Sunday, November 30, 2014

Almond Joy Tart

Almond Joy Tart - made November 22, 2014 from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
 As I gear up for holiday baking, I start thinking about tarts. I don’t know why except they’re a step away from pie (and Thanksgiving always seems to be about pie – except for me) and they can be classed up for the holidays. Plus, in all honesty, I was checking my “Still Need to Bake” files on my computer and I got sick of seeing the Almond Joy Tart file at the top all the time, mocking me that I hadn’t made it yet. Until now.

I still had some of the coconut pastry cream (my regular pastry cream recipe with coconut added to it) so it saved me the trouble of making the filling. I just had to make the dough which turned out to be the easiest thing ever. I don’t usually use my food processor to make dough but this came together so easily and quickly that I’m going to have to get over my aversion to use and clean my food processor (I live in terror of cutting myself on that wicked sharp blade) and just suck it up. Because this dough turned out fabulously in just a couple of minutes. Imagine that.
It was also very easy to work with. Because the dough was so malleable but not sticky, I ended up shaping it into the tart pans as soon as I had made it and then chilled it. Probably broke the Baked baking rules but I like to live on the edge.

Blind baked it then browned it, cooled it, spread the coconut pastry cream over it and poured the ganache over it. I do advise letting the ganache cool and thicken so it doesn’t run down the sides of the tart and look messy. Ahem. Yes, learn from my mistakes. Instead of garnishing with a whole almond, I ended up sprinkling chopped toasted almonds over the ganache and they added a nice crunch. Once again also scored on the parental taste buds as my mom praised the crust as “it’s not too sweet”. She even went so far as to suggest I use that crust recipe for anything else I make that requires a crust. Er, okay, Mom.
Someday I should probably make the filling from the original recipe but for now, I liked how this turned out. The crust was good, not too sweet (ha) or too buttery but with good flavor and texture, I always love the coconut pastry cream and the chocolate was just right as a blend of semisweet and milk chocolate. If you prefer more of a dark chocolate, ala Boston Crème Pie, you might want to make the ganache with all dark chocolate. If you bake this in individual-size tart pans like I did, it makes for a nice addition to a holiday care package or baked gift as it’s small enough to be part of a baked goods ensemble without dominating the gift pack.
Almond Tart Dough
1 large egg
¼ cup whole toasted almonds
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

Coconut Cream Filling
8 ounces good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon light rum

Chocolate Glaze
2 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
6 whole toasted almonds

Make the Almond Tart Dough
  1. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg and set it aside.
  2. Put the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground.  Add flour and salt and pulse again just until mixed.  Add the butter and pulse just until sandy (about 6 to 10 quick pulses).  Pour in the egg and pulse just until the dough begins to cohere into a ball.  Form the dough into a disk, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Make the Coconut Cream Filling
  1. Place the white chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, heat the cream just to a boil.  Pour it over the white chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds.  Slowly, starting in the center of the bowl, whisk the cream and white chocolate until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate this ganache for 4 hours or overnight before proceeding.
Assemble the tart
  1. Dust a work surface with flour.  Place the disk of chilled dough on the work surface and divide it into 6 equal portions.  Shape each into a smooth disk. (Note: the dough will be sticky.  Make sure to turn it with a bench knife or offset spatula as needed and keep the working surface floured.)  Use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into a 5 ½-inch circle just over 1/8 inch thick.  Very gently press each dough round into a 4-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
  2. Place the tart pans in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375⁰F. 
  3. Line the tart crusts with aluminum foil, and fill each one three-quarters full with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake them for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Transfer the tart pans to a wire rack to cool.
Make the Coconut Cream Filling
  1. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the white chocolate ganache at medium speed until soft peaks form.  Do not overwhip.  Gently fold in the coconut and the rum.  Divide the filling evenly among the cooled tart shells and place them in the refrigerator while you make the chocolate glaze.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
  1. Place the milk and dark chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it is just about to boil.  Pour it over the chocolates and whisk to combine.  Let the mixture set for about 10 minutes.  Remove the tarts from the refrigerator and spoon the glaze evenly over each one.  Top each tart with one almond and refrigerate again until the glaze sets up, about 10 minutes.
  3. The tarts can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

French Apple Cobbler

French Apple Cobbler - made November 22, 2014 from Puttin' on the Peach Tree, Junior League of Dekalb County, GA
I'm not entirely sure where I got this recipe or recipe book (booklet?) from. All I know is this recipe has been languishing along with dozens of others on my computer, waiting for me to forego pinterest and remember the good old days when I used to get my recipes from more traditional sources like cookbooks. Or random baking pamphlets.

