Fran’s Chocolate Wafer Tart Crust
This crisp chocolate cookie crust can be used for just about any tart—the choice is yours. We are partial to a chocolate crust with nuts and caramel, but you may consider any combination that works with a crisp chocolate cookie. The full recipe makes two crusts; cut the dough quantity in half for one shell or a dozen small tarts.
Makes enough for two 9-inch round tart shells or twenty-four 3-inch round tart shells. (Halve the recipe for one 9-inch tart shell.)
- 1 recipe Chocolate Wafers dough
Wrap the dough for the Chocolate Wafers well in plastic and chill until firm, about 4 hours, or overnight.
To roll out the dough
- Lightly butter one 9-inch round fluted tart pan or twelve 3-inch round fluted tart pans with removable bottoms
- For one tart shell, remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut in half. Rewrap and store the second portion in the refrigerator or freezer for another tart. Let the remaining dough warm on the counter for about 20 minutes, until pliable but still cool to the touch.
- On a lightly floured board gently knead the dough a few times. Pat into a ball, then with the palms of your hands flatten into a 5-inch round disk. With a floured rolling pin, begin rolling from the center out, lifting and turning until an 11½-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick, is formed. Keep dusting the board and pin with all-purpose flour as needed.
- Gently lift and roll the dough onto the rolling pin, brushing off any excess flour with a pastry brush. Place the dough in the buttered tart pan and unroll, taking care not to roll the pin along the top edge of the pan.
- Press the dough evenly over the bottom and around the edges of the pan, keeping the sides even and thick. (Cracks can be repaired by lightly moistening the broken edges with a few drops of water and patching with small scraps of dough.) Using a sharp knife, trim excess dough along the edges. Pierce the bottom with the tines of a fork and place in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until firm.
To bake an empty tart shell
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the chilled tart shell on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is blistered and dry. The shell should feel firm to the touch. It will crisp as it cools.
For 3-inch round individuals, roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 9 by 12 inches. Cut out circles with a 4-inch round cookie cutter. Transfer the circles of dough to the buttered tart pans, pressing into the bottom and sides following the same procedure as for a larger tart. Bake small tarts at 350°F for 18 to 20 minutes. Dough scraps may be gathered, returned to the refrigerator to chill, and rerolled.