Chocolate Peppermint Tart

Serves: 8-10
1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about half of one 9-ounce package cookies, finely ground in processor)
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Lightly sweetened whipped cream
1 cup coarsely crushed red and white striped hard peppermint candy

For Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend first 3 ingredients in processor. Add melted butter; process until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom, to within 1/8 inch of top. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack.

For Filling: Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted. Add butter, 1 piece at a time; whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Pour filling into crust. Chill until filling begins to set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Chill until set, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil and keep chilled.)

Just before serving, pipe whipped cream around the edges of the tart with pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Carefully top the crushed peppermint candy in the center of the tart and serve immediately.


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