I was in the mood for a warm apple cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream so I threw this together. I didn't go to all the trouble of the elaborate filling below. Instead, I sliced some apples and tossed them with cinnamon sugar. Mounded them into 3 small ramekins then dropped dollops of the batter over the filling and baked them.
This isn't a traditional cobbler like I've made before that had more of a streusel crumb topping. It's also not like a pie crust. Instead, it's more like a sweet biscuit dough, just a bit lighter in texture. I thought it was a trifle too sweet for me though. I also wasn't wild about the cobbler topping, aka biscuit dough. I'd prefer either a real pie crust or a crumb topping. Oh well, at least now I know. And I can move this file out of my "still need to make" folder.
5 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon margarine, softened

½ cup flour, sifted
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
  1. Filling: In a medium bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and water.  Turn into a 9-inch square pan.  Dot apples with margarine.
  2. Batter: Combine all batter ingredients.  Beat with wooden spoon until smooth.  Drop batter in 9 portions on apples, spacing evenly.  Batter will spread during baking.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 375 degrees F or until apples are fork tender, and crust is golden brown.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

November 27, 2014 - An American Thanksgiving, Filipino-Style
Lechon - Roast Pork
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope all who celebrate Thanksgiving had a good one today. We had ours at my parents' house this year, with extended family members all contributing delicious eats. I'm not quite in a food coma as I don't tend to eat a lot at any one meal but never fear, I'm sure I've consumed enough calories over the course of today to make the gym my second home for the next few weeks.
Lumpia - Filipino egg rolls
When my half-Filipino, half-Caucasian nieces are with us, we tend to go more traditional on the meal with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. But this year they were with their dad and his side of the family so we went Filipino-style all the way since we don't really love turkey that much. My mom made lechon, a 10-lb roast pork that she cooked in the oven for a good 5 hours, wrapped in banana leaves with the last hour without the leaves so the skin could brown and turn crispy, the hallmark of a good lechon. And no Filipino gathering is complete without fried lumpia. During the holiday season, my mom makes dozens upon dozens of them to give away to our friends at church and for our own family gatherings. She also made pancit malabon, one of my favorite versions of the Filipino noodle dishes and I'm kicking myself that I forgot to take a picture of it - doh.
My uncle brought 6 meaty crabs to the feast. He went all the way to Half Moon Bay where the crab fishermen sell fresh crabs off their boat. The picture doesn't do justice to their size.
My cousin Ellen made clams and Mariner's Rice; my mom loves clams as does Ellen's fiance.
Steamed Pork Buns
To keep our international flavor going, my other cousin Miriam (Yammy) brought dim sum. This probably isn't traditional fare for most Thanksgiving celebrants but it suited our family quite well. Tradition is good but I also think you can't go wrong with great food eaten with gratitude amongst family.
Siu Mai
Har Gow
I also did not go traditional with the desserts. No pumpkin pie, no pecan pie, no mince pie. We did have an apple pie but I bought that (we'll get to that in a minute). At first I actually was trying to go for more traditional flavors, like when I pre-tested the Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding, thinking I'd make it for Thanksgiving dessert but I changed my mind a few days ago.
Lofthouse-Style Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
When I bake for get togethers, I try to take into account the favorites of the people who'll be there. For my uncle, it was Buttery Tea Balls. My cousin Yammy's favorite is White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies. Ellen's kids like Chocolate Chip Cookies. My parents like lemon desserts because they're "not too sweet".
Buttery Tea Balls
By the time I factored in all of those requests, my dessert list was longer than 10 adults and 4 children could conceivably eat so I had to cut back on my more grandiose baking plans. I did allow myself a few baking experiments with the Lofthouse-Style Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (mainly so I could put the sprinkles on it for the kids), Copycat Panera Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Lemon Tarts (recipes/posts to follow in the near future).
Lemon Tarts with Almond Shortbread Crust
And I bowed to one tradition with apple pie. I did "outsource" it by pre-ordering it from Three Babes Bakeshop as they did another pop-up shop at work so all I had to do was pre-order it online, they came to campus yesterday and it was a short walk from my office to the pop-up shop to pick up my pie. The pie looked beautiful but a little too brown/(over?)baked for my taste. I had a piece for Thanksgiving dessert and I have to admit, I found it a little too tart for my sugar-loving taste buds. I love apple pie but I didn't love this one. However, Ellen's British fiance felt it reminded him of the pies he used to get in the UK and he loved it. Whew.
Apple Pie from Three Babes Bakeshop
And for the kids, of course I had to make cookies. I still had frozen cookie dough from when I tried the White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies before and last weekend I made the Copycat Panera Chocolate Chip Cookies (future blog post)
White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies and Copycat Panera Chocolate Chip Cookies
Overall, another great Thanksgiving with much to be grateful for, not the least being bounty being shared with family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Pretzel Bread Boat

