My mini tart pans are among my most favorite things in my kitchen. They’re so small and cute, and with them I can make the most adorable desserts. Yet, I hardly ever use them. They largely sit unused and unloved in a cupboard.
I am such a sugar junkie (if you couldn’t tell) and I love candy. Only, I hardly ever allow myself to eat it and I almost never buy it. With all the baked goods I have passing through my kitchen, I figure I can’t handle any more empty calories. But sometimes a chocolate candy bar sounds so good, you know?
On Sunday these Almond Joy Tarts rescued me. I had an excuse to use my little tart pans. I finally tried a recipe from a new cookbook, a recipe that jumped out at me from the first time I flipped through it and has been doggie-eared ever since. And I got to eat a chocolate bar. Kind of.
These tarts taste remarkably like the candy bar, only better. The crust has faint hint of almond, the white chocolate and coconut filling is divine, and the chocolate glaze is the icing on the cake, so to speak. It’s a candy bar for us grownups.
While it may look like a complicated recipe with many steps, don’t be intimidated. It is all very doable, and doesn’t require too much time. If you don’t have little tart pans, bake one large tart instead, or bake the shells in a muffin pan. There’s no excuse to not make them! I may have waited too long, but there’s no reason you should.
Almond Joy Tarts
Adapted from Baked Explorations
Makes 6 mini tarts
For the tart dough:
1/4 cup whole toasted almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg, lightly whisked
For the filling:
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon rum
For the chocolate glaze:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole toasted almonds
To make the tart dough, put the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Add the flour and salt and pulse until just combined. Add the butter and pulse until sandy, about 6 to 10 quick pulses. Add the egg and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
To make the coconut filling, place the white chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just to a boil and pour over the white chocolate. Let it stand for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
To assemble the tart, begin by preparing the tart crusts. Dust a work surface with flour. Divide the dough disk into 6 equal portions. Roll each into a smooth disk (the dough will be sticky) 5 1/2 inches in diameter. Very gently press each dough disk into a 4 inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Place the tart pans in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the tart crusts with aluminum foil and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Remove the white chocolate ganache from the fridge and put in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat at a medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Do not overwhip. Fold in the coconut and run. Divide the filling between the 6 tart shells and place them in the fridge while you make the chocolate glaze.
To make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Put the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let the mixture set for about 10 minutes, then pour over the filled tart shells. Top each tart with toasted almonds and refrigerate until the glaze sets, about 10 minutes.
Store the tarts in the fridge, they will keep for several days.