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Mini Salted Caramel-Chocolate Tarts in Gingerbread Cookie Cups

Spicy gingerbread cookie crusts provide a bold, flavorful backdrop for sweet caramel and rich, smooth ganache in these Mini Salted Caramel Chocolate Tarts. This recipe doubles well.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time25 mins
Chilling Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert, Dinner
Keyword: chocolate, cookie cups, dinner party, ganache, gingerbread, miniature treats, salted caramel
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cookie Cups

  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened but still cool
  • 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses

Caramel

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter diced
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Serving

  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

Gingerbread Cookie Cups

  • Whisk flour, salt, and spices in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine butter and brown sugar with the paddle  attachment, beating until light and fluffy. Add honey and molasses and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three additions, mixing until the dough comes together.
  • Form the dough into a flat disk, wrap tightly with plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to two days) before continuing. Let the dough sit for a a few minutes at room temperature before rolling.
  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease 12 cups in a standard-sized muffin tin.
  • On a generously floured surface, roll dough to a thickness between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Using a 3¾-to 4-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter, stamp out 12 flowers (re-roll scraps if needed).
  • Gently transfer the dough to muffin tins, tucking each flower into one of the cups. With a toothpick or sharp skewer, prick holes in the dough around the bottom edge of the cup, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, adding a few holes in the center as well.
  • Bake until the cookies feel just set, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in the muffin pans for about 5 minutes. Loosen the cups with a thin metal spatula before allowing them to cool completely in the muffin pans.

Caramel Filling

  • Combine cream and butter pieces in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Whisk sugar, water, corn syrup, and, salt together in a 2-quart saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil without stirring until it turns a rich caramel color (if you prefer to use a candy thermometer, heat the syrup until the thermometer reads 340°F).
  • Remove the pan from heat and add the cream-butter mixture. Taking care as it will bubble up and steam, whisk until smooth. Pour caramel into a spouted measuring glass.
  • Pour caramel into the prepared cookie cups, filling them just below the V shape between each cup’s petals. Refrigerate uncovered until cool to the touch.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Combine the chocolate and corn syrup in small bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it bubbles around the edges and steam begins to rise from its surface. Pour the hot cream into the prepared chocolate. Without stirring, let the cream-chocolate mixture sit for 2 minute. Using a small spatula, stir until smooth and glossy (if the chocolate doesn't melt completely, heat for 5 second bursts in the microwave until smooth). 
  • Working one at a time, spoon 2 teaspoons of warm ganache atop the caramel on each tart. Shimmy the tart as needed to spread the chocolate to the edges. Tap the tart gently on the counter to burst any large bubbles that form.
  • Refrigerate the tarts uncovered until ready to serve.

Serving

  • Remove chilled tarts from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to serve them.
  • Right before serving, sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.