Chocolate Mousse Tartlets & Baby Shower Centerpiece

When preparing for helping to host an engagement party recently, a friend of mine came across this recipe for Chocolate Mousse Tartlets here. We thought it looked delicious, so another friend who was also hosting made them as her contribution to the party. That night they got rave reviews, so when trying to decide on some bite-size sweets to make for a baby shower this weekend, I went back to this recipe, along with my key lime cupcakes that I posted a few weeks ago.
Now, if you haven't ever been to The Pioneer Woman's website you must change that now. Ree Drummond is like Martha Stewart meets cowgirl combined with a little Lucille Ball. She really makes me laugh. But one of my favorite parts of her site is Tasty Kitchen. It is a separate site where her followers who share her love for cooking can share recipes. What a treasure trove! This is often my go-to source when I am looking for a new recipe or to be inspired by some really good cooks. I recommend that you try it!
These tarts are very easy to prepare, and the finished product is very impressive, not only by the way it tastes but also by how it looks!
Begin with mini fillo shells in the freezer section of your grocery store. They come in packages of 15. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the shells on a baking sheet--I sprayed mine with a little Pam just to make sure they didn't stick. Put 1/2 cup hazelnuts in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. (I didn't have hazelnuts, so I used almonds. I think they worked just as well!). Next, place three dark chocolate chips in the bottom of each shell, then top with 1/4 teaspoon chopped nuts. Bake shells for five minutes. Remove the shells from the oven. Using a toothpick, combine the melted chocolate and nuts and spread to cover the bottom of the shells. Place in the freezer to cool for five minutes or refrigerator for 20 minutes.Meanwhile, mix together in mixing bowl four ounces softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add two tablespoons Nutella and mix well. Gently fold in four ounces Cool Whip until well combined (do not overmix).Using the same method that I used for the batter of the key lime cupcakes, put this mixture in a gallon sized ziploc bag and snip a small portion off the bottom corner of the bag. Pipe the mixture into the cooled shells. The original recipe called for this amount of filling for one box of shells, but I was able to fill three boxes (40 shells). Lastly, top the mousse filling with another 1/4 teaspoon or so of chopped nuts. Next, I topped mine with a strawberry garnish. Lovely!And while we're on the subject of baby showers, I have another idea to share. I have done this for a couple of parties, and it has turned out great both times! Effective decoration with little cost or effort.
First, I purchased 12 glass baby bottles and a simple white crib sheet with multi colored dots at Wal-Mart. Then the day before the shower I purchased twelve gerber daisies from my local florist--both times I have used six red gerbers and six yellow because that's what looked best in the room it was going in and also that is what looked best with the crib sheet. Then I found two small to medium boxes to place under the crib sheet on the table the decoration was going to be on. This is to give it a multi-dimensional look. Then I arranged the baby bottles on the sheet--some on the table itself and some on the boxes that were under the sheet. Hard to describe, but this is the finished look: What fun to be in on the excitement of celebrating the blessing of a new baby with precious friends!
Chocolate Mousse Tartlets
1 to 3 packages Mini-Fillo Frozen Shells
1 package dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or almonds
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Nutella
4 ounces Cool Whip
Strawberries for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place mini shells on a baking sheet (spray with Pam) and place three chocolate chips inside each shell. Pulse nuts in a food processor or finely chop into coarse or fine pieces. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon nuts over chocolate chips in each shell and bake shells at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

Remove shells from the oven and use a toothpick to gently combine melted chocolate chips and nuts, spreading evenly along the inside of the shells. Place shells in the freezer to cool for 5 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Mix together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the Nutella and mix well. Fold in Cool Whip and stir until the mixture is well-blended and fluffy (be careful not to over mix). Put mixture into gallon sized ziploc bag. Snip corner and pipe mixture into the cooled shells and top with remaining chopped hazelnuts. If desired, garnish with small pieces of strawberries. Store in the refrigerator or freezer if not serving immediately.