nonstick spray coating dairy sour cream (optional) sliced or slivered pitted ripe olives, red caviar OR chives (optional) roasted red papper OR pitted ripe olive cutouts* (optional)
For crust, spray twenty-four 1 3/4 inch muffin cups with nonstick spray coating. Sprinkle bread crumbs or crushed zwieback onto bottom and sides to coat. Shake pans to remove excess crumbs. Set aside.
In a small mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, flour, basil, and garlic powder. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed just till fluffy. Add eggs; beat on low speed just till combined. Do not overbeat.
Fill each crumb-lined muffin cup with 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes or till centers appear set. (Tarts will puff during baking, then deflate as they cool.) Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.
To serve, spread tops with sour cream. Garnish with olives, caviar, chives, and/or red pepper and olive cut-outs. Makes 24 tarts.
Bake and cool tarts as directed, except do not spread with sour cream or top with garnish. Cover and chill kin the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Let tarts stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Spread with sour cream and garnish as directed.
Bake and cool tarts as directed, except do not spread with sour cream or garnish. Freeze tarts, uncovered, on wire rack about 1 hour or till firm. Transfer to a freezer container or bag. Seal, label, and place in the freezer. To thaw, let stand, loosely covered, at room temperature about 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Spread with sour cream and garnish as directed.
Decorative cut-outs: Use tiny hors d''oeuvre cutters to cut leaves, stars, or other decorative shapes out of the roasted red peppers and pitted ripe olives.