Let's be honest, when it comes to certain forms of food, sometimes we eat it with unnecessary accessories just to make ourselves feel better. Take, for example, the peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Is the bread truly needed, especially when it merely serves as a 'platform' for the good parts? Left to our own devices, we would just as soon be armed with a spoon + two open jars.
Have you ever been in the middle of enjoying a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and thought to yourself 'This would be so much better inside an elephantine cookie whilst swirls of Nutella run blithely throughout its core.' No? Don't worry, I have. And even if you don't want to admit to eating peanut butter by the spoonful, you can do the next best thing and dig into one of these dreamy tarts. You may eat it with a knife and fork but, if no one is looking, feel free to attack it with two hands like a messy, glorified little sandwich.
Jam & Peanut Butter-Nutella Tarts (adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and Cakespy)
peanut butter shell + crumble
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking Soda
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) of butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter
1 large egg (slightly beaten)
1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract
About 8 Tablespoons of your favourite jam (I used blueberry)
About 8 Tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
About 4 Tablespoons of Nutella (you may add more if you want)
Prepare the shells: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. *Note:It's best to have a large capacity food processor for this recipe. I didn't, so I switched to my stand mixer halfway through.* Place the butter and both sugars into the food processor bowl. Pulse a few times to combine. Slowly add the beaten egg and almond extract. *At this point, I scraped everything into the bowl of my stand mixer. However, if you have a large enough food processor, you should be able to keep using it.* Add the peanut butter and pulse/mix until well combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and pulse/mix until the dough forms a ball on the blade/paddle. Place the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 4 equal parts. Flatten each one into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill for about 3 hours.
Butter/spray 4 tartlet pans (Mine were 4.75-inches in diameter) Flour the pans and carefully tap out the excess. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Remove a disc from the refrigerator (leave the others in so they can stay cool.) On a heavily floured work surface surface, carefully roll out the dough so that it will fit your prepared tartlet pan. You will have a lot of dough, too much for each pan. But the excess will be used as the crumbled topping, and for snacking. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using the rolling pin, carefully roll over the surface, allowing the extra dough to fall off. Save this dough for the topping. If the dough cracks, just patch it with the reserve stash, it's very forgivable. Repeat this procedure with the remaining dough.
Using a fork, poke each tart a few times. Cover each one with a piece of parchment paper or lightly greased tin foil (shiny-side down.) Cover the parchment/foil with pie weights (you may also use dried beans or rice.) Place the pans onto a large cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and very carefully remove the paper and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
Filling: While the tart shells are still warm, dollop each one with spoonfuls of the jelly, peanut butter, and Nutella. Because they will still be warm, you should be able to gently swirl everything together, but take care not to tear the semi-baked crust. Crumble the reserved tart shell dough over the jam/peanut butter/Nutella.
Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the filling begins to set and the crust turns golden brown. Remove and cool for about 1 hour before serving.
Makes 4 4.75-inch tarts.