Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets

I have a touch of the writer's block tonight.

Maybe there are just too many things going on.

Some bright holiday things to keep me busy.

But not all fun things.

Making money and spectacularly losing it (details withheld, but this recently happened in a very disappointing way).

People being mean that I thought were nice.

Me being mean when I thought I was nice.

I might even have stepped out with my skirt tucked into my tights tonight.  I'm an adult, y'all.

Feeling a bit heavy here at the end of the year, actually.

A bit dark.

Have I mentioned I have to turn the lights on at 3:00 pm here?


Let's eat dessert, eh? 

And cheer up by, oh, let's say Saturday.

We'll meet then and discuss whether we followed through on this resolution.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets (inspired by David Lebovitz)

The original recipe called for a layer of ganache to go over the caramel layer and seal it in.  I felt like that might stifle the delicate shortbread and sweet caramel flavor.  Be a bit too strong, you know?  If you want to go that direction, however, the complete recipe is linked above.  You hardcore, man.  Also, the recipe calls for a bit of rice flour to add lightness and crispness.  But using regular flour all through is just fine too.
For the pastry:
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour (or use 1 cup all-purpose flour, total)
6 tablespoons cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process 

For the Salted Caramel Filling:
4 ounces soft, salted butter caramels
3 tablespoons heavy cream

flaky sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

To make the pastry, beat the butter and the sugar just until smooth in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or by hand. Add the egg, salt, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, and cocoa powder, then mix it into the creamed butter.

Butter the indentations of two mini-muffin tins with 12 places in each, or one mini-muffin tin with 24 places. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll each into a 3/4-inch ball. As you work, put the dough balls in the indentations of the muffin tins. Take your thumb and press the dough down in the center of each indentation, then use your thumb to press the dough up the sides. Freeze the pans of dough for 20 minutes.

Bake the tartlet shells in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough appears dry and cooked.

Remove from oven and use the handle of a wooden spoon to widen and smooth the inside of the little tartlet shells, pressing the dough that’s puffed up somewhat firmly against the sides. Let cool completely, then remove the tartlet shells from the muffin tins – the tip of a paring knife might be needed to help aid them out – and set them on a wire cooling rack.

Make the caramel filling by warming the cream with the caramels in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Divide the caramel into each of the tartlet shells.

Sprinkle each tartlet with a few grains of sea salt.


LynnieBee said...


La Table De Nana said...

What a lovely blog you have created..These sound and look wonderful:)

jeannesioux said...

Anna Roo, Are you taking your Vitamin D? Double or triple the amount. :)

Hey, we are so looking forward to time with you guys.

That first photo up there is so beautiful. The colors and design of it....well, it could be framed!

Spicie Foodie said...

It might be a little bit of the winter blues. I hope things start looking up soon. And you have yummy treats like these tartlets to comfort you.;) Thanks for sharing Anna -see you are a nice person.

dervla @ The Curator said...

awwww i'm so sorry! I hope this weekend and some of of that caramel helps.

Anne Regalado said...

Writer's block ?! Most of the time I just don't know what to write ! lol It's a bit gloomy in this side of the world as well :P For sure these fantastic tartlets will take some of your winter blues away ;D Love the look of your chocolate pastry , I should try this sometime ....

M. @ Stuffed Grapes said...

I'm so sorry things are crummy for you right now. Winter is kind of horrible.

At least you have those delicious-looking tartlets to help a little bit.

a. maren said...

thanks you guys! so nice to see you all here :) your good wishes mean a lot.

Una Semplice Passione said...

It can be indeed the winter blues! Baking and cooking can help to get you out of that dip. People sometimes can be mean and sometimes you can be more surprised of your own reaction....I have had that the couple of months. So happy I am on holiday now! Hug from the Netherlands.

Jessica said...

Ooo these look tasty. Starbucks makes these little chocolate caramel squares, to which I have become unreasonably addicted, and I keep meaning to find a recipe with similar texture/flavours to make at home instead. I think these might be a very good place to start!