Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Goat Cheese Tartlets

Aren’t these the cutest little tarts you’ve ever seen? Believe me, they tasted even better than they look! I ended up making three things this morning to take to Thanksgiving dinner: cranberry and goat cheese tartlets (pictured above), three cheese tartlets with bacon and fresh thyme (pictured below), and a butternut squash casserole (forgot to take photo). All three were terrific but my sister and I both agree that the flower-shaped cranberry tartlets were both the tastiest and prettiest of the three.

Cranberry Goat Cheese Tarts

But if you ask my brother-in-law, the three cheese tartlets with bacon and thyme were the best! I used the same tart pastry for both. The pastry is made from whole wheat pastry flour, butter, shredded Gruyere cheese, cracked black pepper and salt. I basically just made a basic pie crust dough but used whole wheat flour and added the cheese and black pepper. It was absolutely amazing! I don’t have an exact recipe because I made the tarts up as I went but they were so good that I will be making them again and writing down an actual recipe to give you before Christmas.

Three Cheese Tartlets with Bacon and Thyme

I used a mini muffin pan for baking both sets of tartlets. For the flower shaped ones, I used a flower shaped cookie cutter. I rolled the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness then cut the flower shapes. I then fit the flowers into the mini muffin cups with the petals sticking up a bit so that they didn’t crowd each other.

For the cranberry filling, I mixed a mini log of goat cheese, a handful of chopped sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins), a teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme, salt and fresh ground pepper, and one egg. This made exactly enough filling for twelve tarts.

Cranberry Tarts

For the bacon cheese tartlets I just used a drinking glass to cut the pastry dough into rounds and then fit them into the mini muffin cups. It just so happened that the glass I chose was the perfect size!

For the bacon and cheese filling, I mixed one small log of goat cheese, some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, some shredded jarlsberg cheese, three slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, sea salt, coarsley ground black pepper, and one egg. This made more than enough filling for 12 tarts.

Bacon Cheese Tartlets

Next time I make these, I’ll be sure to take photos of the assembly process. They were fairly easy to make but a little time consuming since I had to roll out and cut the dough. I only made 12 of each because this whole thing was an experiment and I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. I definitely should have made at least twice as many! They disappeared as soon as I put the plates down (half of them went in my brother-in-law’s mouth).

The butternut squash casserole was also really good but I completely forgot to take photos of it! It was a savory casserole made with butternut squash, onions, buttermilk, cheese, and fresh thyme. The recipe is from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook and can be found online at StarTribune.com

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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10 Comments
  1. amy

    These all look amazing Nicole, I can almost smell them! We all missed you guys very much this year, hope to see you guys soon!

    8:28 pm  Nov 22nd, 2007
  2. Jennifer

    How cute! I love little bite-size treats.

    5:51 am  Nov 23rd, 2007
  3. Patricia Scarpin

    They look like little flowers, sweetie! So beautiful!

    9:03 am  Nov 23rd, 2007
  4. Ruby

    OH wow Nicole! These look awesome! What a talent you have!
    Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving holiday, though I’m not sure how you couldn’t with these wonderful tarts! :)

    10:39 am  Nov 23rd, 2007
  5. Cynthia

    You are inspiring me to crank up the oven again when I have been baking none-stop all week already!

    5:29 pm  Nov 23rd, 2007
  6. Leah

    Ooh, yum! They’re adorable and they look delicious, Nicole. What a great idea to use a cookie cutter for your tartlettes. Thanks for sharing. Happy post-turkey day!

    2:12 pm  Nov 27th, 2007
  7. Rachelle ~ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!"

    I came searching for ideas for mini tart crusts. The flower idea is so cute, and I already have that cutter!

    7:07 pm  Jun 2nd, 2008
  8. Deeba

    Those mini tarts are precious…& I love the idea of using the flower cutters. Will attempt to make these for my daughters 13th which is round the corner! Thanks for a wonderful post!!

    9:04 pm  Dec 10th, 2008
  9. Nicki

    Hi :o) These recipes look so delicious and I want to try them ASAP. However, I am such a novice to baking that I don’t dare try these (or anything really..lol) without a recipe. I was wondering if you ever did post a detailed recipe for these adorable bites!

    I LOVE your site! I happened upon it about a week ago and I have been to it just about every day since! So many ideas…thanks a bunch!

    12:00 am  Jul 4th, 2010
  10. Nicole

    Nicki – I’m sorry, but I never did get around to writing out a recipe for these. Perhaps I’ll try making them again in the fall and post the recipe. Thanks for the reminder!

    8:33 am  Jul 4th, 2010
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