“SWEET LIKE CANDY TO MY SOUL…..SWEET YOU ROCK AND SWEET YOU ROLL…..” Dave Matthews.
Who doesn’t like candy??? I do!!! But oddly, I’m just not one to sit down and eat a whole candy bar. Sometimes I will go to the Godiva store and put together a box of chocolates for myself, choosing the pieces that look interesting and appealing to me. I sneak into that box for a little reward; or if I want a little pick me up. But I can make that box last a really long time! Well this candy tart really rocks! And here’s why…….
…….It is sweet and creamy with the texture of a cheesecake. But the crust is a mix of both shortbread AND graham crackers! Very YUMMLY indeed!!! The candy pieces also add to the creaminess and crunch. You can cut this into bars or squares, or even mini bites. I love that my rectangular tart pan has scalloped edges. But I hate that only the edges will show that. So I pressed these squares out with a biscuit cutter so that each piece will look just as pretty!
I used the exact amount of candy pieces which the recipe called for. But if you want extra for the top…by all means go for it! And the recipe called for pieces of toffee and cookies and cream bars. But I imagine any will work, so feel free to customize this! This is what you’ll need to do……
1 cup of finely crushed shortbread cookies
1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers
5 TBSP butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Stir together the crushed cookies and graham crackers along with the melted butter. At this point, add more melted butter if necessary. You want this mix to be like wet sand and hold together when you pat it in your hand. The type of cookies and crackers you use could certainly affect this. I happened to use Walker’s Shortbread Cookies and Trader Joe’s Graham Crackers. Press the crumb mixture along the bottom of a 14 x 4 x 1 tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly brown and set aside.
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 TBSP softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 (1.4oz) Heath toffee bars, coarsely chopped
1 (1.55oz) Cookies and Cream candy bar, coarsely chopped
pinch of salt
Combine cream cheese, softened butter, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in your mixer or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Combine chopped candy in a small bowl, then set aside 1/4 cup. Stir the remaining candy into the cream cheese mixture.
Place the crust lined tart pan onto a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow baking pan. Pour the cream cheese filling into the crust. (It will be full so the cookie sheet will help to get it in and out of the oven and catch any drips.) Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center appears set when shaken and the filling is puffed and golden around the edges. Sprinkle with reserved candy. Cool on a wire rack for an hour. And then cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Cut into strips or squares (or any shapes you desire!). Makes about 12 servings.
Here is a picture of the tart as it comes out of the oven. In hindsight, I wonder how this would be if I sprinkled a little sugar on the top of the tart and then ‘brulee’ed’ it with my kitchen blowtorch and THEN sprinkled the candy on top. I found the powdered sugar really melted into the cold tart just because of the humidity and heat here. I think carmelizing the top would have looked pretty and would have just added another sweet, crunchy layer to this dessert. OR I think it might be nice to hold off on sprinkling the candy on top. Let it cool. And then perhaps a light layer of ganache and THEN the sprinkled candies! Hmmmm. Please let me know if you vary this….and how it worked out for you!