Chocolate Tartlets with Almonds and Coconut…made in the blink of an eye…almost!

I had bought some tartlet shells for a small gathering, but our guests had to cancel.  Since then I have been trying to find an excuse to use them.  Ian coming home this weekend fit the bill.  I have a couple of other dishes to make for dinner so it would have to be quick.  Further more, since the oven was going to be in use, it needed to be no bake.

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Most no bake desserts I don’t much care for… my taste buds are snobs, I admit it!  So earlier this week I started looking for ideas.  I found a recipe that made chocolate truffles sweetened only with dried dates.  In fact, the recipe only called for those 2 ingredients.  I had some dates and some Dutch (alkali processed) cocoa, so I chopped up one date and mixed is with some of the cocoa and tasted it.  It was  a pretty good combination, so that became my starting point.  I would try out my idea on the weekend.

So today, I got out my food processor and started mixing things together and tasting along the way.  Dates and cocoa powder are a little dry on their own, so I added a small amount of grape seed oil to help bring it together.  I wanted more than a smooth filling, so I added unsweetened shredded coconut, a small amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips and toffee coated almonds.  A small splash of half and half and the filling was ready.

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I let all my guys taste it, to make sure all our taste buds were on the same page.  It was funny.  As soon as I mentioned dates, I got this  “what are you trying to feed me?” look.  They all took the tiniest bite first….and then asked for another bite immediately.  I had scored!   It was great that I could make a filling that the only added sugar was from 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate and it passed the “yum” test by unanimous ballot.

The best part is that this whole process, included filling the tartlets, didn’t even take 30 minutes.  That included the entire experimental mixing.  A true good food not much time success.  The flavor is rich and sweet with complimentary flavors.  I hope you try it.

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You’ll need:

4 oz of dried pitted dates

1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder

1-2 Tbs grape seed oil

2 Tbs semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut, shredded

1/4 cup toffee coated almonds

2-3 Tbs half and half

16- 1 3/4 shortbread tartlet shells

In a food processor, place the dates and pulse on low speed until dates are in small pieces, add remaining ingredients, except tartlet shells, and process until desired consistency is reached, using additional grape seed oil or half and half as needed.  Mixture should be thick.

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Spoon filling into tartlet shells and set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Allow to warm to room temperature before serving.  Enjoy!

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