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Pretzel Bread Boat - made November 22, 2014
Since I eat breakfast, lunch and most dinners at work, I've fallen out of the practice of cooking for myself on the weekends. Usually it's not a problem as I typically meet friends for lunch or dinner then or am out running errands and will grab something while I'm out. But I was out one Saturday picking up a few things at Trader Joe's (hello, cookie butter, come with me) and passed a display that held individual-size pretzel "rolls". I'd never heard of them or seen them before but I was reminded of the sausage, egg and cheese "boat" I saw once on pinterest that I had wanted to try. Those boats used long baguette-style sourdough bread loaves but these pretzel rolls seemed like a good size for a 1-person meal so I decided to try them.
I've made real pretzels before, real meaning I was taught by a German master baker who'd started his apprenticeship in Germany at the age of 16 and we all know no one makes pretzels like the Germans. We would dip the pretzel dough into lye to form that outer crust that is only claimed by real pretzels; Auntie Anne would flee in shame next to a German pretzel. I tend to avoid pretzel rolls, thinking their outer crust would be too hard and chewy and that the inside would be dry. Besides, I preferred challah as my carb Kryptonite. But again, the size and shape of this roll seemed perfect for my cooking experiment. Everything I cook is an experiment, btw.

I made up this recipe and it isn't that complicated. Whisk an egg with a little milk and some cheese, grind a little salt and pepper into it, hollow out the roll, line the hollow with cooked sausage chunks and fill in with the egg mixture. Then bake until egg is cooked and roll is heated through. This actually turned out pretty well, color me surprised. I think I would use less milk and cheese and keep it more eggy next time though. I was happiest with the pretzel bread. I ate the part I had hollowed out of the roll and it had the soft texture of challah; it wasn't dry at all. The pretzel roll also has the advantage over a sourdough boule or batard because the baking time didn't make it as hard or crusty as the other bread rolls would've gotten. I might have to buy myself a few more of these rolls for the weekends.
I also think these would make handy little quick and easy breakfasts over the holidays as you only need buy as many rolls as you have people to feed, the egg custard takes a minute to whip up (and only that long if you're moving slowly) and 10-15 minutes in the oven. No fuss and they're delicious.
1 individual-size Pretzel bread (I got mine from Trader Joe's, they're about the size of a chubby hot dog bun)
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 sausage, cooked, chopped into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk egg, milk, cheeses and sausage together.
  3. Hollow out the center of a mini loaf of pretzel bread. Pour the egg and sausage mixture into the center until almost but not quite overflowing.
  4. Bake until egg is set, cheese is melted and "boat" is heated through, about 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Angel Cakes, Sprinkles & local cupcake deliveries

