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Winter Tart

“Keep your fork, there’s pie!”

During the cold winter month that plague those of us living in the north there is a greater need for baking to give warmth in households. This winter tart brings plenty of warmth and lip-smacking goodness with every bite.

The crust is chocolate and cinnamon flavor which also doubles as making delicious cookies that can be put ontop as a decoration. The following recipe is enough for 12-24 cookies and a tart shell depending on the size of your cutter. The inside is a cranberry curd packed with different spices that remind many of us of the holidays.

This is certainly a showstopper to share at your family table if you shoes to decorate with orange zest, cookies, and sprinkles as I did here.

Hopefully, when the pandemic is over this is a dessert that you can bring to a party and “wow” fellow guests and host.

This bake may have a few steps to it with three different components but it is not at all difficult to make. I will warn that it is a lot of chilling involved to make sure that the components are set, and should be made the day before it is eaten and enjoyed. But there are some shortcuts to baking this tart, such as microwaving the cream instead of using the stove to heat the chocolate and cream together.

You can also make the cranberry curd ahead of time so that once the tart is cooled the curd can go straight in and be set for the ganache topping. Whichever way you decide, I hope that you give this tart a try, it is different from all the sweet, (but delicious), cookies of this season as it has a tart taste from the sharp cranberry flavor.

Enjoy, and keep baking!

Winter Tart

Crust and Cookies:

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temp

¾ cup of sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups of flour

3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Cranberry Curd:

3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

¼ cup of water

1 ½ cup of brown sugar

5 egg yolks

Zest of one large orange

¼ cup lemon juice

3 Tablespoons cornstarch

¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ginger

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

Chocolate Ganache Topping:

6 ounces of semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

¾ cup of whipping cream, microwaved until hot


  1. For the crust: Beat the butter with an eclectic mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes then add vanilla extract and mix until combined.

  2. In a separate bowl combine the flour cocoa powder and salt. Add the butter mixture and mix until the dough sticks together when pinched, shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge until firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough on a floured surface to ¼ in thick. Place in pan. Use extra dough to cut out cookies

  4. Bake cookies and tart for 13 to 15 minutes.

  5. Make the curd: place the cranberries and water in a pot and set to medium. Heat until the berries burst, about 10 to 15 minutes. Use an emersion blender to pulse until smooth.

  6. Add brown sugar egg yolks and orange zest. Stir to combine.

  7. In a separate bowl which together with the lemon juice and cornstarch. Add this to the curd and stir.

  8. Return pot to medium heat and cook until the mixture has thickened, stirring constantly.

  9. Remove from heat and gradually add butter and whisk until combined. stir in vanilla and spices. Allow the curd to cool for 10 minutes then pour into the tart shell place in the fridge for 1 hour or until the surface of the curd has set.

  10. For the Ganache: Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Allow to sit for 3 to 5 minutes, then stir and fully combine the cream and chocolate. Allow the ganache to cool to the touch. Then pour onto the cranberry curd smooth the ganache with a spatula and chill in the fridge overnight.

  11. To serve top with cookies decorated with royal icing.

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