We went bowling last night and I broke 100 – twice! My scores were 102, 87 and 104! I’m either improving or I got lucky. I’m leaning toward being lucky. We’ll see what happens next week. :-)
Snacks for this week were both a success and a failure. I know, I know, who wants to read a food blog about food failures? Well, this is an Imperfect Kitchen. If everything came out perfectly the very first time, I’d be famous. We are learning together. The success was I learned to make tartlet shells out of cookie dough. Very exciting! The filling possibilities are endless and I can’t wait to experiment! The failure?
The cookies didn’t come out very well. I burned the caramel for the filling (scandalous!). It’s amazing how things can go from fine to terrible in a matter of seconds. Lesson learned! I’m also not sure they should be called “cookies”… they were tartlets. The teenager said they were great. Keep in mind, he’s 17 and will eat just about anything! While I love him, his opinion is biased. I wasn’t happy with the overall taste of the first batch, much of that was because of the caramel. The second batch, appropriately named “I’m really tired! I just want to finish these and go to sleep. How can I make them faster?” came out better!
This is the original batch and the fun tartlet technique! First, lots of frozen butter!
Add in some flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, milk and vanilla and you have a great cookie base. Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until it forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a log and cut it in half. Put one half in the refrigerator so it stays cool. Cut the other half into twelve even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place each ball into the cup of a muffin pan.
Press down on the dough until it forms a little cup. The original recipe said to use a “dough tamper” and a mini muffin tin. I don’t have either of those. I used a regular muffin pan and the bottom of a shot glass to create the cups.
Cute, right? Are you envisioning the millions of ways you could fill these? If you use a mini-muffin tin, the cups will come all the way up the sides. As you can see, mine didn’t come all the way to the top.
Fill the cups with the apple filling. About a teaspoon and a half of filling worked well on these. It’s the same basic recipe as the filling for the apple crepes a few weeks ago. Diced apples, brown sugar, lots of seasoning and butter. Cook the apples until they are soft. Allow to cool, then fill.
So far, so good!
Now bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden and bubbly! While they are baking, make the caramel sauce. Here is where my downfall happened! The sugar was happily boiling away, just starting to change color. I turned away to quickly clean off my counter and when I turned back, the caramel was smoking a little. I pulled it off the heat to let it cool before adding the butter etc. The color wasn’t bad and it didn’t smell burned so I thought it was ok. I finished the caramel sauce, pulled the tarts from the oven and then proceeded to fill the tarts with the sauce. Mistake number two, I didn’t taste the caramel before filling the tarts. If I had, disaster could have been avoided. Caramel has a very bitter taste when it’s burned.
At least, they look gorgeous! I wish they tasted that way too. By this time, I was tired. I wanted to go to sleep. I could have left the second half of the dough in the fridge, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to finish making the cookie / tartlets before bowling. So, I got creative. Instead of making tartlet shells, I rolled the dough flat, put the rest of the apple filling inside – just like you would make cinnamon rolls – rolled it up, sliced it into pieces and baked them in the muffin tin.
Amazing! Two very different types of cookies with the same recipe. These were drizzled with good caramel and they were delicious.
The recipe for the cookie base is light and flaky with a nice hint of cinnamon and brown sugar. I will use it for other bases too!