Miniature versions of my favorite chocolate-covered macaroons, red velvet cupcakes, yogurt-lemon cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and a tiny version of my vegetarian potato pie, baked for the opening of a miniature book show at WNYBAC this weekend.

I had entirely too much fun making these tiny treats. I also had a lot of help from Sam, my friend and WNYBAC intern who lent her time and mini muffin pan to help make the baked goodies. I think between all the different treats, we made about 400 individual cakes, cookies, and pies!

Note: To give a sense of scale, the plates these little snacks are pictured on are saucer-sized.

Tiny Vegetarian Potato Pie

(with variation – Gluten-Free 3 Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes)

Makes 24 tiny pies.
(or 4 twice-baked potatoes)

1 package phyllo dough
Mini muffin pan/s capable of holding up to 24 mini muffins
(above two ingredients for tiny pies only)

4 large baking potatoes (organic preferably)
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
3-4 tbsp. butter
1/4-1/3 c. organic whole milk or half-and-half (for creamier potato filling)
About 1/4 c. asiago cheese, grated
1/4 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
small handful of thyme, stems removed
Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your potatoes and pat dry. Poke holes in the potato using a fork or butter knife.

Place clean potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until potatoes give slightly when poked.

Once potatoes are baked and cool enough to handle, cut the top of each potato off so that they look sort of like potato canoes. Scoop out the insides from the potato skin, leaving the outer shell as intact as possible (if you are making twice-baked potatoes. If not, don’t worry about cracked potato shells – feel free to destroy those suckers). Scoop the insides into a medium or large-sized mixing bowl.

On the stovetop, place butter into a small saute pan with the garlic over medium-low heat. Allow to simmer for a minute or two, removing from the heat before the butter or garlic burns. Strain garlic out and retain the melted butter.

To the potato, add the melted garlic butter, milk or half-and half, a dash of salt and pepper, thyme, and the grated asiago cheese. Mash using a potato masher or with an electric hand mixer for a smoother filling.

For twice-baked potatoes:

Scoop the filling back into your potato canoe shells, top with cheddar and mozzarella, and bake at 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is golden brown on top.

For tiny potato pies:

It’s time to prepare the phyllo dough.

Pre-packaged phyllo dough should be stored in the freezer. Place in refrigerator overnight to defrost. To make tiny shells, roll out one package of phyllo dough. Immediately cover with plastic wrap and place a damp towel over the plastic wrap (this will keep the dough from hardening).

Remove one sheet of dough and place on a clean, ungreased baking sheet. Coat with melted butter. Place the next sheet of dough on top and brush with melted butter, repeating 5 times with 5 sheets of dough layered on top of one another.

Use a 2-1/2-3″ round cookie cutter (I used the rim of a mug) to cut out 6 approx. 3″ diameter dough circles from the sheet of dough. Coat both sides with butter and shape in a mini muffin mold. Repeat until all 6 shells are shaped.

Repeat this dough process 4 times until you have 24 little phyllo shells in your muffin tin.

Fill with mashed potato filling, top with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until phyllo dough is golden brown and cheese is bubbling and melted.

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