A great recipe is more than delicious—it’s also convenient: easy to prepare, easy to use, versatile, and ready when you might not be.
As we prepare for the holidays, we're looking to our favorite Shortbread Tartlet Shells recipe. Making 6 dozen individual-sized shells, this recipe produces enough buttery, tender shells for more than one event—meaning no matter what you have on your schedule, you have the tools ready to whip up a last-minute dessert that delivers on flavor (and is cute to boot!).
Quick to bake and easy to freeze, we love tartlets as a holiday workhorse. With just one dough, you can make desserts with any of your favorite fillings, from pecan pie to puddings right from the grocery store. Try a few of our go-to combos!
- Lemon Meringue: fill baked and cooled tartlet shells with prepared lemon curd. An Italian meringue will hold up best on top, but you can use any style!
- Coconut Cream: make a pastry cream using coconut milk. Once it's cooled, scoop or pipe it into your baked shells and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
- Black Bottom Pecan: Pipe a thin layer of chocolate ganache into the cooked tartlet shells. Sprinkle in a few teaspoons of chopped pecans, and then top with caramel sauce or prepared dulce de leche (like alfajores!). Let them chill before drizzling with melted chocolate and more chopped nuts.
- Creamy Candied Cranberry: Add about 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest to classic pastry cream. Fill the shells halfway with the cream, then top with festive sugared cranberries before serving.
- Figgy Marzipan: press about 1 teaspoon of prepared marzipan at the bottom of the baked shell. Stir prepared fig jam with chopped walnuts, diced dried fruits, and a few pinches of your favorite warm spices, like nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Scoop over the marizpan and top with chopped nuts—or cute marzipan decorations, if you're creative!
- Really Last Minute Dessert: fill the tarts with prepared puddings, like chocolate, butterscotch, or even rice and tapioca. For a creamy texture, fold some unsweetened whipped cream into your pudding or other filling before adding to your shells. Finish with a dollop of whipped cream and a flavor-appropriate garnish (like chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, or zest).