Sunday, March 21, 2010

Samoa Tartlets

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded coconut, toasted, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dulce de leche, warmed (available in the dessert-topping section)
1 quart coconut ice cream

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter.

Pulse the flour, 1/4 cup coconut, brown sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand with pea-sized pieces, about 5 times. Put 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture in each muffin cup and press to make even rounds. Bake until the crusts are golden, about 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate evenly over each crust. Turn off the oven; return the pan to the oven to melt the chocolate, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle each crust with 1 tablespoon of the remaining coconut. Cool slightly, then freeze crusts in the pan until set, about 15 minutes.

With a thin spatula, gently remove each crust from the muffin pan. Top with a small scoop of coconut ice cream, drizzle with dulce de leche and garnish with more coconut.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cream Cheese Cookies

1 cup butter
3 oz Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 chopped pecans (optional)

Blend together the butter and the cream cheese. Add the cup of granulated sugar, and cream thoroughly. Add the egg, lemon juice and rind, and blend well. Add the flour and baking power sifted together. Place the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to chill it. Force 2-inch ribbon strips through a cookie press onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a moderate oven, 375 degrees, 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Blend the cup of confectioners' sugar with the lemon juice. When the cookie are cool, dip the ends into this frosting, then in the chopped pecans. Yields 4 1/2 dozen cookies.