looking for some mini-desserts?

Mini desserts are great for those that want smaller portions or need to make a quick batch for a potluck or party.

Mini Lemon Cheesecake Tarts
Top with fresh berries - raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries -

8 ounces cream cheese, softened, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons butter, softened, divided
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2 drops yellow food coloring
Fresh raspberries



In a small bowl, beat 3 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter and lemon peel until blended. Gradually add flour, mix well. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 325°. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; press onto the bottom and up sides of 24 ungreased mini muffin cups.
For filling, in a small bowl, beat 1/2 cup sugar and remaining cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon lemon juice and vanilla. Add egg; beat on low speed just until blended. Fill cups half full with cream cheese mixture. Bake 18-22 minutes or until set. Carefully run a knife around tarts to loosen from pan. Cool in pans on wire racks.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and remaining sugar; whisk in water. Bring to boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; gent stir in food coloring and remaining lemon juice and butter. Cool to room temperature.
Remove cooled tarts from pans. Spoon on topping; top with raspberries. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen. 

Baklava Tartlets
Very easy to make!

3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
3 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells



In a small bowl, mix the first five ingredients until blended; stir in walnuts. Spoon 2 teaspoons mixture into each tart shell. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Yield: 45 tartlets. 

Turtle Cookie Cups
Gooey goodness with the crunch of pecans. For a twist, use white chocolate chips in the cups and drizzle with white chocolate.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Kraft caramel bits
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
48 pecan halves (about 3/4 cup)


Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Shape dough into 1-in. balls; place in greased mini-muffin cups. Press evenly onto bottoms and up the sides of cups. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. With the back of measuring teaspoon, make an indentation in each cup. Immediately sprinkle with 3/4 cup chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt caramel bits with cream; stir until smooth. Spoon into cups. Top each with a pecan half. In a microwave, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Drizzle over pecans. Yield: 4 dozen. 

Pumpkin Tartlets

1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie pastry
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Miniature marshmallows, optional


Preheat oven to 425°. On a lightly floured surface, unroll each pastry sheet; roll to 1/8-in. thickness. Using a floured 4-in. round cutter, cut out 16 circles, rerolling scraps if necessary. Press circles into muffin pans coated with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, salt and spices until blended. Pour into pastry cups. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If desired, top with marshmallows and bake 2-3 minutes longer or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes.
Carefully run a knife around sides to loosen tarts. Cool in pans on wire racks before removing. Serve or refrigerate within 2 hours. Yield: 16 tartlets.

For 9-in. Pumpkin Pie: Preheat oven to 425°. Unroll 1 refrigerated pie pastry sheet into a 9-in. pie plate; flute edge. Prepare filling as directed; pour into pastry shell. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°; bake 35-45 minutes longer, covering edge loosely with foil during the last 10 minutes if needed to prevent overbrowning.

Key Lime Mousse Cups
Lightly laced with tart key lime, perfect for after dinner and so easy to whip up!

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup Key lime juice
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
2 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
Fresh raspberries and lime wedges, optional


In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and juice until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Pipe into tart shells. Garnish with raspberries and lime wedges if desired. Serve immediately. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen. 

Banana-Chip Mini Cupcakes
Packed with banana flavor, chocolate chips and topped off with creamy frosting. So easy to make!

1 package (14 ounces) banana quick bread and muffin mix
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 tablespoon shortening



Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine muffin mix, water, sour cream and egg; stir just until moistened. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined miniature muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a microwave, melt shortening and remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen. 

Apple-Cinnamon Mini Pies
Filled with chunky applesauce!

1 package (14.1 ounces) refrigerated pie pastry
1/2 cup chunky applesauce
3 teaspoons cinnamon sugar, divided
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 12 pieces
1 tablespoon 2% milk, divided



Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry sheets. Using a floured 3-1/2-in. round cookie cutter, cut six circles from each sheet.
In a small bowl, mix applesauce with 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar. Place 2 teaspoons applesauce mixture on one half of each circle; dot with butter. Moisten pastry edges with some of the milk. Fold pastry over filling; press edges with a fork to seal.
Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Brush tops with remaining milk; sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 1 dozen. 

Orange Dream Mini Cupcakes
These remind you of the old creamsicles!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
BUTTERCREAM:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons 2% milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange marmalade



Preheat oven to 325°. Line 48 mini-muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange peel, orange juice and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
Fill prepared cups two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 11-13 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
For buttercream, in a large bowl, beat butter and salt until creamy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.
Using a paring knife, cut a 1-in.-wide cone-shaped piece from top of each cupcake; discard removed portion. Fill cavity with marmalade. Pipe or spread buttercream over tops. Yield: 4 dozen. 

