Several weeks ago (and I use that term lightly cuz I don't remember exactly when), I received a package in the mail. Through the Tastemakers Program at Foodbuzz.com, I was one of the lucky recipients of a box of Newton's Fruit Thins.
Let me just say.....Yum! Seriously good cookies. And not in an overly sweet way either. Yet they satisfy that sweet craving. They're crispy like a cracker and they have these little chewy bits of fruit in them that are just soooo dang good.
Kudos to Newtons! I've always enjoyed Fig Newton bars, but this new addition to the Newton family is fabulous. And did I mention that they're made with whole grain? Niiiiiiiice
The letter that came with the cookies suggested crushing the cookies and sprinkling them over ice cream or yogurt. Which I'm sure tastes great. But that got my brain whirling and I came up with a different plan. Trouble was....by the time the weekend came around, there weren't enough cookies left. Apparently the girls and their friends enjoyed them as well. But I really wanted to make my little treat so I added Newtons Fruit Thins to my grocery list. And you know what? They have some great flavor combos out there. Oooooh....choices! I couldn't resist picking up a package of Chocolate Raspberry instead of the Fig and Honey version they sent me.
I don't know about you but I am a huge fan of raspberries and chocolate combined and this got me excited! (apparently I'm easy...)
The next phase of my quest had me searching for recipes for no-bake tart like fillings. Sure...I could've made the standard cream cheese filling with the sweetened condensed milk it in.
I could have.
I didn't want to. I wanted something different. (to me) Something new. (to me) Something not so dang sweet (sooooo not like me). And when I found something that satisfied all those requirements....it was back to the grocery I went. To purchase mascarpone.
Before we get into the nitty gritty details of the recipe and process, let me share with you a little something. A while ago (and again, I use that turn lightly....cuz it was seriously...months ago), I chose to review product from CSNStores.com instead of doing a giveaway. One of the items I picked were these darling little non-stick mini tart pans
This was the perfect time to break these babies in. I have a thing for individually sized desserts. They just seem more....special. I mean, not only do you get to eat the whole thing....but you get so see the completed product, not just a portion. Like...getting the "B" on your slice of cake from a birthday party, or half of a balloon. When you have mini desserts, you get to see the whoooooole thing as it was intended. And you don't have to share it with anyone. And in your mind...you're thinking....this cute little, delicious dessert as just for me.
I spose this is where I tell you how great these little tart pans are. Not cuz I have to. But because they are. Easy to work with. Easy to clean and they get the job done. What more could a cook / baker ask for? (besides someone else to clean up the mess....but that may be asking for too much).
This is a very simple, easy dessert. Minimal effort required.....great results!
Newtons Mini Tarts
1 1/2 cups Newtons Fruit Thins Chocolate Raspberry (about 15 cookies)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
4 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Handful of fresh raspberries to garnish
Preheat the oven to 375'F
Spray mini tart pans with cooking spray
In a food processor, process the cookies until you have fine crumbs.
Add melted butter and mix until well combined.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the cookie crumb mixture into each tart pan. Press mixture to the bottom and up the sides so the crust is as even as possible.
Bake in preheated oven for about 5 - 7 minutes. Allow to cool in the fridge for about an hour.
Once the crusts have cooled, in a medium sized bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla. Beat until soft and fluffy. Do not over beat....we're dealing with whipping cream here and we do not want butter now, do we?
Spoon filling into mini tarts, dividing it up as evenly as you can between them. Garnish with fresh raspberries. Allow to chill for about an hour so the filling sets and the flavors settle.
And there you have your little mini tart filled with a decadent filling that's reminisce of a smooth, homemade whipped cream...only creamier and not as sweet. This allows the crust to be the star in this show. As you take your bite, of course your mouth is filled with creamy goodness....but soon the chocolate raspberry cookie flavor bursts out onto center stage and steals the show. Your taste buds are bound to give a standing ovation, demanding an encore.
Are you wondering why I've served the tart still in the pan? Cookie crumb crusts are not made to support themselves....they sorta crumble.
By the way...don't worry if you don't have mini tart pans. Just make it a full sized tart. Or in a pie plate. Its all about the flavor. Be creative with the presentation.