Shortbread Apple Tarts

Whoaaa!!! Long time, no blog! Hopefully there won’t be this much of a stretch between posts again 🙂 Life has a way of derailing dessert sometimes.

This recipe that I’ll be posting today is a mixture of two of my favorite things. Apple pie, and shortbread. I heart me some shortbread, folks. My tummy could handle this whole recipe by itself. Or maybe my appetite could. My tummy might be angry if I ate the whole batch 😉

Shortbread is seriously one of the most simple desserts I know of. There are hundreds of recipes out there. You can use the one I’ve posted or substitute your own if you like. They are all basically the same.

Basic Shortbread

1 stick unsalted butter

1 C. All purpose (plain) flour

1/3 C. Powdered sugar.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Cream your your butter. Cut the flour and sugar into the butter till you have a uniform dough. It will look like a sugar cookie type dough. Now. Here’s the hard part. Don’t eat it all yet!!!! Save some to bake 😉 it will be worth it, I promise.

Now you can press all of this into an 8 inch pie or tart pan and make one big tart, or you can do what I did and make individual tarts for each person. I used four inch mini tart pans for this one. You shouldn’t have to use any cooking spray with this, due to all the butter in the shortbread, but if you’re like me and it makes you feel better it won’t hurt either. Just press the dough in the bottom of the pan so it’s even and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

I put my small tart pans in a bigger pan just to make it easy to take them out of the oven.

I put my small tart pans in a bigger pan just to make it easy to take them out of the oven.

Now while your shortbread is baking you need to get your apples ready.

2-4 Granny Smith apples

1/2 C Sugar

2 T. Cinnamon

Use 2-4 good sized Granny Smith apples. I use two. I like a little apple with my short bread. Use more if you like a little shortbread with your apple. Peel and core your apples and cut them in very thin slices.

Granny Smith apples y'all. Seriously. I know they're sour, but if you are making a pie or tart it should be your go to apple. You won't regret it.

Granny Smith apples y’all. Seriously. I know they’re sour, but if you are making a pie or tart it should be your go to apple. You won’t regret it.

Put all your apples slices in a bowl and add your cinnamon and sugar. Stir them well and then transfer them to a skillet on the stovetop. Put about 3 T. of butter in the skillet to keep them from sticking. Cook them on low to medium heat until they turn translucent. Remove them from the heat.

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Now prep your cream cheese filling.

8 oz. (1 block) of cream cheese

1 1/2 C. Powdered sugar

2 tsp. Vanilla

Cream all of these ingredients together.

Once you have your short bread out of the oven and it has cooled, very carefully turn it out of the pans and place it on a serving dish.  Spread a thick layer of the cream cheese filling onto the shortbread. Now place your apples on top. Slide them back into the oven for about 15 minutes to finish browning.

Take them out and let them cool. Serve with some homemade whipped cream.

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There you go. Shortbread apple tarts. Enjoy y’all 🙂

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Mixin’ it up.

So last time I had shared two basic cupcake recipes.

A little about me. I hate basic. I also love experimenting.

It’s a little nerve wracking adding your own ingredients and changing recipes, but I decided to do it after I made these for the first time. This is what resulted.

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I wanted to try several different flavorings at once, but I didn’t want to be overrun with cupcakes! So, what I did was poured my plain batter into the cupcake tins and added the flavors to each individual one. Three of each flavor was pretty good number for deciding if we liked the flavor or not. Just remember to write your ratios down, so if you decide to make a large batch you will know what to add.

Now, thinking flavorings. Think out of the box. Experiment. Not everything is going to turn out like a Cupcake Wars masterpiece. Some of them will be downright nasty. But some of them will turn into family favorites. Blue ribbon fair winners. These are a few that I came up with.

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The picture above has two of the crazier flavor combos I’ve done. The first one on the left is an Earl Grey flavored cake with lemon buttercream and a honey drizzle. I added the ground tea leaves straight to the basic vanilla batter.

Next is a lavender cupcake with basic vanilla buttercream frosting. I added fresh lavender blossom that I had chopped up into the batter on this one.

Next in line is a caramel cupcake with Nutella buttercream. The coffee flavoring syrups that you can buy at the grocery store are great for adding to the batter.

Last in this one is a coffee flavored cake with caramel buttercream. I used a coffee flavored extract, but you could add actual coffee, brewed strong, replacing some of your liquid with it.

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First on the left is a peanut butter and jelly cup cake. Peanut butter was added to the batter and the middle removed to hold strawberry jelly. I also added peanut butter to the basic buttercream.

The middle one is a strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting.

The last one is a Nutella cake with the peanut butter frosting and chocolate syrup.

All of the above cupcakes are frosted with the Wilton buttercream frosting that you can find on their website. The recipe calls for a little butter, but I have also made it using only the vegetable shortening, and I’ve not noticed an effect on the flavor.

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The first one is a lemon cupcake with strawberry jelly in the middle and strawberry buttercream frosting.

The next one is a maple flavored cake with pieces of bacon and maple buttercream frosting.

Third one is a basic vanilla cake with wild cherry jelly and lemon frosting.

Now this last one is what happens when you’re about sugared out! I had just some plain vanilla cupcakes left, and some plain buttercream, so I iced them and drizzled pancake syrup over them.

For these cupcakes I used a different buttercream recipe that is everything a true buttercream frosting should be. BUTTERY…Very much so!

Simple Butter Cream Frosting makes about 2 1/2 cups

Needed: 4 sticks of softened butter (2 cups), 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2-3 cups powdered sugar.

In a bowl cream together the butter and vanilla extract. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mixing in between until you have the perfect frosting consistency.

This one was great, especially for the maple cupcake and the one with the pancake syrup. Either one of the frosting recipes I used can have cocoa added to it for chocolate. Normally 3/4 of a cup of cocoa will be enough.

With the chocolate cupcakes I didn’t add much to the actual batter. I did play around with adding tastes to the frosting.

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This one has balsamic vinegar in the chocolate buttercream, with chili powder sprinkled on top. Weird? Yes. Good? Absolutely. You can only taste the sweet tang on the vinegar.

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This last one is just simply a chocolate cake with peanut butter and chocolate frosting. Cause who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together?

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So have fun with it, y’all!