I know many of you look forward to Fall all year long because it's officially time to celebrate all things pumpkin. I'm the exact same way about peppermint during the holiday season! I especially love the flavors of peppermint bark -- so I created a peppermint bark-inspired dessert that's simple to make, super yummy, and has tons of eye appeal. My festive Creamy Peppermint Bark Puff Pastry Tarts are perfect for holiday entertaining! They feature a flaky puff pastry shell with a fun peppermint bark rim. The embellished tarts are filled with pretty-in-pink peppermint mousse and a dollop of snow-white whipped cream. No one has to know how simple these tarts are to whip up. You can even decorate the tart shells and prepare the peppermint mousse up to 24 hours before serving to save time on your holiday prep!
Creamy Peppermint Bark Puff Pastry Tarts
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (makes 6 tarts):
- 1 box of six frozen puff pastry shells
- 3 tbs. granulated sugar
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup crushed peppermint candy [NOTE: I purchased a bag of crushed peppermint candy in the baking section of the grocery store]
- For garnish: 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed [NOTE: can substitute 1/2 cup heavy cream whipped with 2 tbs. powdered sugar if desired]
For the peppermint mousse:
- 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed [NOTE: can substitute 1 cup heavy cream whipped with 1/4 cup powdered sugar if desired]
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
- 3 drops red food coloring
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and place the frozen puff pastry shells on top. Sprinkle evenly with the granulated sugar. Bake until puffed and golden -- approximately 20 minutes. To ensure even browning, rotate the pan halfway through the baking time. Cool cooked tart shells for 5 minutes. Use a fork to remove the tops of the shells and carefully remove the soft dough inside, leaving a shell.
Step 2: Place the semisweet chips in a small bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, until melted -- stopping to give a stir after 1 minute. Place the crushed peppermint on a small plate. Dip the top of each baked tart shell into the melted chocolate and let any excess drip off. Immediately press the shells into the peppermint pieces, chocolate side down. To quickly set the chocolate, refrigerate the shells for approximately 15 minutes.
Step 3: Make the peppermint mousse. Add the white chocolate chips and half-and-half to a bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, until melted -- stopping to give a stir after 1 minute. Add the peppermint extract, red food color, and 2 cups of whipped topping to the melted white chocolate mixture. Whisk to evenly combine the ingredients. Chill the mousse for at least 3 hours -- up to overnight.
Step 4: Spoon the chilled peppermint mousse into a large ziptop bag. Snip off the corner and pipe the mousse into each tart shell. Spoon the remaining 1 cup of whipped topping into a small ziptop bag. Snip off the corner and pipe a small dollop on top of each tart.
These peppermint-infused tarts are delicious...and everyone loves their eye-catching presentation! The tart shell is flaky and crispy, and the peppermint bark rim provides a nice flavor and textural contrast. The pink-tinted peppermint mousse is creamy, with a subtle peppermint flavor. Finally, the dollop of whipped cream on top looks like a winter snowcap. Add it all up, and you've got the perfect holiday dessert for your Christmas festivities. I hope you'll give these festive peppermint tarts a try this holiday season...how easy they are to prepare will be our little secret!