Seven-Layer Bars don’t have to start with a graham cracker crust. They’re quite tasty on a shortbread cookie bed, or on top of a brownie. And they are perfectly happy in a tiny little tart crust, too.
My kids, well before the icky-picky teenage years, were big fans of Seven-Layer Bars. I never did understand the appeal until one day when I over baked them and the center became chewy like a caramel bar. Since then I’ve continued to bake them for far longer than is reasonable. I like the sweetened condensed milk to turn a nice shade of caramel before I’m willing to take them out of the oven.
These little tarts are similar. The longer they bake, the better they taste, I think. I prefer that the center be chewy and not sloshy. The layers in the tart are similar to the Seven-Layer but slightly different. I had some leftover Solo Almond Filling and thought that might be a nice addition. Use just a tablespoon in the bottom of each tart – you’ll need the equal number of tablespoons to the number of tart shells you bake. This recipe can make up to a dozen tiny 2.5-3.5 inch tarts.
Think miniature. Everything that goes into the tiny tart shells as layers should be on the small side in quantity and in the case of the semi-sweet chocolate chips, on the mini side. The almonds get chopped rather finely but don’t smash them into coarse almond flour. You still want the nutty crunch to be evident. A drizzle of the condensed milk is all you need – just enough to give it some chewy flavor but not enough to drown the tart.
I like large flakes of unsweetened coconut rather than the finer stuff, but if you like the small shreds that will work just fine. Let’s Do organic is my favorite brand of unsweetened coconut. It’s always fresh and has great flavor. It’s vegan, kosher and gluten-free. I can find both the large flakes and shredded Let’s Do Coconut at Whole
Paycheck Foods most of the time but you can also order it from Amazon.
These tiny tarts would taste great with whipped cream or a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you like gooey chewy seven-layer bars, this will make you happy.
I’m betting that even my icky-picky kids, now long past being teenagers might actually like these.
(Gluten Free Canteen’s Book of Nosh is available at the Barnes & Noble Nook store. You can find it on Amazon in paperback or Kindle and in the iBook Store, too. Thanks for buying the book and supporting our work and leaving a review!)
|Chocolate Coconut Almond Tiny Tarts, Gluten Free||
- 300 grams AP GF flour (150 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 75 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch/flour) (2⅓ cups)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 115 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed into small pieces (1 stick)
- 85 grams solid vegetable shortening (Spectrum) (7 tablespoon)
- 80-100 grams ice-cold water (up to ½ cup)
- 12 tablespoons from one can Solo Almond Filling
- 175 grams roasted, salted almonds, fine chop (1¼ cups)
- 85 grams milk chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
- 100 grams large flaked unsweetened coconut (2 cups)
- ½ can sweetened condensed milk (12 tablespoons)
- 100 grams mini chocolate chips (2/3 cup)
- In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour with sugar and salt. Pulse once. Cube chilled butter and shortening and add to food processor bowl. Pulse a few times until mixture is like ragged coarse peas. While processor is running, add water through the chute just until a ragged ball forms. Stop adding water as soon as it forms a ball! Place on plastic wrap and remove blade carefully. Gather dough and form into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove dough and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Break both dough disks into a total of 12 pieces. Using plastic wrap on the bottom and top, dusted with starch, roll dough pieces until they are slightly bigger than the tart pan. Peel off plastic from top. Turn dough upside down and place in tart pan while peeling off plastic. Try to not stretch or stress the dough as you push it into the pan. Push into pan to fit the form and remove excess dough. Optionally, you can place each dough piece into the tart and press into place as evenly as possible. There will be leftover dough as you even out each tart shell. Save leftover dough for patching. Chill dough filled tart pans in the freezer for about 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 325. Set chilled tart pans on baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes or until just slightly set and starting to turn golden brown. If there are cracks forming, use leftover dough to patch. It’s common that it might shrink so saving some dough to make patches is always a good thing.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of Solo Almond Filling in the center of each tart shell. Using the back of a small spoon, swirl the filling from the center out in one direction only – if you go back and forth the crust will tear. Just bring the filling barely to the bottom edges of the tart. Divide the chopped almonds in 12 portions and press into the filling in each tart shell. Divide milk chocolate chips into 12 portions and sprinkle in each shell and press down slightly. It will look sparse. Next, divide coconut into 24 portions, reserving half and sprinkle into the tart shells. Yep. There are only 12 tarts – it’s a test. (kidding!) Just hang on to the rest – remember – layers. Drizzle one heaping tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk into each tart shell. Make sure you go in a circular and random pattern when drizzling. Divide mini chocolate chips into 24 portions, reserving half. Sprinkle on top of the drizzled condensed milk. Add the remaining coconut to each tart and then the remaining chocolate chips. Press down lightly.
- Place the tarts on a baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes and rotate pan. Bake about 10-15 minutes more or until the top is bubbly and starting to brown. Cool thoroughly before serving. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.