SEATTLE — Do baked goods taste better when they're cute? Great British Bake Off alum Kim-Joy thinks so! Her new cookbook Christmas with Kim-Joy is filled with adorable treats that are sure to taste as good as they look. Kim-Joy adapted her Reindeer Bakewell Tart recipe to celebrate another holiday that's just around the corner... Valentine's Day!
Kim Joy's Reindeer Bakewell Tarts
- 150g [²∕³ cup] salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 225g [1¾ cups] plain [all-purpose] flour (to make gluten free, use gluten-free flour plus ½ tsp xanthan gum), plus extra for dusting
- 40g [3¼ Tbsp] caster or granulated sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 100g [½ cup] caster or granulated sugar
- 100g [7 Tbsp] unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 medium egg
- ¾ tsp almond extract
- 100g [1 cup] ground almonds
- 200g [1½ cups] icing [confectioners’] sugar, plus extra to thicken 2 Tbsp water
- 4 Tbsp jam of your choice black food dye
- 12 glacé [candied] cherries
- 24 hard pretzels
- First, make the pastry. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray with butter. Add the flour (or gluten-free flour plus xanthan gum) to a large bowl. Chop the butter and add it to the bowl, then rub it into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Don’t overwork. Stir in the caster sugar. Beat the egg in a separate small bowl, then add 2 Tbsp to the main mixing bowl and stir, gradually combining it with the rest of the mixture. When the egg is stirred through, use your hands to form the pastry into a ball.
- Roll out the pastry on a generously floured work surface as thinly as you can and use round cutters to stamp out 12 circles of pastry. Use your fingers to gently guide each circle of pastry into each muffin hole. Prick the bases with a fork 2–3 times, then place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 180°C [350°F].
- Line the chilled pastry shells with muffin or cupcake paper cases, then fill with baking beads (or you can use lentils or rice) and blind bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the baking beads and paper, then bake for a further 5–7 minutes until golden and crisp.
- Meanwhile, make the frangipane. Cream the sugar and butter together in a stand mixer (or use a handheld electric whisk) on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and almond extract and mix until just combined. Fold in the ground almonds. Set aside.
- When the pastry has finished blind baking, remove the pastry cases from the muffin tray and place on a baking sheet; they should stand up on their own.
- Spoon 1 tsp of jam into each of the bases, then fill with frangipane, about three-quarters of the way up, as it will rise slightly. Return to the oven to bake for a further 15–20 minutes until the frangipane is set.
- When baked, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the icing [frosting]. Just whisk the icing sugar and water together in a bowl until smooth. Spoon about 1 Tbsp into a separate bowl and add black food dye to color, plus extra icing sugar to thicken to a pipeable consistency. Transfer to a piping [pastry] bag, ready for later. Cover the bowl of white icing with plastic wrap.
- When the tarts are cool, spoon the white icing over the top and carefully spread to the edges. Place a glacé cherry in the center, then add the pretzel antlers. Cut a small tip off the black icing piping bag, then use to add eyes and a mouth. Use the back of a spoon to add a dot of white icing to the cherry nose to give it depth.