Sugar Cookie Tarts

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup butter or margarine (softened)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Spread (recipe below)

Cream Cheese Spread Ingredients:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toppings (sliced fresh fruit, miniature chocolate chips, chopped pecans or jam with toasted sliced almonds)

Heat oven to 375º. Beat sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Roll half of dough at a time 1/4″ thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into 3″ rounds. Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool 1 – 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Prepare Cream Cheese Spread. Spread about 2 teaspoons spread over each cookie. Arrange Toppings on spread. Store covered in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Spread Directions:

Mix all ingredients until smooth.

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