Angel Cakes - ordered November 16, 2014
My nieces celebrated their birthdays this month. I had already given them their "big gift" for their birthday and Christmas but also wanted to send something close to the day of. Being me, it had to be food. Normally I bake and send my own care packages to them but I haven't had time to do that in awhile and wasn't going to be able to pull it off before their birthday so I decided to outsource their baked gifts.
Cupcakes from Angel Cakes
And for me that means sending cupcakes since that's one of the things I wouldn't be able to send on my own without a lot of specialized packaging. Best let someone else do that. At first I checked out Crumbs Bake Shop in NYC because I'd once gotten their cupcakes as a gift and thought they were delicious. not to mention they looked spectacular and it was such a fun gift to receive. Unfortunately though, Crumbs being on the other side of the country meant shipping was exorbitant. Like more than $90 exorbitant for a dozen cupcakes. That was even more than the cupcakes themselves! I love my nieces dearly and there's nothing I wouldn't do for them. Except spend almost a hundred bucks each on shipping cupcakes to them. I'd rather give them that money in their birthday card than give it to FedEx.
Peanut Butter Banana (left) and Dulce de Leche (right)
So I turned to my friend Google and started searching for cupcake bakeries on the West Coast where I could order online and their shipping charges would be lower. And ended up finding something even better: local delivery. Turns out when you go to yelp, plug in the city you want, and search for "cupcake delivery", interesting things can pop up. Such as Angel Cakes which had great yelp reviews and delivered to the local area I needed. Cupcakes ranged from $2.75 - $3.25 each, depending on the flavor you choose and delivery was $20. Not super cheap but after the $90 quote from Crumbs, it felt like a bargain. As with most small cupcake shops, you could only order 2 flavors for 1 dozen cupcakes but some places only let you order 1 flavor so I took it as a gift that I could order two flavors. Anticipating my niece's flavor preferences, I ordered the peanut butter banana and the dulce de leche.
Ordering from Angel Cakes was really easy. I filled out their online form, Jen from Angel Cakes responded within a day to confirm my order, and sent me an invoice that I paid online. I had requested that the delivery be made to my niece's friend's house since she lived in a gated building where deliveries are harder to make and asked that she be sent a text to let her know the package had arrived so she could pick it up. Delivery and my niece's pickup of the cupcakes went smoothly and both she and her boyfriend gave thumbs up on the cupcakes, especially the dulce de leche. Although I haven't tried them myself, I'm going by their word and my ordering experience to give Angel Cakes my own 5-star yelp review. I was happy to discover another local small business to support and they delivered on service and product. And it opened a new range of possibilities in gift giving for the future as now I know of a local source for good cupcakes in that area.
For my other niece who lives half a state away, cupcake ordering and delivery was even easier. For her, I defaulted to Sprinkles after ascertaining there was one close enough to her that I could also get it delivered, again for a $20 delivery charge.
And because Sprinkles is a bigger operation with brick and mortar bakery locations, I had the luxury of choosing a number of different flavors for the dozen I sent her. The only drawback is on the day I had her cupcakes delivered, not all of the flavors were available and I only discovered that when I was trying to checkout. Their website ordering process was a bit more klugey but nothing insurmountable and I was able to put in my cupcake order, pay for it, and get confirmation within minutes.
The Sprinkles order also arrived on schedule as ordered and as tempting looking as when bought at an actual Sprinkles shop. I had both my nieces send me pictures of their bounty so I could use for this blog post. Now I want a cupcake.
So as you do your holiday gifting this season, here are a couple of ideas for local gift giving. Even if you don't live where I do or have a Sprinkles or an Angel Cakes nearby, be sure to check yelp and local businesses in your areas or the areas where you want to send a gift. People do it all the time to send flowers from local florists - why not cupcake businesses too?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Very Vanilla Cupcakes with Cookie Butter Frosting

Very Vanilla Cupcakes with Cookie Butter Frosting - made November 15, 2014, recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
We were having the monthly potluck at church earlier this month and, as always, I bring dessert to any potluck. There are five kids in Sunday School so I like to have kid-friendly desserts. What are more kid-friendly than cupcakes? Especially since I bought fall-themed sprinkles earlier the day I made these.
I wanted to make cookie butter frosting like I did for the Cookie Butter Cupcakes but this time I thought I'd made actual vanilla cupcakes instead of mistakenly making cookie butter cupcakes. Good vanilla cupcakes are sometimes hard to make because the ingredients are so simple and the cupcakes need to stand on the vanilla flavor alone.
Fortunately, I found a good recipe for them from Sally's Baking Addiction. These are easy to make, are straightforward vanilla, and taste pretty good. I cored a few and filled them with cookie butter (warmed up slightly for easier spooning into the center cavity), then piped the frosting onto them before dusting with the sprinkles.

I myself am not fond of sprinkles and prefer a simpler, cleaner look to my cupcakes but the sprinkles alone made these cupcakes seasonally festive so I went for it. And again, I was going for kid-appealing and kids like sprinkles, right? I did have to laugh at the potluck when I saw one of the kids snag a cupcake; later I saw she had eaten off all of the frosting and the top half of the cake. That was all she needed.
1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean

Cookie Butter Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cookie butter
seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean salt, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar - mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Split 1 vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise. Scrape seeds from half of the vanilla bean into batter. Reserve other half.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
  4. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners (or 24 mini) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes. Allow to cool.
  5. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract, cookie butter and vanilla bean seeds with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Frost cooled cupcakes.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Restaurant Review: Blue Line Pizza

