Pistachio Cauldron Tarts

For this week’s Baked with Scare Wednesday, we’re whipping up a bite-sized treat that’s a perfect blend of salty and sweet!

Your Best Halloween Ever, Pistachio Cauldron Tarts

Crust Ingredients
  • 14 Chocolate Graham Crackers
  • 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
Filling Ingredients
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package pistachio pudding mix
  • Green food coloring (optional)
Decoration Ingredients
  • Chocolate Candy Melts
    • White
    • Black
    • Orange
    • Light Blue
    • Lime Green
  • Pretzel rods
  • Pecans
  • Toasted pistachios
Additional Tools
  • Tart baking pan
  • Piping Bags
  • Food processor
  • Stand mixer
Instructions
  1. Start by making your tart crusts. Combine the chocolate graham crackers and sugar in a food processor until very fine. Transfer the mix to a large bowl and pour in the melted butter, mixing with a spoon until it’s about the consistency of wet sand. It should stick together when clumped, but not be too wet.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F. While the oven’s heating up, spoon the graham cracker mixture into the tart pan cavities (each one of mine took about 2 spoonfuls). Firmly press into the bottom and sides.
  3. Bake until the crusts set, about 10-12 minutes. Allow them to cool completely when they’re finished baking.
  4. Next, make the filling. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the package of cream cheese, milk, and pistachio pudding mix until smooth and creamy. If the mix isn’t as green as you’d like, feel free to add a few drops of green food coloring.
  5. Once the tart shells are cool, transfer the filling to a piping bag and pipe the pistachio filling onto them. Place in the refrigerator while you assemble the decorations.
  6. Finally, get all of the tart decorations together!
    1. Start by toasting a handful of pistachios in a small pan. Set aside to cool once they’re finished.
    2. For the eyeballs, melt a variety of chocolate candy melts in separate piping or zip-top bags. Pipe a variety of colored irises (blue, orange, and lime green in our case) onto the white candy melts. Allow to cool, and then repeat the process with black candy melts, piping small pupils onto the irises. And once those are cool, melt a piece or two of leftover white candy melts and use a toothpick to apply a few light flares to the eyes.
    3. Finally, for the fingers, break up a few pretzel rods and toss them in a bowl with melted candy melts. For these, I used a handful of white candies with a few orange for very pale, sickly looking fingers. Finish them with pecans for the nails.
  7. After all of your decorations are ready, assemble your tarts! Give each a candy eyeball and a pretzel finger before topping with toasted pistachios. Chill the tarts until they’re ready to be served, and enjoy!

chocolate graham cracker crust being made
One thing that has definitely been a learning process with these lil tarts is how much butter to use in the graham cracker crust! The first few times I tried to make it, I wound up following a recipe that called for entirely too much butter (yes, such a thing exists) and the resulting graham cracker crusts were a gloppy, buttery mess that barely resembled a crust. So trust me - it may not seem like much, but less is definitely more when it comes to the butter here! One other note re: the crusts, chocolate graham cracker crusts usually come coated in sugar, so I cut the recommended 3 tbsp sugar in the original recipe I found in half to 1 ½ tbsp, and it worked very well.

pistachio cauldron tart progressWhat I really love about baking tarts like these is that they are pretty simple to bake, which allows you to really put a good amount of energy into their decorations. It may take a bit of time to get the various pieces here together (especially the eyeballs with their layers of melting chocolate!), but the final product is so worthwhile. And you can play around with what color you use for the fingers, too - I had even thought about using a purple to mimic the mummy fingers from last year, but ultimately went with the pale orange, honestly, because it’s what I already had on hand. You’ll also see that I used pecans for the nails on these. If I’m being honest, I would have preferred to use sliced almonds for the fingernails, but the store was completely out when I was shopping for supplies so I went with whole pecans as a backup. While it wasn’t exactly the look I was hoping for, they still looked really creepy and they tasted great, which is really what it’s all about, right?

So if you’re looking for an easy-to-bake, bite-sized treat to add to your dessert spreads this Halloween season, think about whipping up tarts of your very own! With a recipe this easy, you can really spend some time experimenting with flavor combinations and working on decorations that will wow your guests. Happy Baking!

🎃

pistachio cauldron tarts with chocolate graham crackers and pudding filling, easy halloween dessert recipe

1 comment:

  1. Halloween is now closer, I was looking for cruella deville costume but now I think i change my mind after reading everything here. I will definitely go for a different costume. Thanks for all the new ideas. ahahahahaaaa halloween

    ReplyDelete