Chocolate Starlets

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

These are rich with the flavor of walnuts, a hint of spice, and, of course, chocolate. Decorating them couldn’t be easier, after you turn the fluted tartlets over to show off their star-like shape.

Makes4 dozen 1½-inch tartlets

Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free

Equipmentfood processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes



Taste and Texturebuttery, chocolatey, crunchy, nutty, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishtart


  • 1½ recipe Chocolate Miniature Tartlet Pastry
  • ½ cup (70 grams) unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces (1½ cups) walnuts, finely ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup (50 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


  1. Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange four dozen ungreased fluted tins, 1½ inches in diameter, close on a large baking sheet that measures at least 12 × 15½ × ½ inches.

  2. Dough: Pinch off the dough, 1 teaspoon at a time, and drop into fluted tins. One by one, roll dough pieces into balls in the palms of your hands. With index finger, press center of each dough ball into a tin; then press dough up the sides of the tin while rotating the tin to distribute the dough evenly.

  3. Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, ground nuts, and cinnamon to blend; set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer at medium-low speed, cream the butter in a 1½-quart mixing bowl until soft, creamy, and smooth, about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar until the mixture is lighter in texture and the sugar has been absorbed. Add the yolks and continue mixing until incorporated and smooth. Lower speed, and gradually add the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.

  4. Using a 16-inch pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain decorating tip (such as Ateco #3), pipe the equivalent of 12 teaspoon of filling into each pastry-lined tin. Lift the tip slightly as each tin is filled in order to cut off the flow of filling. (Piping filling from a pastry bag is easier, more uniform, and less fattening than using a spoon since it reduces the temptation of licking your finger clean after scooping filling from the spoon.)

  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top of the filling is light golden and the chocolate crust is no longer shiny but dull and feels slightly firm to the touch. Cool the tartlets, on the baking sheet, on a rack for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to touch. Remove each tartlet by pinching the tin with thumb and forefinger and turning it upside down, so that the pastry falls into your hand.

  6. Decoration: Place tartlets upside down on a rack so each tartlet displays its star shape. Tap the powdered sugar from a sieve to sprinkle sugar over the top of each tartlet.

  7. Chocolate Honey Ganache Glaze: Combine the heavy cream and honey in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat just to boiling. Turn off heat, stir in the chocolate just until melted and smooth. Set aside just until it thickens to the consistency of honey, about 30 minutes. Fill a small handmade paper cone half full of the glaze, snip off the cone’s tip, and pipe a small dot in the center of each tartlet.

  8. Stack undecorated tartlets in an airtight metal container and store at room temperature up to 10 days, or freeze up to 1 month. Store decorated tartlets in a single layer in a covered, foil-lined cardboard container, such as a cake box, at room temperature up to 2 days.


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