple, but rich AF.
Cream cheese pastry dough is much easier to make than regular pastry dough, and if you stick with this recipe and add about 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teapoon of salt — you have a super versatile dough you can use for pie crusts, homemade pop tarts, quiche, and SO SO MUCH MORE. The filling is made with eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and walnuts (or pecans if that’s your thang!)
It’s hard to mess this recipe up, but I’m sure there’s some gem out there that can find a way. (me. I’m the gem.)
I have made these mini tarts more times than I can count; for parties, gifts, during a pilgramage to Saudi Arabia (this was pre-COVID and people actually smiled at one another) and even first impressions. And let me tell you — I have never met a person who does not like them. Even people who don’t care for walnuts will love this. Of course, it’s 2020 and I’m sure I will NOW run into someone who thinks these are nastiest things that have ever stepped on the planet, but let’s enjoy this ride while it lasts.
Hope you guys enjoy this as much as my family and I have all these years! And super, extra thanks to the POS who is no longer in my life who left me with not only some baggage…but also an awesome recipe.
Mini Walnut Pastry Tarts
(makes about 50-55 mini tarts)
for the dough
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 (8 oz) bar of cream cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
for the filling
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350.
spray mini muffin/cupcake trays with nonstick spray, or make your life 100x easier & use silicone trays.
mix butter, cream cheese, and flour on medium speed in mixing bowl.
mold dough into mini muffin trays and refridgerate for at least
30 minutes, until hardened.
meanwhile, make filling by mixing eggs, brown sugar, vanilla on low speed.
Once mixed, add chopped walnuts. you can buy chopped walnuts and chop them to smaller pieces if you prefer. I like mine a little large.
once dough is hardened, remove from fridge and fill each tray 3/4 full with walnut filling.
bake for 30 minutes. you should see a light golden crust formed at the top of the mini tarts.
let cool in tray for 15 minutes before removing and serving.