pucker up! [mini key lime tarts]

October 5th, 2010 by | comments

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My parents hosted a dinner party this weekend, so I helped cook, bake and decorate all day before the party. I made two kinds of hummus—regular and sun-dried tomato—as well as a dessert. I wanted to make something bite-size, since I figured people would be stuffed after munching on the plethora of appetizers all evening.

I browsed the Food Network website and came across Paula Deen’s key lime tarts. The recipe received five stars and positive comments, so I decided to try it out. After all, dessert and Paula Deen go hand in hand.

Making these desserts turned into a much more tedious process than expected. The recipe calls for Key Lime Cooler cookies, however, I was not able to find these at the market. I imagine I might have found them at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, but did not have time to visit a different store. Therefore, I took one of the suggestions and made a homemade graham cracker crust for the bottom of the tarts.

The desserts had the perfect amount of tart flavor—enough to make your lips pucker, but not enough to make you contort your face in discomfort.

The tarts won me over in flavor, but were way too delicate in texture after only chilling for an hour. The recipe calls to bake the tarts in mini muffin liners (sprayed before filling), and to then remove them after baking. Removing the liners was a difficult process since the tarts were so fragile, causing a few of the desserts to break in half.

To try to remedy the situation, I chilled some of the tarts for a few more hours. After refrigerating, I was finally able to remove the rest of the liners. Although the desserts did not look as presentable as I’d hoped, they were still gobbled up at the party.


24 Key Lime Cooler cookies (or homemade graham cracker crust)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp. key lime juice

1 tsp. key lime zest

Homemade whipped cream (Heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar & vanilla extract)

Lime zest, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill 2 (12-muffin) mini muffin tins with paper liners and spray cups with cooking spray. Place graham cracker crust mixture (or cookie) in the bottom of the cup.

For filling: Beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar, key lime juice and zest until well mixed. Don’t worry if the mixture is not perfectly smooth (because of the cream cheese). Fill the cups to the top with the batter. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove tarts to cool. Once cooled, remove the paper liners from the tarts. Pipe whipped cream and sprinkle lime zest on top of tarts.

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