How to Make Cream Cheese Tarts
Finding a good recipe that is worth sharing is rare. This Cream Cheese Tarts recipe is one of my favorites. It is a Paula Deen recipe from the Paula’s Home Cooking show and can also be found on the Food Network where I originally came across it. Like many people, Paula Deen is one of my favorite cooks. She is delightful to watch and the recipes she provides are often down to Earth, easy to follow, easy to make, and come out delicious every time. This recipe is no different. It is made with simple ingredients and by following the directions will turn out great. I have included some of my own tips and experiences from making this delicious dessert.
What You Will Need
- 12 vanilla wafers (low-fat work fine)
- 2 eggs (large or extra large)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring Utensils
- Electric mixer
- 12 paper cupcake liners (don’t use the foil ones)
- Muffin pan (12 regular size are needed)
- Topping (cherry pie, blue berry pie, strawberry pie, or sour cream toppings work the best)
NOTE: I tried doubling the recipe, but the tarts did not turn out as well. If you plan on making more than one batch, mix them separately. I’ve prepared 14 batches for a Fourth of July Party one year and decorated them using red (strawberry pie filling), white (plain sour cream topping), and blue (blueberry pie filling) to give the tarts a patriotic feel. This would also be great for memorial day or any other holiday party.
Making Cream Cheese Tarts
Step 1: Set out all your ingredients for 15 minutes prior to starting including the eggs and cream cheese.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 3: Place a paper cupcake liner in 12 cups of the muffin pan(s).
Step 4: Unwrap and place the cream cheese in the mixing bowl.
NOTE: I use Kraft Philadelphia brand cream cheese. I have had friends try it with generic brands and the tarts do not turn out the same.
Step 5: Beat the cream cheese with the electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Step 6: Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well.
NOTE: Allow the sugar to dissolve in the cream cheese for about 5 minutes and beat again before adding in the eggs.
Step 7: While the sugar is dissolving, place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each of the lined muffin cups.
Step 8: Return to your mixture and add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
NOTE: Don’t try to speed up the process by adding the eggs at the same time. Follow the directions for best results.
Step 9: Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the wafers filling the cups evenly using a melon baller.
TIP: I use a melon baller to distribute the mixture. To ensure I fill the cups evenly I put one scoop in each cup and then return and place a second scoop in each cup and continue until I am finished. This will help to keep the baking process even for each of the tarts.
Step 10: Bake the tarts for 20 minutes.
NOTE: Bake the tarts until the tops crack. This is the best sign to know the tarts are finished baking. Avoid opening your oven during the baking process or the tarts will not bake correctly.
Step 11: Remove the tarts from the oven and leave them in the muffin pan for about 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack or storage container.
NOTE: Allow tarts to completely cool before placing the topping on them. The topping can be left off until you are ready to serve them. If this is the method used, chill the frosting before applying to the tarts.
NOTE: The tarts will sink in the middle during the cooling process. This creates a little “cup” to hold the pie filling/topping. If you use anything other than paper cupcake liners, the tarts will not cool correctly to create the “cup”.
Step 12: Top the tarts with the pie filling or sour cream topping, chill and serve cold.
NOTE: We have tried several varieties of toppings, but most people like the sour cream topping with a piece of fresh fruit such as raspberries, strawberry slices, or blueberries.
Paula Deen makes great food and this is just one example of a delicious recipe from this great chef. Following the directions precisely will yield the best results. You can use seasonal fruit to change up the taste slightly or keep them plain and let your guest add the desired toppings. Great for a dessert or even for breakfast!
Do you have any topping suggestions? What do you think of this recipe? Feel free to post a comment or message below.
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