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Fireworks Tart!

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A dense chocolate brownie topped with creamy mint filling and a layer of rich fudge- these are the perfect finish to your July 4th cookout!

I’ve been sharing recipes on this blog for several years now, and there are just some recipes that I want everyone to try. These mint brownies are a recipe from my mom and I keep re-making them into different forms because they are just SO GOOD! I’ve filled them with mint, caramel, cookie dough, coconut, pralinecandy cane, irish cream, and peanut butter. Just last Halloween I made the recipe into a spiderweb striped tart that was SO fun, and I decided it needed to be remade in patriotic colors for July this year!

Fun- right? And honestly- soooo yummy!

Here is how we made it: (printable recipe is here)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder (try to use dark- it makes it easier to color the brownie black)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Food coloring gel in black

Mint filling: (this makes a little more than you need- but makes certain you have enough of each color)

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract
  • Food coloring gel in red, white and blue

Chocolate glaze/fireworks:

  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips (again, use dark so it is easier to color black)
  • 6 tablespoon of butter
  • Food coloring gel in black
  • About 1/8 cup of Wilton’s candy melts in each color: red, white, and blue

DIRECTIONS:

NOTE: Throughout this recipe, be careful when moving the tart pan, as holding it from the bottom will cause the edges to slide off. I usually keep tarts on a cookie sheet when I bake and decorate them- I took this one off (very carefully!) so I could photograph the process for you.

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Add black food coloring gel until batter is a dark almost-black color.
  • Spread evenly in 9 inch tart pan that has been set on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.

Mint filling:

  • Melt butter and add to powdered sugar. 
  • Add extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Divide filling into three bowls and mix in gel food coloring until you get a desired shade of blue and red. I also added a bit of white coloring to brighten up the natural color of the filling- but you wouldn’t have to do this.
  • As soon as color is mixed in, spoon each filling color into a small and sturdy (use freezer, not sandwich) zip-top bag. Push all the air out and seal tightly. As this filling is exposed to air it begins to harden up- so sealing these up right away prevents this. If you are slow, you can always add a little more water to get it back to the right consistency.
  • Set aside until brownie has cooled.
  • Cut a corner off each bag, and squeeze filling out into a circle at the center. Alternating colors, add rings around this until the entire top of the brownie is covered with filling. 
  • Once the top is covered, set a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on top and gently press the filling down so that it goes all the way to the edges. Try to make it nice and flat. The glaze will cover all the ridges, but you want to be sure that the edges are pushed down enough that the glaze has room to get to the edge of the pan without overflowing.

Chocolate glaze:

  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Add black gel food coloring until glaze is a dark almost-black (I added quite a bit and never got it completely black- but close!)
  • BEFORE pouring glaze onto tart: melt each color of candy melts and place each in individual zip-top bags (so they are ready as soon as glaze is poured)
  • Pour glaze over top of mint filling, using a spoon or knife to push out to all the edges.
  • Before glaze hardens, cut a small corner on each bag of melted Wilton’s candy melts and pipe circles (like a target shape) in alternating colors on top of the melted glaze.
  • Use a toothpick or skewer to draw lines through the glaze, starting at the center and drawing lines outward- like fireworks!

  • Chill until top layer of glaze is hardened. Do not remove outer ring of tart pan until this has completely hardened. Then, push up on the bottom firmly, until the edges slide out of pan. This takes a little patience- I refrigerated my tart overnight and then let it sit out for about 30 minutes before I was able to push the bottom up and remove that outer ring. If you have a hard time, push up in different spots along the edge, loosening all the edges 1st, before pushing the whole thing out.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: I love this dessert for so many reasons. It is a little time-consuming, but it’s SO cute!!!  If you want to save time, skip the colors in the mint layer- just make it white- and decorate the top. Or swirl the colors and make these in a sheet cake pan to have a bunch of them (refer to my candy cane brownie recipe here for directions and just add some blue instead of pink!) However you make them, ENJOY!!!  Happy summer to you! ~r

Other patriotic desserts for your 4th of July celebrations: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

 

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Salted Caramel Tart

Salted Caramel Tart3

A dense, dark chocolate tart covered in creamy, salted caramel sauce. Salty, sweet, and rich dessert flavors!!!!

This recipe is a combination of some of my favorite elements from other desserts. The chocolate tart is the perfect base for just about any topping. You can adjust it from dark to milk chocolate just by swapping out the type of chocolate you add. The caramel sauce is my go-to sauce for so many recipes. It’s not from-scratch, but it is honestly better (and soooo much easier)!

Salted Caramel Tart

That caramel layer does firm up after being chilled- but I wanted to cut into this right away- so these pictures show it in all of the gooey happiness that happens just after baking. Yum!

Here’s how we made this tart: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 10 oz. bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 32 Kraft Caramels (unwrapped)
  • 1 can (14oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
  • 1 tablespoon salt (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9 inch tart pan with cooking spray and line with pie crust.  Poke holes into bottom with fork and set on a cookie sheet.
  • Melt dark chocolate chips.  Allow them to cool to room temperature.
  • In a separate bowl combine eggs, cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
  • Add cream mixture to chocolate and blend well.  Pour into crust and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until center is set.
  • While tart is baking, make caramel sauce by placing caramels, condensed milk and butter into a medium saucepan.
  • Heat over medium/high heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth (about 6 minutes).
  • Allow caramel to cool in pan a bit, and add salt, mixing well to combine.
  • Once tart has been removed from the oven and allowed to cool, pour caramel over the top until entire crust is filled (YUM!!!)

Salted Caramel Tart

  • Chill, and drizzle with a little chocolate sauce- if you want- for decoration 🙂
  • Remove sides from pan, serve and enjoy!!!!

Salted Caramel Tart!

My thoughts: Straight up delicious. The sweet caramel has a little bite of salt and that dark chocolate tart is the perfect balance to the sweet. I love the textures of this dessert. The chocolate is so dense and creamy, and the caramel is so soft. This is just “one of those” desserts. The kind you think about long after the last bite. This tart was given away last weekend to friends, and these pictures are killing me… I wish I had another piece right now…! Enjoy this one, friends!!!  ~r

Salted Caramel Tart!

More caramel happiness here at Easybaked: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Caramel Ritz CookiesCaramel Gelato!!!Alfajores-- yummy dulce de leche filling!Marshmallow Turtle Pops!

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