Greetings to you all from baby land! We’re two weeks in with our new little guy, and I’m thrilled (read: shocked! amazed! perplexed!) to tell you that we’re actually doing so well. I’m not sure what I anticipated this time to be like, but we’ve had such an outpouring of love and support that this transition has been mind-blowingly sweet. Here in the South, people go all out when you have a baby. There’s gifts and baby snuggling and offers to babysit the bigger kids, of course, but hands down my very favorite perk (outside of the baby itself, duh) is all of the food people bring you. Casseroles, baked goods, snacky treats, and booze show up at your door more frequently than the UPS guy on Amazon Prime delivery day. People bring you lasagnas and pot pies and tossed salads like your milk production depends on it, and this kind of generosity is one of those Southern hospitality things that I love so much. Since I’ve had fewer meals to make, I had time to create a new treat to share with you all today: chocolate caramel pecan tarts.
Sweet and salty is my all-time favorite, and the combination of chocolate, salted caramel, and a buttery pecan and graham cracker crust is just the ticket. Made with Diamond Nuts pecans, these little tarts are a show-stopper and definitely qualify as one of those desserts that people will be talking about for a long time. Although they may appear to be complicated, there’s plenty of shortcuts and make-ahead options that will simplify the baking of these little treats.
To prepare them, we start by crushing graham crackers and finely chopping pecans. Sugar, salt, and melted butter are added to the crumbs and the sand-like mixture is pressed into the bottom of mini tart pans with removable bottoms. The bottomless pans make for easily removal so that your tarts look tidy and seriously professional. Bake the crusts for a few minutes at 350 degrees and get started preparing the ganache.
Equal parts dark chocolate and warm heavy cream are stirred together until a thick pourable chocolate can be layered into the bottom of the baked shells. Once the ganache has had a chance to set, the chocolate caramel pecan tarts are ready for their second layer, salted caramel sauce. You can make your sauce homemade (I prefer this recipe!) or purchase it from the store. I love homemade caramel and almost always have a jar in my fridge, but if this intimidates you, just opt for the store-bought. Spoon a couple of tablespoons on top of the set ganache and allow to caramel to cool to room temperature.
At this point, the chocolate caramel pecan tarts can rest in the fridge or even freeze for a week or two. When you’re ready to serve them, bring them to a cool temp and top with a creamy dollop of whipped cream. A sprinkle of toasted pecans finishes out these chocolate caramel pecan tarts and they’re ready for serving. These little treats are a sweet and salty delight your guests (or just you, no judgement) will seriously enjoy.
I’ve had the most fun working with Diamond Nuts this past year. It’s incredibly easy to support and brag on a brand you love and trust, and their partnership has been one I’ve loved sharing with you. I’ll leave some links to other nutty recipes below so that you can give their products a try in your own home. If you’re looking for a recipe to try right away, I hope you’ll give these chocolate caramel pecan tarts a go. The pecans are the flavorful little stars of the show here, and this crust is one that you can utilize in other recipes as well. If you make time to bake them for yourselves, let me know what you think in the comments below! As always, thank you for supporting brands that make Wood and Spoon possible.
For more nutty recipes like these chocolate caramel pecan tarts you should try:
Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tarts
These chocolate caramel pecan tarts are sweet and salty minis with a pecan graham cracker crust, chocolate ganache, salted caramel sauce, and whipped cream topping.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 60
- Yield: 4
- Category: Dessert
For the crust:
- 9 full (140 gm) graham cracker sheets, finely crushed
- ¾ cup (90 gm) pecans, finely chopped
- ¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons (100 gm) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup (240 gm) heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup salted caramel sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Extra pecans for garnish
To prepare the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the graham cracker sheets, pecans, sugar, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Pour in the melted butter and stir until the mixture comes together in a wet sand consistency. Pat the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of 4-4”” tart pans and bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool while you prepare the filling. Note that if your crust goes into the oven warm, it could slouch while baking. You can carefully (don’t burn yourself!) press the crumbs back up the sides when done baking as needed, or just chill the crust prior to baking.
To prepare the filling:
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Gently heat 1/2 cup of the cream on the stove or in the microwave until it’s about to start bubbling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and whisk to combine the two. Pour 1-1/2 heaping tablespoons into the bottom of each slightly cooled crust and place in the fridge to chill.
- When the ganache has firmed up, gently warm the caramel to a spreading consistency and spread 3 tablespoons into each tart, completely covering the ganache below it. Place in the fridge to set.
- When ready to serve, whip the remaining ½ cup cream with the sugar and vanilla until medium peaks form. Spoon large dollops on each tart and garnished with toasted chopped pecans. Enjoy!