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Surrender to Temptation with Mini Cream Tarts That Combine Salty & Sweet Flavors

It’s hard to resist the urge to indulge on Valentine’s Day when chocolates, pastel-colored hearts and candies are everywhere. If you’re going to splurge, make it worthy of breaking a New Year’s resolution with a treat like Amaretto Cream Tarts with a Chocolate-Pretzel Crust from the dairy experts at the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB).

A home-made treat is one of the most heartfelt ways to show affection for the people you love. By planning a bit in advance and making this dessert the evening before Valentine’s Day, you can end the big day on a sweet note. These individual tarts are an elegant ending to a meal for two or perfect as a stand-alone dessert served with liqueur, espresso or a big glass of milk.

“It’s easy to fall in love with our Amaretto Cream Tarts. The combination of creamy dairy flavors with the decadence of chocolate and a salty-sweet surprise crunch on the bottom will win the hearts and taste buds of sweethearts, family and friends,” said Jennifer Giambroni, Director of Communication for the CMAB.

California is the nation’s leading milk producer and also produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal. Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family owned and that means consumers are supporting dairy families when they look for the milk and cheese seals when they shop.

Amaretto Cream Tarts with Chocolate-Pretzel Crust

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
Chill time: several hours

2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup California butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/3 cups finely crushed salted pretzel sticks 

Amaretto Truffle:
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup California whipping cream
3 tablespoons almond liqueur 

Amaretto Mousse:
1 cup California whipping cream
1 (8-oz.) pkg. California cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons almond liqueur 

To prepare crust, place chocolate, butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute; stir until chocolate is melted then stir in pretzels. Place equal amounts into 4 miniature springform pans and press firmly with the bottom of a glass to make an even layer. To prepare truffle mixture, place chocolate, cream and liqueur in a small bowl. Place 3 tablespoons of the chocolate in a small squeeze bottle or in a small resealable plastic bag with a small corner snipped off. Spread the remaining mixture over each crust and refrigerate until firm. To prepare mousse, beat cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Place cream cheese, sugar and liqueur in a medium bowl and beat until very fluffy. Beat in 1/3 of the whipped cream then lightly fold in the rest. Spread equal amounts over crust then drizzle with remaining chocolate. Refrigerate for several hours or until chilled. Carefully run hot water along the sides before unmolding.  Makes 4 to 8 servings.