- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 (3oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 oz. vanilla-flavored candy coating, if desired
Heat oven to 450. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix with electric mixer at low speed until well combined. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces; roll into balls. Press each in bottom and up sides of ungreased miniature muffin cup.
Bake at 450 for 7-9 mins. or until edges are light golden brown. Remove crusts from pans; place on wire racks. Cool 15 mins. or until completely cooled.
In heavy 1 1/2 quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and water; mix well. With pastry brush dipped in water, brush any sugar down sides of saucepan. Without stirring, cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 mins. or until mixture turns dark golden brown. (If sugar mixture is not cooking, gently swirl mixture in saucepan.) Remove from heat. While stirring constantly, add 1 Tbsp. butter and whipping cream; stir until bubbling stops. Return saucepan to low heat; cook and stir until mixture is smooth.
Spoon 1/2 tsp. caramel misture into each cooled baked crust. Stir chocolate chips into remaining caramel mixture until melted and smooth. If mixture thickens, cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate filling into each crust.
Chop candy coating; place in microwave-safe small bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds; stir until melted and smooth. If necessary, microwave an additional 10 seconds. Place in heavy-duty food storage plastic bag; cut tiny hole in one corner. On waxed paper, pipe 24 (1-inch) tree shapes. Let stand until set. Garnish each tartlet with a tree.