The Great Cookie Experiment – Caramel Tassies
This is not a cookie. This is a tart, or tartlet. The definition might be a little vague, but this “cookie” has a shell that is rich and buttery and has no sugar in the dough itself, and then the caramel filling provides all of the flavor and sweetness. It’s definitely on the “tart” side of the dessert spectrum.
That being said, I don’t care. I would keep these in with the cookie section as an easy bite sized dessert, and I would make them and put them on a cookie buffet as a unique and tasty selection. I would serve them at baby showers and Christmas parties. I would NOT put them on a plate and take them to the neighbors, however. The caramel filling might ooze out and make a big yucky mess. But then I’d get to lick the caramel off of the plate, which would have an advantage.
In other words, if they’re a tart or a cookie, they are delicious, and you need to make them. A lot. And bring me some when you do.
1 cup butter, softened
2 packages (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened (buy one 8oz package and use just 6 oz of it)
2 cups flour
1 pkg (14 oz) caramels
¼ cup plus 3 Tbl evaporated milk
2 Tbl shortening
2 Tbl butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbl evaporated milk
Cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Press into the bottom and up the sides of ungreased mini muffin cups. Prick bottoms with a fork. Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. In a large heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels with milk. Remove from the heat. Cool slightly. Transfer to a heavy duty Ziploc bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe filling into the pastry cups. Cool. For frosting, beat shortening and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and milk until fluffy. Pipe onto filling. Store in fridge. Makes about 4 dozen.