Nutella Hand Pies

1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
3 tablespoons Nutella
1 to 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
ICING:
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange juice
1/8 teaspoon grated orange peel
Additional Nutella, optional


Preheat oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk egg with water.
Unfold puff pastry; cut into nine squares. Place 1 teaspoon Nutella in center of each; sprinkle with orange peel. Brush edges of pastry with egg mixture. Fold one corner over filling to form a triangle; press edges to seal. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 17-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.
In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, orange juice and orange peel; drizzle over pies. If desired, warm additional Nutella in a microwave and drizzle over tops. Yield: 9 servings. 

Berry Mini Cheesecakes
It’s just a bite!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
18 fresh raspberries 

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press gently onto the bottom of 18 paper-lined miniature muffin cups. In another small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon over crusts.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until centers are set. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.  

To serve, remove paper liners; top cheesecakes with raspberries. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Peanut butter lovers go nuts for these rich little sandwich cookies. On a hot day, sandwich ice cream between the cookies instead of frosting. So refreshing!

1 cup shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
FILLING:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup 2% milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream shortening, peanut butter and sugars until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Shape into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 11-13 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a small bowl, beat peanut butter, milk  and vanilla until blended. Beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread filling on bottoms of half of the cookies; cover with remaining cookies.
Freeze option: Freeze unfilled cookies in freezer containers. To use, thaw cookies and fill as directed. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

Editor’s Note: Reduced-fat peanut butter is not recommended for this recipe. wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Mini Chocolate Wafer Cakes

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
24 chocolate wafers
Chocolate syrup
Heart-shaped sprinkles


In a large bowl, beat the cream, cocoa, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Arrange eight wafers on the bottom of a foil-lined 9-in.-square baking pan. Spoon or pipe about 2 tablespoons cream mixture onto each. Repeat layers twice, making eight stacks. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
To serve, transfer to dessert plates. Drizzle with chocolate syrup; top with sprinkles. Yield: 8 servings

Mini S’mores

2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 package (14.4 ounces) graham crackers, quartered
1 cup marshmallow creme
2 cartons (7 ounces each) milk chocolate for dipping
4 ounces white candy coating, melted, optional



Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature or until mixture reaches a spreading consistency, about 10 minutes.
Spread chocolate mixture over half of the graham crackers. Spread marshmallow creme over remaining graham crackers; place over chocolate-covered crackers, pressing to adhere.
Melt dipping chocolate according to package directions. Dip each s'more halfway into dipping chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until dipping chocolate is set.
If desired, drizzle tops with melted white candy coating; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: about 4 dozen. 

Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets
These adorable mini apple pie pastries make a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. The recipe calls for convenient frozen phyllo shells, so they’re surprisingly easy to prepare. The lemon curd filling adds a unique flavor twist.

1 cup finely chopped peeled apple
1/4 cup lemon curd
2 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
TOPPING:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter
Confectioners' sugar



In a small bowl, combine apples and lemon curd. Spoon into tart shells.
In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Spoon over apple mixture. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Salted Caramel Cookie Cups

1 package (17-1/2 ounces) sugar cookie mix
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
FILLING:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
36 caramels
36 pecan halves, toasted
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt


Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine cookie mix and flour. Beat in butter and egg until blended. Shape dough into 1-1/4-in. balls; press onto bottom and up sides of greased mini-muffin cups.
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, chocolate chips and confectioners' sugar. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in each cup. Press one caramel into the filling in each cup. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown and caramel is melted. Sprinkle with sea salt; top with a pecan half. Cool completely in pan on wire racks. Yield: 3 dozen. 

Jam-Topped Mini Cheesecakes
Make them with an assortment of jams and preserves, such as strawberry, blackberry and apricot.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Assorted jams, warmed



In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press gently

onto the bottom of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. In another small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon over crusts.
Bake at 350° for 15-16 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Remove paper liners; top each cheesecake with 1 teaspoon jam. Yield: 1 dozen.

Rocky Road Cookie Cups

1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted



Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-1/4-in. balls; press evenly onto bottom and up sides of 24 greased mini-muffin cups.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden. Using the back of a measuring teaspoon, make an indentation in each cup. Immediately place 3 marshmallows and 1/4 teaspoon chocolate chips in each cup; sprinkle with almonds. Return to oven; bake 1 minute longer. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen. 

Chocolate Butterscotch Tartlets

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons apricot brandy
4-1/2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
Grated orange peel



Place chocolate and butterscotch chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup cream just to a boil. Pour over chips; whisk until smooth. Stir in brandy. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until chilled.
In a large bowl, beat remaining cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon chocolate mixture into tart shells; top with whipped cream and garnish with orange peel. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 3-3/4 dozen. 

