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Little Brownie Tarts

While we’re getting used to being parents, I’ve invited a few of my darling blog pals to stop by and share a post or two with you! I’m so grateful for the awesome folks who have been helping out, and today we get to hear from Melissa of Lulu the Baker. Here she is!

Little Brownie Tarts

I’m so excited to be here on Lovely Indeed today helping Chelsea out while she spends time with her sweet new baby! When Chelsea first asked me to write a guest post, I thought it would be a cinch to come up with a fun, tasty Valentine’s Day treat. But I was completely stumped until my mom suggested these darling, chocolate-filled pastries from an old cookbook from the 60’s. When I first looked at the recipe, I thought they’d be so hard to make, but I was wrong. These little brownie tarts couldn’t be easier, or more impressive!

You start by making the chocolate filling, which is essentially a simple brownie batter. Then you make the pastry dough. Now, pastry dough can be notoriously fussy and hard to work with, but this dough is downright easygoing. None of the ingredients have to be chilled or handled with care, and the resulting dough is nice and stretchy, and bakes up light and flaky. I may start using it for all of my pies! After getting the filling and dough ready, you cut the dough into little squares with a pizza cutter, put a tiny blob of filling in the center of each square, and fold in the corners. That’s it! No egg wash or sealing or pinching seams–really simple. Finish each tart off with a candy heart in the center, and they’re ready for the oven. A treat that is delicious, adorable, and easy to make? I think I’m in love!

Little Brownie Tarts

Recipe, adapted from the 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky Book

for the filling:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa

Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl; set aside.

for the pastry dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vanilla
red candy hearts, red hots, or jumbo heart confetti sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter, and mix in with a fork. Add water and vanilla, and continue mixing until you get a nice, smooth dough. I’m not going to lie–I mixed this with my hands, which is usually a big NO when you’re talking about pie dough. But it worked really well in this case. I basically kneaded it until all of the ingredients came together in a smooth ball. Roll dough out on a well-floured work surface to a thickness of about 1/16th of an inch. This is about as thin as you can get it. My counter top is butcher block, so it is great for rolling out baked goods. As long as it is nicely floured, nothing sticks. If you usually have to be pretty careful when you roll things out, here’s a little tip: Wrap a large cutting board or piece of plywood with a flour sack towel. Make sure the towel is pulled tight and secured, and you can flour that and roll things out on it. Cut the dough into 2 1/2″ squares using a pizza cutter and a ruler. You can combine any jagged edges or scraps and re-roll them. Place a small blob of brownie filling in the center of each square. Pull the corners of each square to the center, and press a candy heart into the middle. Place tarts heart-side up on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before eating. Makes about 30 little tarts.

Little Brownie Tarts

Thanks Melissa! For more delicious bites and sweet projects be sure to head over to Lulu the Baker!

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