These versatile little tarts are great for a seasonal tea, to send to distant friends and family, or to fill a tin and give as gifts. And it's an easy task to take on - the foolproof cream cheese crust has only three ingredients and can be quickly mixed with an electric mixer. The dough and filling ingredients can be doubled to make 36 tarts. Tarts may be made ahead of time - freeze in an airtight container, then thaw at room temperature prior to serving.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready two 12-cup or one 24-cup mini muffin pan(s), perferably nonstick. Spray cups with vegetable cooking spray.
2. Prepare crust. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until blended and smooth, about 45 seconds. Mix in flour until a smooth dough forms, about 30 seconds. Divide dough into 18 even pieces (about 1 Tbsp. each) and roll each piece into a smooth 1-inch ball. Put one ball of dough into prepared muffin cup.
3. Use clean fingers to make an indentation in center of dough, then press dough up sides of each opening until even with top edge of each muffin cup. Check to see that bottom of each cup is covered completely with dough and that thickness of sides is even.
4. Mix filling. In a large bowl, whisk egg, brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla, and salt until smoothly blended. Use a large spoon to stir in 1/3 cup of the pecans. Fill each muffin cup with about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. filling. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup of pecans evenly over each tart. Wipe any drips off pan.
5. Bake until filling is firm and crust edges are lightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool tarts in pan until firm, about 20 minutes. Use a small knife to loosen each tart. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature. Store at room temperature or in refrigerator in an airtight container.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, November - December 2008