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Sweet Tarts for your Sweetheart

These beautiful Shortbread Tarts are irresistible. The buttery shortbread is tender crisp, and each tart shell is filled with a creamy no bake filling that tastes like cheesecake. They look so pretty when studded with fresh fruit, and besides looking and tasting great, they are easy to make and with just a few simple steps, you are bound to impress! You can make the cream filling up to a week in advance and the unfilled shortbread tart shells can also be made ahead and frozen. 

(Pictured below with our popular olivewood ramekins, handmade with special care being taken to highlight interesting areas of the wood's grain and natural curvature)


Cream Cheese Filling:
1-8 oz. (227 grams) package full fat cream cheese, room temperature
1-14 ounce (396 grams) can sweetened condensed milk
Zest of one lemon(outer yellow skin)
1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of your favorite berries, pureed

Cream Cheese Filling: In your food processor or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, berry puree and vanilla and process just until smooth. (Do not over process or the filling will be too runny.) Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight. Can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Shortbread Tarts:

1 cup (227 grams) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (55 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour

3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch (corn flour) or rice flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Shortbread Tarts:  Lightly butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, cookie sheets.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together (1-2 minutes) until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix just until incorporated. If the shortbread dough is too soft to roll into balls, cover and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.

Roll out the dough, dusting lightly with flour, to prevent it from sticking.

Using a cookie cutter, or mason jar, press out cookie rounds 3" in diameter and approximately 1/4" thick.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. About halfway through the baking time, if the shortbread has puffed up, lightly prick the bottom of each shortbread with the tines of a fork. Once they are fully baked, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove the tarts from the pan. (They can be frozen.)

Decorate:  Using a piping bag or ziplock bag, fill with cream cheese mixture, then make several little dollops on each tart.  Garnish with fresh fruit, berries, kiwi, mint sprigs and even flowers!  

Enjoy and share this romantic dessert with your loved ones...



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