Chocolate Starlets

Chocolate Coconut DropsCourtesy of Lory Utz

Chocolate miniature tartlet pastry – makes about 4 dozen

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees
• 1 ½ inch round fluted tartlets

• 2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. unsifted all purpose flour
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup unsifted cocoa powder
• ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼ inch slices
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

• Put the flour, sugar and cocoa into the bowl of a food processor and blend ingredients.
• Scatter all the butter slices over the flour mixture and process with on/off bursts until the mixture has consistency of cornmeal.

• Whisk egg and vanilla together in a small bowl.
• With the motor on, pour the mixture down the feed tube and process until the ingredients form a ball.
• Remove dough to lightly floured work surface and with the heel of your hand press the dough together until it is smooth and cohesive.

• Arrange the ungreased fluted tins close together on a cookie sheet.
• Pinch off 1 tsp. of the dough, roll it into a ball and drop it into each tin.
• With index finger press center of dough ball into the tin and up the sides while rotating tin to distribute dough evenly.

Chocolate Frangipane Filling:
• ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• ¾ cup blanched almonds, finely ground – I use almond flour which is easier
• 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely grated

• Process all filling ingredients in food processor bowl until mixture is smooth and free of clumps.
• Spoon about 1 tsp. of filling into each shell.
• Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the crusts’ edges appear dry and slightly firm to the touch.
• Place cookie sheet on rack to cool about 10 minutes, until tins can be touched.
• Squeeze each tin between your thumb and forefinger, turn it upside down and let it cool completely on rack. Can be frozen in airtight containers between layers of waxed paper.

• Before serving, dust with powdered sugar and put a little dollop of white chocolate frosting on top.