The little tarts pictured on both tables used the dough recipe I've posted before, with the pecan filling I've also posted and and a lemon/blueberry version. But it's pretty simple to just re-post those recipes below, along with the lemon filling. I'm not posting the recipe for the chicken salad because I didn't think it was all that good (after all that chopping!). Kind of bland. I'll work on it and give the recipe after I get it up to speed. But I will include below the directions (it's not really a recipe) for the goat-cheese spread. You can see some of it in the picture on the left--the blob on the plate with the red speckles. It was the hit of the party, and the easiest thing I made.
CREAM CHEESE PASTRY
As I've said before, this recipe is a treasure. Its only drawback is that it calls for three ounces of cream cheese, and they don't make that size package any more. If you want to make a triple batch of it, as I almost always do, you have to whack off a one-ounce piece from an eight-ounce package, which is a pain. So the next time I make this I'm going to see what happens if I just use the eight-ounce package with the same amount of butter and flour. I think it will be fine. For each batch, mix:
3 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces butter (that is ONE FULL STICK)
1 cup of flour
If you use unsalted butter you should add a pinch or two of salt
Put the ingredients into your food processor and run until thoroughly mixed. You don't have to worry about flakiness or graininess or anything like that. Just get it mixed. It's fine if the butter is soft. Then you can chill it if you'd rather not have to flour your fingers for each tartlet, or just go ahead with it as is. Use your fingers to press a 1/2-ounce ball of dough into each min-tart cup. Using that amount of dough per tartlet should give you 24, which is the standard amount per pan and the yield given for this recipe. It's really better, though, if the dough is very thin. So . . . if you really want to be obsessive about it, and you have a scale (which I do), then 3/8 of an ounce is better. But as I often say, Don't drive yourself crazy! The world won't come to an end if the dough is a little thick. If you're going to make the pecan pies, add the filling and then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. If you're doing the lemon tarts then bake just the shells for about 15 minutes, fill (scantily) with the lemon filling, and bake for about 5 minutes more.
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup firmly packed tight brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped pecans (not toasted)
Mix well--I usually use a hand mixer. DO NOT OVERFILL THE TARTS!! You will have too much filling for 24 tarts, but there's no way to make a smaller batch because of the one egg. You can bake the leftover filling separately in a small pie pan, or freeze it. If you make a triple batch of dough and filling but spread them out over 96 tarts instead of 72, you'll come out about right.
I got this recipe years ago from a sample issue of the magazine Cuisine at Home. It's a pretty standard recipe, though, and it's meant to be used in a large tart. One recipe of this is going to make enough for at least 72 tarts.
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice (recipe says, of course, "fresh lemon juice," but of course I didn't do that)
2 T. lemon zest (an awful lot! And I used the lemon oil, about 1/8 tsp.)
Whisk the above together in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, then add 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cubed butter. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until filling thickens but is still pourable. The best tool for stirring this is a heatproof spatula, which allows you to get into the very edges of the bottom and prevent you from having scrambled eggs there. I got it to 160 degrees, checking periodically with my instant-read thermometer. Spoon or scoop a small amount into each pre-baked tartlet shell and bake at 325 degrees for about 5 minutes. Let cool and then chill. I put a blueberry on top of each one because that's what I had; small sliced strawberries are better.
And, finally, the
GOAT CHEESE THINGY
I had a double package of mild soft goat cheese from Costco that I had bought for something else and then didn't use, so I wanted to have it for the tea. Chopped roasted red peppers seemed like a good thing to put in, so I did that. I have directions for those in a recent post, so I'm not including them here. I also chopped up a couple of shallots. And I decided to throw in a package of cream cheese to make it more spreadable, but that probably wasn't necessary. You could put in all sorts of things that you like: chopped black olives, capers, scallions, pickled cherry peppers, etc. People really liked the goat cheese--it was just enough different from plain cream cheese to be a real winner. I was going to make toasts out of thin slices of baguette, but that didn't happen. I just served it with crackers. If you thinned it out with some sour cream you could also use it as a veggie dip. It would have been much prettier and more elegant if I had done the toasts, spread the cheese on them, and then put a slice of red pepper on each. But then I would have had the DREADED PROBLEM OF LEFTOVERS. You can't save stuff like that, as the bread or the cracker, if you use that, will only sit so long before getting soggy. So just let people spread their own, and relax!