Kahlúa Chocolate Pecan Tart

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I can almost taste the turkey!

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With that special day just around the corner, we’re scrambling to solidify our Thanksgiving menus. After recent events in the U.S., it’s more important than ever that this meal be one that brings people together. In that spirit, I’m offering an alternative to your regular ol’ pies in order to appease those with tastes that diverge from the Thanksgiving norms. And I’m doing it for those of you who, like me,  just don’t want to play by the rules. I strayed from tradition last year too, and there’s no going back now.

At this point I think I should just start a movement to bring chocolate to the Thanksgiving table. Who’s with me?

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Not only is there chocolate in this pecan tart, there’s also coffee liqueur. Enough liqueur to make this baby only suitable for adults. I mean sure, you can be boring and leave it out if you want, but why would you do something like that? Let the kids have the apple pie; this one’s just for you.

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By now, you may have noticed that I can’t stop baking with pecans. I am a woman obsessed. These cookies and their predecessors are both pecan based, and they are two of the recipes I am most proud of. Those cookies are just too good. I know pecans are expensive, but if you buy them in bulk online you’ll save money and have pecans for days. What more could one ask for?

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I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you: this is one decadent tart, so I suggest serving it in very thin slices. Or don’t, but don’t come crying to me when you’re rendered immobile by your inevitable food coma.

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P.S. I’m currently dancing in the rain in Copenhagen, and I can’t wait to tell you guys all about my trip – so look out for a Copenhagen-y post in the coming weeks! I’ll be talking food/culture, my favorite bakeries, Danish sausages, and so much more. As usual, I will also have some drool-worthy photos for you.

Kahlúa Chocolate Pecan Tart
By L.
Yields 1 9″ tart

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup cold water

Filling:
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (or chips), 60% cocoa solids or higher
2 cups pecan halves, toasted + 3/4 cup pecan halves, untoasted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coffee liqueur (I used Kahlúa)

For the Crust:
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Generously butter a 9″ tart pan and set aside.

Cut the butter into 1″ cubes. Combine all the dry ingredients and the cold butter in a 4-cup food processor or blender and pulse everything together until there are no more obvious chunks of butter, then add the cold water a little bit at a time, until the dough forms a ball. You may not need all the water.

Dump the dough into the tart pan and press it down firmly and evenly against the bottom and all the way up the sides. Try to keep the dough from being too thick where the bottom meets the sides of the pan. Transfer the tart pan to a sheet pan and bake for 13 minutes, until almost baked through. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the bottom of the tart and let it sit and soften as it warms up. Meanwhile, whisk together the rest of the filling.

For the filling:
Chop 3/4 cup of the toasted pecans and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugars, eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract and Kahlúa together thoroughly. When the chocolate has melted significantly, use a knife or spatula to spread it evenly across the bottom of the tart, all the way to the edges. Pour 2 cups of the toasted pecans on top of the melted chocolate, pour the egg mixture into the tart, then top with the 3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pecans on top are darker and there is no jiggle in the center. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then refrigerate or freeze to cool completely before serving. For best results, serve at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Leftover pie can be kept covered and refrigerated for up to a week.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

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