|Mini Kuchen bottoms and tops|
|Cute Mini Blackberry Kuchen|
Oh yeah. These were a good idea for sure. Think buttery shortbread surrounding a slightly sweet berry filling. I've had some blackberries hanging out in my freezer, waiting for me to make a kuchen out of them, but I've had to wait for an event because I don't want an entire one sitting around my house. We recently started a "life group" (small group from church) at our home two evenings a month, and sorry to say it, but it's the perfect opportunity for me to bake things and not have lots of leftovers. Hey, they don't call me a food pusher for nothing.
When mulling over the kuchen, I kept thinking about the last time I made it, and how the bottom just didn't get as browned as I like. Since I've been dabbling in mini sized things a lot lately (see Bite Size Banana Cream Pie & Bite Size Chocolate Cream Pie), I had the bright idea to turn my friend's yummy kuchen recipe into mini two-bite kuchens. It works. I think they would work with almost any sort of berry filling to replace the blackberries. I also think I'm going to up the sugar next time. I've upped it for you below. I started with 3 tablespoons, but I think one more tablespoon to bring it to an even 1/4 cup would be better. Maybe the bag of blackberries I bought are just a little bitter. At any rate, I'm looking forward to trying these little babies with other berries. Yum!
Mini Blackberry Kuchen
- 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup butter, cold
- 2/3 cup sugar*
- dash of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- blackberry filling**
Make the filling first, and then set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, sugar, salt and then cut in cold butter until there are no more chunks of butter & mixture is the texture of damp sand. Add vanilla in as you are processing the butter. *My friend who gave me the original recipe uses "vanilla sugar" which I really don't keep on hand. I'm still figuring out how to best incorporate the liquid vanilla into this sandy mixture.
Get out mini muffin pans so you have 48 mini muffin "cups" or spaces for the mini kuchen. If you're limited on mini muffin pans, you can use half as many regular muffin pans. (I used a combo and ended up with 36 mini muffin sized kuchens and 6 regular muffin sized ones.)
If your pans are not non-stick, spray with non-stick cooking spray. In the bottom of each mini muffin cup, place two rounded teaspoons of the butter/flour mixture. Press into the bottom and slightly up the sides with your fingers.
Place cooled blackberry filling into a quart-size zip top bag. Snip about 1/4-inch or so off one corner and squeeze about 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each prepared muffin cup. If the filling gets stuck, gently squeeze out the "blockage" at the tip and continue. Top each with another rounded teaspoonful of the butter/flour mixture.
Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 18-22 minutes until light brown on top and sides. When kuchen come out of the oven, check to see if the filling has bubbled out and made contact with the pan. If it has, with a knife, gently push the oozed filling away from the pan. If you skip this step, some of your kuchen will shred upon releasing them from the pan. Allow kuchens to cool about 10 minutes in the pans and then place an inverted wire rack over the top, and using oven mitts to protect you from the hot pan, invert kuchens onto the wire rack. Cool kuchens completely on the wire rack, or serve warm with ice cream.
Makes 48 mini kuchens
- 12 oz. frozen blackberries (Frozen raspberries and berry mixes work great too.)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, mix the berries, lemon juice, & sugar, and then add the cornstarch/water mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly with a silicone or rubber spatula. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Allow to cool before using in the kuchen. Note: I had too much filling when using 12 oz. of berries. I think 8 oz. might have been just enough. I'll have to experiment and update later, but for now, I want people to know they'll end up with extra filling.