I’ve been a bit MIA lately, and I’m sorry for that. Life has been hectic lately, and I’m doing my best to stay “zen” about it all because I’m 6.5 months pregnant. Plus, the no kitchen factor has slowed down my cooking substantially. Be patient with me! Once things are back up and running on the home front, I’ll be cranking out recipes like old times!
Today is a special day! Worthy of a post. It’s my husband’s birthday! Happy birthday, love!
He is 34 years young today, and while he occasionally struggles with that number, he is one of the youngest-at-heart I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the funniest. I look forward to our son’s arrival this October for a million reasons, but one exciting unknown is which of our personalities (or combo of the two!) he will inherit. My hope is that he inherits my husband’s fun, outgoing, and witty personality over my shy and quiet one. Not that the latter is necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve always envied those naturally outgoing types. Opposites attract for sure, in the case of my husband and me. He brings out the best in me. He is my favorite.
My husband’s favorite is any dessert centered around the classic flavor combo of chocolate and peanut butter. He has good taste…both in women and in desserts (I kid, I kid). It’s a classic for a reason, right? While he often tries to be “good” in the area of desserts, only sneaking a bite or two of my chocolate cake or crème brulee (much to my dismay), one thing can always be guaranteed: chocolate-peanut butter will win over his best intentions every time. It’s his culinary kryptonite.
As a result, I usually try to come up with a chocolate-peanut butter dessert for his birthday. As I’ve said many times recently, I have very limited resources at the moment (the new kitchen installation begins next week!), so I had to come up with something no-cook/bake this year. These little tarts fit the bill. They are really easy to put together if you have the patience to allow each layer to set up in the fridge/freezer. Admittedly, I am not the most patient person in the world…and I managed. Barely.
They start with a chocolate cookie crust simply pressed into the tart pans. Next comes a fudgy chocolate ganache layer. Then, the super creamy peanut butter layer. Finally, I garnish them with MORE chocolate and peanut butter in the way of syrup and chips, but this part is totally optional. I went overboard because it’s his birthday, and because it makes them look extra cute! Right? Right. Mini things are extra cute no matter what. They’re great for portion control, too. Like, we can each have our own tart and not feel like total gluttons by the time we’re done. That’s if we don’t cave and split a third tart between the two of us. No promises.
What I CAN promise is that these are fantastically delish and fairly easy to put together. And they have the birthday boy’s stamp of approval.
Love you, hun. Can’t wait to celebrate you this weekend!
Mini (No-Bake) Chocolate Peanut Butter Tarts (makes 6 mini tarts or 1 large tart)
For the Crust:
2 cups chocolate wafer or Oreo crumbs (I put the cookies in my food processor and pulse until finely ground)
½ stick of unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
For the Filling:
1¼ cups heavy cream, divided
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of fine salt
Chocolate or peanut butter chips
For the Crust:
Combine the cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar in a bowl until well mixed. Press the mixture into 6 (4.75-inch) tart pans (or 1 9-inch tart pan) and place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to firm up.
For the Filling:
Microwave ½ cup of the cream until hot and pour over the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Whisk constantly until smooth and melted. Pour over the bottom of the chilled tart crusts, dividing evenly. Smooth out the chocolate layer and return the tarts to the freezer.
Meanwhile, combine the peanut butter, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, VERY SLOWLY stream in the remaining heavy cream. Pulse the mixture until the cream is completely incorporated and everything is fluffy.
Spread the peanut butter layer over the chocolate layer and refrigerate the tarts for at least 2 hours.
Remove the tarts from the fridge about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve and drizzle each tart with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with chocolate/peanut butter chips.
Adapted from here.