Blue Line Pizza - dinner on November 14, 2014
I met some friends for dinner and we wanted to try out a new pizza place on Castro St in Mountain View. My friend, Queen of Cheap Eats, and I discovered it when we met for dinner at Asian Box beforehand. Since then, we've decided to meet with a couple of other friends once a month to try out new restaurants up and down Castro. Given the plethora of choices (think of Castro St in Mountain View as like an outdoor shopping mall but instead of stores, both sides of the street are lined with restaurants one after the other), it would take us a year just to cover one block.
This time around, we went with Blue Line Pizza as yelp reviews claimed their deep dish pizza was like Zachary's in Berkeley or Patxi's (pronounced "pah-cheese") in Palo Alto. That's enough to get any of us to try it. Turns out they don't take reservations and initially there was going to be a 20-minute wait for a table but some people left when I got there and fortunately, we were able to get seated within a couple of minutes.
The inside of Blue Line is a bit small and shaped like a rectangle. It's the typical real estate of most of the restaurants on Castro. There's also outdoor seating but it was starting to get chilly enough that we opted for an indoor table.
Half "Classic" and half Canadian bacon and pineapple
It can sometimes be a bit tricky to share pizza with friends who might have different tastes. There are only a few toppings I like on my pizza so I've gotten used to picking off unwanted toppings on my piece(s) rather than limiting what others want. But fortunately, Blue Line allows you to order half and half on their pizza. So we got a half Classic (sausage, mushrooms, onions and green bells) and half Canadian bacon and pineapple. I know some people don't like the Canadian bacon and pineapple combo but I love it. If I can't have meat lovers or sausage and pepperoni, my go-to are Canadian bacon and pineapple.
Deep dish always take a bit longer to bake than thin crust; I think ours came out after 20-25 minutes. I love pizza but I have to vehemently disagree with whoever thinks Blue Line Pizza is like Zachary's or Patxi's. No. Way. It wasn't awful but I guess my expectations were too high because I didn't think it was that great. The "deep dish" wasn't very deep at all and it wasn't like it was overflowing with toppings either, at least not on the Canadian bacon and pineapple side. They also overbaked it because the crust was dry and, unlike Patxi's, not very buttery. Bummer.
Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
Fortunately, we ordered dessert in the form of Caramel Apple Bread Pudding. There were only 2 dessert choices on the menu plus a special for the night. The other dessert and the special were some form of cheesecake, the one dessert I won't eat ever so the bread pudding was the optimal choice for all of us. At first we were leery because our waitperson described the bread pudding as being made from the same bread that the pizza crust is made of. Uh, the dry, overbaked pizza crust we just ate, you mean? But we were risk takers and decided to chance it. Luckily, the gamble paid off as the bread pudding was excellent. Maybe because being soaked in custard and doused with caramel sauce prevents it from being dry (seriously, you'd have to completely defy the baking gods to make a dry bread pudding). The taste was good and so ended the dinner on a high note.

Afterwards, I wondered if our dry pizza was just a fluke. Some other friends went another night and had the meatball sub deep dish. They said theirs was fine. Huh.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts

Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts - made November 15, 2014 from Inquiring Chef
I'm still experimenting on what desserts I want to make for Thanksgiving this year. Instead of my usual Lemon Bars that my extended family likes, I thought I'd try out these lemon cookie cups or tarts as its stand-in.
The sugar cookie shell is a basic sugar cookie dough, easy to make and easy to work with. I chilled it for 15 minutes but it was still a bit sticky when I was forming the cookie cups so I recommend not cheating like I did and chill it for at least the full 30 minutes called for in the recipe. The filling made for more tarts than I had dough for, meaning I ended up with 20 tarts but extra filling even after I had filled the 20 as much as I dared.
The recipe calls for baking these for only 10-12 minutes. At 10 minutes, they looked pasty pale and the filling was still a bit jiggly so I ended up baking these for at least 15 minutes. They were still pale and the cookie shells had hardly any color so I did wonder briefly if I had taken them out too soon.
Turns out that I should've remembered that these were sugar cookies and good sugar cookies are always pale. You actually don't want them to get brown or they'll be overbaked and dry. Once the cookie cups had cooled, the filling formed a crack in some of the tarts, signaling that I had baked them a few minutes too long. The finished tarts look like the egg custards you can get at dim sum restaurants but they're really lemon. I ended up liking these and found them worthy of a Thanksgiving table. The only thing I would tweak when it's game time is I would add lemon zest to the filling to make it more lemony. These weren't quite tart enough. Because the shell is a sugar cookie, a more tart filling would provide a better contrast. Oh, and I would recommend not sprinkling the confectioners' sugar over it until right before you serve or else the sugar will just get absorbed into the filling.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt

Lemon Filling
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
juice from 1 large lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Confectioners' sugar for dusting over each tart
  1. Crust: Beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on high. Add the egg and mix on medium until fully incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix on medium just until combined; do not overmix. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. 
  3. Make the lemon filling: whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, lemon juice and granulated sugar until smooth.
  4. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Divide the dough into quarters and divide each quarter into six even balls of dough. Press each ball of dough into a cavity of the muffin tin. Shape into a cup inside the tin, using your hands or a tart tamper. Pour the lemon filling into the center of each cookie cup, stopping just below the top of the crust.
  5. Bake until the filling is set and the crust begins to turn golden, 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake; pull the tarts out just when you see any golden color on the crusts. Allow to cool completely. 
  6. Dust with confectioners' sugar right before serving.