A quiet Sunday morning with church services cancelled due to blustery snow and icy roads ... frost at the windows ... the Christmas tree all lit up ... and tins and plates to be filled for neighbors, near and far! This snowy Sunday has been a cozy Godsend, as these little tarts have been the result! Perhaps this afternoon I'll make the apricot jam thumbprints, chocolate rum balls, and Russian teacakes that are always a traditional favorite!
In the meantime, I'd like to share these little tarts with friends at I Heart Cooking Club ... this week, our challenge was to choose a recipe that one might use to fill up our Christmas gift tins! Donna Hay has a wide selection of cookies, sandwich bars, and little sweet bites in her cook books and on her website. This little recipe (this is the link!) caught my attention, because it involves a fruit mince that mimics canned mincemeat, but is infinitely easier to make. The pastry crust is a sweet crumbly crust that has half vegetable shortening and half unsalted butter ... very flaky and crumbly and made from my mother's recipe.
Donna suggests using little stars to top her tarts (isn't her photo of these tarts just beautiful!), but I have small heart and tiny Corgi dog cookie cutters ... and since we love our little Corgis and since I'm spreading the love at Christmastime ... well, it fits, don't you think?
I made the fruit mince yesterday afternoon and let it sit over night. Today all the juices are mingled and the bit of cinnamon that I added has had a chance to really mature the mince flavour. The addition of the cinnamon was the only change I made to Donna's recipe.
A simple crust chilled and rolled out and then, the fun of assembling and decorating begins! With Johnny Mathis singing about the most wonderful time of the year, and the sound of shovels scraping the snow off the roof (we got a foot of the stuff last night!), I blithely puttered away my Sunday morning!
I hope you're all baking your favorites and sharing them with your friends and loved ones too! It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas!
This post is being shared with the other bakers at I Heart Cooking Club's weekly recipe share. You may see what others are baking by following the above link !