Or as Derek calls them, Tomato Cookies. Sometimes I really have a hard time naming recipes (remember the turtle cups?) — this is one of those times. They're not really tarts, but not dessert cookies. Caprese has mozzarella, these don't. Bruschetta? Doesn't have cheese. Whatever they are, they're delicious. Tomato cookies really might be the most accurate description!
First step in creating these beauties is the dough: it's basically pie dough, minus the sugar, plus a nice bunch of Italian herbs! I used an actual "Italian Herb" mix, but you could easily mix your own (oregano, rosemary, basil, etc.). I actually have some of this dough in my fridge right now, and keep thinking I need to make a quiche, or a savory pie! Ideas? Anyone?
Second step is the cream cheese layer. YUM. Again, basically just cream cheese + Italian herbs + grated cheese. I used sharp white cheddar (um HELLO you cannot go wrong here). This would be good alone, on toast, on a spoon, pretty much any method of delivery would be acceptable here
Next we have some fresh basil, then 'maters, duh. Pile on the maters. Top that with some more grated sharp white cheddar, and bake away! You'll use a little more fresh basil after baking for garnish, but in general I tried to keep very little basil poking out from under the tomatoes. It can't handle the heat!
Now you have tomato cookies! I mean mini caprese tarts, obviously. These are a great little appetizer, perfect for taking to summer barbecues! Pretty darn refreshing, healthy(ish) and YUM.Print
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp Italian herb mix (divided)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup ice cold water (plus 2 Tbsp, if needed)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 ½ cups grated sharp white cheddar
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 4-6 small tomatoes (roma or vine), sliced into ¼" thick rounds
- Basil for garnish
- To make the crust, combine flour, 2 tablespoon herb mix, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until mixed together.
- Add the butter, and pulse until no chunks are bigger than pea-sized.
- Add the water a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just barely comes together. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
- When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Mix until smooth the remaining 2 tablespoon herbs with the cream cheese, and 1 ½ cups of the grated cheddar.
- Using flour as needed, roll the dough out to ⅛" thickness. Cut into small rounds (slightly larger than your tomato rounds). Arrange on a lined baking sheet, and spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on each round.
- Top with a basil leaf and tomato slice. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the dough has puffed and the tomato is toasted. Remove from the oven, top with a small sprinkle of grated cheddar, and return to the oven for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.
- When finished, top with a piece of basil chiffonade.
This recipes makes a lot of tarts! You'll probably end up with 40-50 tarts if you use the full recipe.