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How would you make small Chocolate Tarts for Christmas?

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This weekend I made some delicious mincemeat pastries, courtesy of the Wooden Spoon blog recipe http://woodenspoon.ca/2010/11/minceme... (I made them as full rounds rather than crescents, but same idea

)

However, since no one around here actually eats mincemeat much, I was thinking of using the same idea for Christmas cookies but with a chocolate filling - perhaps with orange rind or crushed peppermints for a Christmasy flavor.

But how? Most chocolate fillings would melt in the oven and leak out of the tarts or collapse them, I would guess. This is not, I think, the place for ganache. Nor can I bake the cookies and then fill them later, because the filling needs to be enclosed within the tarts and then baked, for the look I am aiming for.

There is an old Betty Crocker mini fudge tarts recipe (I have my mom's old Betty Crocker Cookies cookbook), but that is a cocoa based filling and I really prefer some actual chocolate in the mix. Should I try making that filling but putting a chocolate chip in the center of each?

Or perhaps I should advance-bake a mushy chocolate cake a la tartelette http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2009/03... and then cut a small round of cooked cake to put in each tart before I bake the tart.

What do you think? Your ideas would be welcome.

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  1. Not positive it would work, but I would try a pudding rather than ganache, chilling the pies thoroughly before baking them.

    1. Smitten kitchen has a bittersweet chocolate tart a gingersnap crust that is one of the richest most amazing chocolate things in the universe, imho.
      http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/dar...
      I know it is not what you are looking for exactly but it could be a starting point, as the filling is very solid.

      2 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        That looks delicious. It does bring up a question, though. The recipe includes eggs. She bakes the full tart for 30 minutes. Do you think my little tarts (with pastry fully enclosing the chocolate) will cook the filling completely enough, within the 10-12 minutes they are in the oven, to render the eggs room-temp-stable? Would not want to be responsible for food poisoning the neighbors....

        1. re: Julia_T

          I'd imagine they'd get cooked thoroughly, though the only way to be sure is to test a batch (safer to make sure they'll work anyway) and "sacrifice" a few to science by hitting them with an instant read thermometer in the center of the filling to verify they've come up to temperature.