cranberry orange cream cheese tartlets.

I like to think of myself as a pretty smart gal. I’ve got it (mostly) together. I can add 2+2. I can make myself shower most days. I can make dinner for me and another person. I can hold my own in a conversation about theology, politics or “Downton Abbey.” I can draw inside the lines, dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I haven’t been homeless or accidentally starved myself to death since I moved out of my parents’ house, so that’s a win (I can thank instant oatmeal and quesadillas for the latter in my college years).

Even then, though, I have my moments of dudehowdidthatjusthappen. Like when I put the cereal box in the refrigerator. Or when I stub my toe so bad by merely walking that it’s completely black and blue for two weeks and I fear it might fall off (Update: It did not). Or when I accidentally lock myself out of the bookstore where I work and I’m the only one working and have to call my mom to come rescue me. Or when I accidentally drink the whole bottle of wine. These things happen.

the goods.

orange cream cheesiness.

dough squares.

When I’ve got a pretty bad string of those moments, I know that it’s best to keep things stupid-simple in the kitchen. And what with moving to a different state this week and Thanksgiving coming up in a few days, I’ve got a lot going on in that brain of mine and there’s not much room left for making anything fancy schmancy in the food department. So I’ve got to have options.

I can thank my lucky stars that these cranberry-orange cream cheese tartlets fall right into that stupid-simple category. They also fall into the most-delicious-thing-ever category. All it takes is five ingredients, including Pillsbury’s Crescent Recipe Creations, and in less than half an hour I can pull off a decent holiday appetizer. Even if I did accidentally lock my cat in the closet. Again.

filling.

cream cheese and buttery dough.

I don’t know about you, but anything baked with a buttery crust and a sweet cream cheese filling? I’m ALL OVER IT. These little treats especially are up my alley with the classic festive flavors of cranberry and orange. They make for a perfect pre-Thanksgiving dinner appetizer or individual bite-size dessert. If you’ve already got your Turkey Day menu all planned out, you can even save this recipe for the inevitable slew of holiday parties between now and the end of the year. Or, you know, for when you feel like having something sweet but don’t want to work too hard.

bite-size cranberry orange cream cheese bliss.

Which is basically my entire life.

tartlets.

Cranberry-Orange Cream Cheese Tartlets
A Girl Versus Dough original

Yields: 24 tartlets

Ingredients:

1 orange
1 (8-ounce) container cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 (8-ounce) can Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations seamless dough sheet
dried cranberries for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Zest entire orange; place 1 teaspoon zest in a large bowl along with 2 tablespoons orange juice. Reserve remaining zest; discard orange.

Add softened cream cheese and powdered sugar to large bowl; beat until well combined.

Unroll seamless dough sheet on a clean surface; cut sheet into 24 squares. Press squares lightly into the cups of a greased 24-cup mini muffin tin. Place 1-2 teaspoons cream cheese filling into the center of each square.

Bake squares until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Top squares with dried cranberries and remaining orange zest.

Disclosure: I received compensation from Pillsbury for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.

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