Hi! How are you guys? No I really mean it, how are you guys??? What is going on with you? What's happening in your life these days?
I am slowly getting over that nasty bug I was complaining about last week. It was a doozy! I'm still stuffy and I have this hacking cough I can't seem to kick, but, happily, I'm overall doing so much better. I think it might have been the flu! My little ones and I all three were miserable with it, but Mr. Allie somehow never came down with it. He's the only one out of our little family who had the flu shot earlier this season. What are your feelings on the flu shot? Yay or nay? I'm not super anti-vaccine but I am a little cautious about that stuff. I didn't let my kids get more than two inoculations per month, and I always tried to carefully weigh out the risks vs. benefits. All that being said, I do think that next year I will go ahead and get the shot. It's just been such a tough winter for me this year, and when Mom isn't happy, ain't nobody happy!
I have to tell you how much I really love all of your comments and sweet thoughts and wishes. I get all sorts of encouragement from you guys, through this blog and through my Facebook page, and it really means so much! I know that a few of you were also suffering with winter illness right along with me, so I hope you are doing better! Thank you, thank you, thank you, for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to leave me such kind and uplifting messages. I truly feel so blessed to count you as a friend :)
So- today kicks off Mr. Allie's birthday extravaganza! Do you remember hearing about Mr. Allie's 40th birthday in this post? Well, tonight he's partying it up with his friends, tomorrow my brother and sister in law are coming in for the family party later tomorrow night, and then Sunday is the Superbowl! Lots going on. I'm thinking about making Snickers cupcakes for the party, and then we'll be putting out some yummy snacks on Sunday, like chips and dips, buffalo wings, and loaded potato skins. What comes to your mind when you're thinking about game-day desserts? For me, it's gotta be really indulgent, and it's gotta be a finger food. No fancy plates or utensils when you're sitting on the sofa with your eyes on the television. These little treats cover both bases! And they are so perfectly pop-able, just right for a sweet game day snack.
These babies are a mashup of three of my most favorite recipes. My Simply Perfect Chocolate Sugar Cookie forms the crust of the tart. These cookies are uber-chocolatey, from all the cocoa powder, and a little less sweet, which is perfect for pairing with my gooey, sweet, and buttery Simply Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce. A fluffy no bake cheesecake tops them off!
After I posted the recipe for Simply Perfect Chocolate Sugar Cookies, I had a lot of readers tell me that their dough was dry or crumbly. You'll want to start with just 1 1/4 cups of flour, and mix mix mix to see how it comes together, before adding any more than that. If it's really clinging to the sides of the bowl, add a little more flour, like a tablespoon at a time, mixing, until it looks like this:
It should not be dry or crumbly. It should hold together really nicely. If you roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut it with a 3-inch diameter blossom cutter, it forms a little mini-tart shell when you bake it over the back of a mini-muffin tin. Press carefully around the top edge, with your fingertips, to seal any cracks. They're perfect for filling with yummy things! Like salted caramel!
Really this whole idea came to be simply as a vehicle to get more salted caramel into my face. Seriously, this stuff is so good. Like, insane! Your eyes will roll back in your head. I have a whole step by step caramel making tutorial here. It's really easy and it only takes about 10 minutes. You'll never go back to the store bought stuff after you've tried this! One and a half batches will fill all the chocolate tartlet shells. Go ahead and make two batches- you'll definitely find a use for the leftovers. I find a spoon works really well ;)
The no bake cheesecake topping is basically just whipped cream with a little cream cheese added in. There's only one thing that tastes better than salted caramel, and that's salted caramel with cheesecake. Just be sure and whip the cream really nice and stiff before you add in the softened cream cheese. That way it stays really thick and pipe-able. I used a Wilton 4B tip to top the tartlets with a kiss of fluffy goodness.
*Please visit Baking a Moment to view the full post and download the recipe*
These chocolate caramel cheesecake tartlets are like a cross between a cookie and a candy. They are really so splurge-worthy!
I hope you guys have a really fun weekend! Doesn't it feel so good to be almost done with January now? Next up is Valentines Day, and then Spring will be right around the corner! I'm so ready for warmth and sunshine!
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