One of the greatest chocolate treats of all time:
I think the name really says it all…I mean super rich dark chocolate (times two), warming maple syrup, and toasty pecans—it’s a trifecta of delicious flavors in a pretty little tartlet package. This dessert will wow your holiday guests, or totally make a friends day as a little “I love you, here is a kick-ass treat” surprise. My Paleo Chocolate Maple Pecan Tarts are surprisingly easy to make, look really cute, and taste like nutty-mapley-chocolatey goodness, with the perfect hint of sea salt to boot.
As I write this post I’m on a plane to Costa Rica. I know, I’m so lucky! I’m heading to help out my friends Sue Van Raes and Lauren Lewis with their women’s wellness retreat, Eat. Breathe. Nourish. We’ll be spending a glorious week with daily yoga practices, women’s health discussion circles, experiential cooking, and of course beach and jungle time.
Before leaving, I realized Thanksgiving will be just one week after I get back! OMG. So, I began diving into festive recipe testing earlier this month, creating both my 3-Ingredient Creamy Butternut Squash and these yummy little Paleo Chocolate Maple Pecan Tarts, so that I could share them with you in time for the best food holiday of the year.
I plan to share more about my trip when I return, so for now let’s put the focus on these delectable mini-pies, tartlets, bundles of heaven, whatever you want to call them.
Why You Should Eat My Paleo Chocolate Maple Pecan Tarts
They’re only sweetened with maple syrup, no refined sugars here! Maple syrup is oozing with nutrients like zinc, manganese, and B vitamins. To put that in perspective, processed white sugar has nothing to offer you except empty calories = nutrient devoid. Sweeteners like maple syrup and coconut sugar or nectar actually have some nutrients left in them (so they’re called nutritive sweeteners), and while any type of added sweetener should be eaten in moderation, these are WAY better options that sugars that bring you absolutely no nutritional value.
These Paleo Chocolate Maple Pecan Tarts are actually quite high in protein thanks to almond flour, pecans, and a little egg to create that sticky filling. I love high protein sweets because the protein offsets the effects of any sugar, in this case from the maple syrup, helping your body more slowly absorb it and avoid uncomfortable crashes and cravings thereafter.
Another reason I’m obsessed with these mini-bites-of-deliciousness is their helpful portion control. I found these cute little tart tins (they’re 4 inches) on Amazon, and I’ve gotta say they’re the perfect size for enjoying a sweet treat without overdoing it, PLUS they bake faster than a whole pie would. You can get yourself some using this link and I promise I’ll be putting out more recipes that use them in the future.Webake 4 Inch Mini Tart Pans, Set of 6
As a member of Amazon Affiliates, I get a little commission when you buy through my links, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra!
How You Can Make My Paleo Chocolate Maple Pecan Tarts
We’re gonna kick off this baking fest with a perfectly crispy Chocolate Sea Salt crust. That’s right, even the crust of these bad boys is totally amazing.
First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Now, grease the insides of your six tart pans with coconut oil, I just use my fingers to do this and then rub the rest into my skin for lovely, soft hands.
In a food processor, combine your almond flour, cacao powder, unmelted coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt. Be sure to blend until the coconut oil is really well incorporated. After a minute or two you’ll get a big ball of sticky chocolate crust. Now, drop a generous ¼ cup of dough into each tart tin. One by one, use your fingers to press the dough evenly all over and then use your thumb and pointer finger to press the dough all along the edge, even with the top of the tin, about ¼ inch thick. You can add a little dough here and there if any areas look thin.
Place all your crust-filled tart pans on a larger baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. The middle of the crust may puff up a little bit, which is fine, just gently press them down when you remove from the oven.
While your crusts are baking, start the filling for your Paleo Chocolate Maple Pecan Tarts. Combine your eggs, almond milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt in a medium bowl and whisk together well. Fold in the shaved dark chocolate and chopped pecans.
A note about the shaved dark chocolate. Just buy a big bar of it and use a knife to shave off the edges, going in different directions. It’s super easy and only takes a second!
When your tart crusts are ready, you can just keep them on the pan while you scoop some filling into each, enough to go up to the top but be careful not to overflow it.
Pop the cookie sheet back in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes prior to trying to remove from the tins. After they’re cooled, it should be pretty easy to just press up the bottom of the tart tin while holding the sides, then they pop out and you pry the bottom of the tin off of them.
Serve with a cold glass of almond milk or a nice scoop of coconut ice cream—YUM!
I hope everyone out there has a really wonderful, relaxing, extremely delicious Thanksgiving! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about these sweet beauties.
Paleo Chocolate Maple Pecan Tarts
Yield 6 Tarts
Rich dark chocolate, crunchy toasted pecans, and decadent maple syrup, all wrapped into one super cute package and ready for munching! This is an easy but impressive dessert that is actually packed with nutrition and high in protein.
For the Crust:
- 2 1/4 cups super-fine almond flour
- 6 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil (unmelted), plus more for greasing
- 1/4 cup+ 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Filling:
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons 100% dark chocolate, shaved
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- About 1/2 cup pecan halves, 5 for the top of each tart (30 total)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease each tart tin with unmelted coconut oil and set on a large cookie sheet.
- In a food processor, pulse together your almond flour, cacao powder, 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unmelted coconut oil, 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Keep pulsing/blending until the coconut oil is well incorporated and you can no longer see it. You'll end up with a big sticky ball of chocolate crust.
- Use about 1/4 of a cup of crust dough in each tart tin, pressing down evenly with your fingers and up onto the sides, so that the top of the crust is even with the rim of the tin and about 1/4 inch thick. Add a little more dough in areas that look thin.
- Bake crusts for 8 minutes. If the center of the crusts has puffed up a bit, just use your fingers to press down as soon as you remove from the oven.
- For the filling, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, remaining maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and sea salt. Fold in the shaved chocolate and chopped pecans. Pour filling up to the top of each tin.
- Place 5 pecan halves onto the top of each tart, in a star shape.
- Bake tarts for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the tins.
- Serve with some cold almond milk or coconut ice cream, enjoy!