Flavors of the Fall Tart with Bourbon Caramel & Dark Chocolate Maple Truffle

20140922_193523_croppedWhen preparing for my second trip to World Food Championships, I took a pie that I’d made years before, reinvented it to be small enough for single servings and fit within the time constraints, and created a tart that has every warm, cozy flavor that I associate with the fall…pumpkin, cinnamon, dark chocolate, bourbon (I’m not sure why I think of the fall when I think of bourbon, but I do), and maple syrup.  The end result is a brown sugar cinnamon shortbread, topped with a dark chocolate maple truffle, spiced pumpkin cream, bourbon caramel, and whipped cream.

Ingredients & Directions

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Shortbread

1 ¼ c. all purpose flour

3 TBSP brown sugar

1 TBSP white sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

½ c. butter

In a mixing bowl, cream butter.  Add brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix well.  Add flour.  Mix just until combined.  With hands, form dough into a disk.  On a floured or sugared surface, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness.  Using a biscuit cutter, cut shortbread disks and place on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove parchment sheets from pan and allow shortbreads to cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Truffle

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

2/3 c. powdered sugar

8 oz. dark chocolate

¼ c. maple syrup

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and mix well.  Melt dark chocolate in the microwave.  Beat into cream cheese mixture.  Add maple syrup and mix well.  Place truffle into a piping bag and pipe perimeter of shortbreads, leaving a well for caramel.

Bourbon Caramel

Melt 15 caramels with 2 TBSP burbon in a microwave.  Spoon 1 tsp caramel in the well

Pumpkin Cream

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

2/3 c. powdered sugar

¾ c canned pumpkin

½ tsp cinnamon

¼  tsp nutmeg

¾ c Cool Whip

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and mix well.  Add pumpkin and beat into cream cheese mixture.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spoon pumpkin cream into a piping bag and pipe over dark chocolate and caramel layer.

Whipped Cream

1 ½ c. heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ c. powdered sugar

In a cold mixing bowl, beat heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff.  Spoon whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe a rosette to cover milk chocolate cream.

Top with chopped glazed pecans

Refrigerate mini pies for 15-30 minutes before serving.


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