Cream Cheese Cookie Cups
For a pretty look, use an icing bag to pipe the filling into the cups, then top each with mini M&M’s.

1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar



Cut cookie dough in half (save one portion for another use). With floured hands, press about 1 tablespoon of dough onto the bottom and up the sides of 12 ungreased miniature muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, reshape the puffed cookie cups. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Spoon into cookie cups. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 1 dozen. 

Hand-Held Apple Pies

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
FILLING:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups finely chopped peeled tart apples
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
FINISHING:
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
Coarse sugar and cinnamon-sugar

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Directions

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture until well blended. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon and allspice; set aside. Divide each portion of dough into 12 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 4-in. circle. Place a tablespoonful of chopped apples on one side. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar mixture; dot with 1/4 teaspoon butter.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and water. Brush edges of pastry with egg wash; fold pastry over filling and seal edges well with a fork. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Brush remaining egg wash over tops. Cut slits in pastry. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and cinnamon-sugar.
Bake at 425° for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.

To Make Ahead: Pastry can be prepared and rolled out a day in advance. Stack pastry rounds between floured sheets of waxed paper.

Don’t worry if your dough looks a little dry and crumbly before you pop it in the fridge. It will come together beautifully after it rests.
Avoid blowouts! Cutting slits in pastry allows steam to escape.
This dough isn’t sweetened, so it works well with savory fillings, too. Use about a tablespoon of filling per pie, and finish with a grind of coarse pepper instead of sugar.

Lemon Curd Tartlets

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 package (1.9 ounces) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells, thawed
Fresh raspberries, mint leaves and/or sweetened whipped cream, optional



In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and peel until blended. Add butter; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon. Transfer to a small bowl; cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Just before serving, spoon lemon curd into tart shells. Garnish with raspberries, mint and/or cream if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 15 tartlets. 

Mini Key Lime and Coconut Pies

1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted



Slice cookie dough into 18 pieces. With floured fingers, press onto the bottom and 1/2-in. up the sides of greased muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the milk, lime juice, egg yolks and lime peel. Spoon into hot crusts. Bake 7-9 minutes longer or until filling is set. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Just before serving, in a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add the confectioners' sugar and extracts; beat until soft peaks form. Remove pies from muffin cups. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with coconut. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen. 

Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits
12 maraschino cherries, halved
1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil



In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and butter until blended. Spoon into 24 greased muffin cups. Drain pineapple, reserving the juice; spoon pineapple into prepared cups. Place a cherry half cut side down in the center of each.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and reserved pineapple juice. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Spoon over pineapple, filling each cup three-fourths full.
Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Immediately invert onto wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen. 

Mini Apple Strudels

1-1/2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 sheets phyllo dough (14 inches x 9 inches)
Butter-flavored cooking spray
Confectioners' sugar, optional


In a small bowl, combine the apples, sugar, walnuts, flour and cinnamon. Set aside.
Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface (keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out). Spray with butter-flavored spray.
Fold in half widthwise; spray again with butter-flavored spray. Spoon a scant 1/3 cup filling onto phyllo about 2 in. from a short side. Fold side and edges over filling and roll up. Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat.
With a sharp knife, cut diagonal slits in tops of strudels. Spray strudels with butter-flavored spray. Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 6 servings. 

Miniature Peanut Butter Treats

COOKIE:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
FILLING:
about 42 miniature peanut butter-chocolate cups


In a bowl, combine the butter, sugars, egg, peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
Roll into walnut-sized balls; place in greased miniature muffin cups. Bake at 375° for 8-9 minutes.
Remove from oven; gently press one peanut butter cup into each cookie, forming a depression. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen. 

Chocolate-Bottom Mini-Cupcakes

FILLING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
BATTER:
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt



In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips; set aside.
For batter, in a large bowl, combine the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Combine remaining ingredients; add to the liquid mixture and mix well (batter will be thin).
Spoon about 2 teaspoons of batter into greased or paper-lined miniature muffin cups. Top with about 1 teaspoon of filling.
Bake at 350° for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cupcake portion comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 6 dozen. 

Mini Apple Turnovers

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg, separated
3 tablespoons cold water, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Additional sugar, optional
Vanilla ice cream



In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Refrigerate the egg white. Beat egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water into cream cheese mixture. Gradually add flour until well blended. Shape pastry into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine the apples, sugar and cinnamon. Cover and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from the heat.
Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8-in. thickness; cut into 4-in. circles. Top each circle with apple mixture. Brush edges of pastry with water; fold pastry over filling and seal edges well.
In a small bowl, whisk egg white and remaining water; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with additional sugar if desired.
Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Serve with ice cream. Yield: 2 dozen.