I know everyone comes up with the idea of dieting post holidays, but I have always believed a little indulgence is necessary to recover fro the stresses of the holidays.
This particular bite-sized treat started as an experiment for a Christmas party. I wanted to create something sweet, creamy and a little unusual. My niece, Rachel Hooper, who happens to develop flavor profiles for an internationally known company, suggested that I add a touch of cayenne to the dish since fig works so well with a hint of heat.
Rachel was correct. Adding this little bit of cayenne made the sweet sweeter and gave a hint of heat at the finish.
1 package of premade phyllo cups (these are easily found at most grocery stores and nobody make their own phyllo dough )
4 ounces of cream cheese
2 dried, figs
2 tablespoons of fig preserves
1 tablespoon of honey
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Stem the dried figs. In a food processor, mix the cream cheese and fig preserves. Add the honey, stemmed figs and cayenne pepper. Puree until thoroughly blended. Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.
Pipe the mixture into the phyllo cups and serve. This yields about 15 tarts.