Chocolate caramel/Speculoos tartlets (a.k.a. little bites of heaven)

I’ve been wanting to make David Lebovitz’s chocolate caramel tartlets for I while now. I thought they would be a perfect way to use up the Trade Joe’s Fleur De Sel Caramels I hoarded bought during my trip. I thought long and hard about buying mini-muffin pans since I didn’t want to spend money on something I will rarely use. I’ve already spent too much money on my assortment of baking pans as it is. And when I finally decided to get them, they took forever to find.

It also took me forever to make these. I only found one 12-slot mini-muffin pan so it took me almost two hours to mold, freeze, bake and cool two and half batches of tartlets (I ended up with 31 tartlets instead of the 24 in the recipe). By the time I was finished, it was almost 2am and I was exhausted, so I left the filling for the next day.

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That took quite a while, too. Peeling a bunch of caramels wrapped in super thin plastic wrapping was slow-going, especially when you have to keep washing your hands after you unconsciously lick off the caramel sticking to your finger tips.

And as it turns out, I didn’t peel enough caramels. I made 33% more of the caramel filling since I ended up with more tart shells, but still came up short. While figuring out how much caramel it will take to fill up 5 empty tartlets, I had a genius idea:

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Two delicious, heavenly words: COOKIE BUTTER (I won’t even attempt to describe how it tastes. Just go and get some for yourself. NOW. YESTERDAY. Ugggh.).

The tartlets were then topped with a bittersweet chocolate ganache. And the final flourish was a sprinkling of sea salt, in this case, Trader Joe’s Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (I love Trader Joe’s obvs).

And the end product was TO. DIE. FOR. But with chocolate, caramel and Cookie Butter (I daresay I might even like the Speculoos version better, shocker!), how can these tartlets be anything but delicious? Well, unless you screw something up, of course. But it would be hard to even do that, since the recipe is quite straightforward and easy.

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And can you imagine the possibilities? If you can’t get your hands on caramel or refuse to fork over the ridiculous PhP 550 stores charge for Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter locally (I’m one of those people, since it’s less than $5.00 at TJ’s), you can use dulce de leche, peanut butter, strawberry or raspberry jam or any other filling you love.

So, go, buy the mini-muffin pans so you can you make these little bite-sized wonders. I actually just bought my second one, a 24-slotted pan. Moment of weakness, you say? But I still have some Trader Joe’s caramels left over and six jars of Cookie Butter to work with, so I’d like to think of the pans as an investment. An investment that will pay delicious, mouth-watering dividends.

Note: Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter is available locally via Blue Kitchen. Although I do think you’re better off having your relatives from the US buy it for you straight from TJ’s for less than $5.00 (there’s still time to ask those coming home for Christmas, go!!! Ask them to get you the caramels, too, while you’re at it!). Also, mini muffins pans are available in 12s and 24s at Cook’s Exchange, which should’ve been the first placed I looked.

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4 thoughts on “Chocolate caramel/Speculoos tartlets (a.k.a. little bites of heaven)

    • I’m sure you can find some caramel candies in New Zealand? They don’t have to be salted caramels, although you can add a pinch of salt to the mixture if you want that sweet-salty contrast. 🙂

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