TART COOKIE DOUGH
- 1/2lbunsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8ouncescream cheese, cut into pieces, softened
- 2 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
CHOCOLATE PECAN FILLING
- 1 1/2cupspecans
- 4ouncessemisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1cup tightly packeddark brown sugar
- 1tablespoonpure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- TO MAKE THE TART COOKIE DOUGH: Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle and beat on medium for 1 minute.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium for 1 more minute until smooth. Scrape down the bowl once again.
- Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the flour until a loose dough is formed (the dough will be slightly crumbly), about 45 seconds.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and form it into a smooth round ball, then divide it into 36 tablespoon-size pieces onto a large piece of wax paper.
- Place a portion into each miniature muffin tin cup.
- Use your thumb to individually press each dough portion first into the bottom and then onto the sides of each cup (the dough should extend above the rim of the cup by about 1/4 inch).
- Set aside at room temperature while making the filling.
- MAKE THE CHOCOLATE PECAN FILLING: Toast the pecans on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and cool the nuts to room temperature.
- Process the pecans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade for 10 seconds, until finely chopped.
- Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. With the heat on, place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler.
- Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a 1-quart bowl and set aside until needed.
- Place the dark brown sugar and the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip and whisk on medium for 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract and the salt, and whisk on medium for 1 more minute.
- Stop the mixer and add the melted chocolate; whisk on low for 30 seconds.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the chopped pecans mixing the filling until thoroughly combined.
- Place a level tablespoon of the filling into each tart shell.
- BAKE THE CHOCOLATE PECAN TART COOKIES: Place the muffin tins on baking sheets, then place on the top and center racks of the preheated oven and bake for 34 to 36 minutes until the crust turns lightly brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool in the muffin tins for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from tins and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in a tightly sealed plastic container until ready to serve.
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