If you haven't noticed already, my mom and I are very close. We have a very "Gilmore Girls" type of relationship in the sense that she is a single mother, and I'm an only child on my mother's side. She is my best friend and my mother. I talk to her every single day, 5-10 times a day.
For many years, she and I had been graduate students at the same time. When she started working on her dissertation, I invited her to live with me in order to expedite the PhD process so she could graduate sooner. Only two semesters later, I was able to call her "Dr. Mom", and she became a professor of English Literature. I am immensely proud of my mom. She is my inspiration and my role model.
For Christmas, she bought me a bunch of stuff for my somewhat new cooking/baking/photography addiction to make up for all the times she couldn't give me everything I wanted while she was a struggling student. So, I thought I'd share all the kitchen-related gifts I received because the non-kitchen stuff like clothes and batteries (yes, she even wrapped up my batteries!) is just boring haha!
In return, I cooked and baked for her. Most importantly, I bought her a standing globe, which is something she's wanted for years. She would always say, "Whenever I become a professor, I want to have a standing globe in my office." I got to admit, out of all the presents I saw on Christmas Day, her present, not mine, was my favorite because I got to make her happy. She even cried happy tears, and she doesn't cry very often. I love you, mom! Thanks for everything!
Okay, enough of the mushy stuff! I promised to post this tart a long time ago but never got around to it because of the tamales and the rosca for Three Kings' Day. I made these tarts for Christmas because I thought the crust looked very interesting and indulgent. It is comprised of melted chocolate and chocolate wafers (I used Oreos)!
Unfortunately, the crust was really hard, and after discussing this problem with the blogger who posted the recipe originally, we figured that it may be hard because of the thickness of the crust. So, if you decide to make this dessert, make the crust thin around the edges.
In order to remedy the hardness factor, I placed the next tart in a small pool of milk to soften the crust. That worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I'm not a great fan of peanut butter, and I'm getting tired of chocolate. Nevertheless, this dessert was good. If you're craving chocolate and peanut butter make this dessert while keeping the abovementioned pointers in mind. Enjoy!!
adapted from Once Upon a Chef (She made one large 10-inch tart)
Note the differences in how much each layer yields if you're making small tarts! I would half the peanut butter layer for the small tarts.
Chocolate Crust (makes about 5 small tarts):
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I use Ghirardelli)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
8 ounces Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies (about 32 cookies from a 9-ounce package), finely ground in a food processor (2 cups)
Peanut Butter Filling (makes 8-10 small tarts):
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 small tub or box)
1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy peanut butter)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup well-chilled heavy cream
Chocolate Topping (makes enough for 5 small tarts):
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped (I didn't use this; I'm not a nut lover)
Chocolate Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and microwave at high power in 20-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted. Stir well, then stir in the cookie crumbs. Press the cookie crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the rim of the tart pans (Be sure not to make the crust too thick in any one spot, especially around the rim. Keep it thin throughout, otherwise it will come out too hard.) Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then cool on rack.
Peanut Butter Filling: In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the peanut butter, sugar and vanilla extract until blended. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the chilled cream until firm. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to loosen it, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the filling into the crust, smoothing the surface. Refrigerate uncovered for about 1 hour.
Chocolate Topping: In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate with the heavy cream and microwave at high power in 20-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted and the cream is hot. Stir the chocolate topping until blended, then let cool to barely warm, stirring occasionally. Spread the chocolate topping over the chilled peanut butter filling and sprinkle the chopped peanuts around the edge of the pie. Chill uncovered in refrigerator for 3 more hours.
Carefully remove the rim from the pan by gently pressing upwards on the bottom while holding the rim in place. (If using a springform pan, run a thin knife around the crust to loosen it, then remove the springform ring.) Use a sharp knife to cut the pie into wedges. Run the knife under hot water and dry it between each cut. Serve chilled or slightly cooler than room temperature.
Can be made one day ahead of time.
P.S. Here is the red mixer I won on Pioneer Woman! The mixer my mom gave me last year is the black one.