The Ultimate Nutcracker Sweet
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Make these nutcracker sweets (aka nut tarts) part of your family's
holiday celebration!

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped and toasted
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/3 cup ligh corn syrup
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
3 tablespoons macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
3 ounches dark chocolate, melted

Place half of the toasted pecans in blender or food processor. Cover
and blend until ground. Set aside both the ground pecans and chopped
pecans.

For crust, in large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter with mixer on
medium for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon
vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Beat in flour. Stir in ground pecans.
Using hands, knead the flour mixture to make a dough. Shape dough
into a ball.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease twelve individual fluted tart
pans and set aside. On lightly floured surface, roll dough (half at a
time) until 1/8-inch thick. Using a 4 inch round cutter, cut dough
into circles and reroll scraps as necessary. You'll need 12 circles
total. Carefully transfer each dough circle to individual tart pan.
Press dough into pans, trim edges and set aside.

In medium bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in corn syrup. Add 2
tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon
vanilla. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set egg mixture aside.

In small bowl, stir together reserved chopped pecans, flaked coconut,
and macadamia nuts. Divide nut mixture evenly among tart pans. Place
tart pans on large baking sheet. Pour egg mixture evenly over nut
mixture in tart pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until filling is puffed and pastry is
golden. Cool completely in pans on wire rack. To serve, use sharp
knife to remove cooled tarts from pans. Drizzle with melted dark
chocolate.