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Black Bottom Brandy Bites

The idea for these bite-sized tarts started with little chocolate bottles of brandy. For an extra dash of fabulous, I place chocolate in the bottom of each pastry cup. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 2 sheets refrigerated pie crust
  • 1-1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar or sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


  • Preheat oven to 425°. Bring pie crusts to room temperature.
  • Stir together mascarpone cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Add brandy, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and vanilla; stir until well blended. Fold in 1/4 cup chocolate chips; cover and refrigerate.
  • Combine pumpkin pie spice, remaining sugar and remaining ginger until well blended. On a lightly floured surface, unroll crusts; sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture. Lightly roll to help sugar mixture adhere. Cut into 24 circles with a 2-1/2-in. biscuit or round cookie cutter; discard scraps. Lightly press circles, sugar side up, into 24 mini muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Pierce once with a fork.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes; remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of chocolate chips into each cup; spread to cover bottom. Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  • When cups are completely cool, refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 20 minutes. Spoon brandy mixture into cups, or into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe mixture into cups. Sprinkle with remaining chips and, if desired, additional pie spice. Refrigerate, covered, until serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 tartlet: 244 calories, 18g fat (10g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 77mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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  • Joan
    Dec 31, 2019

    I just finished making these for a New Year's Eve party. They are just ok. The mascarpone mixture does not have a great flavor. It's fairly bland. I didn't add the entire amount of brandy because it would never have set up enough to pipe. I also cut back on the sugar because, to me, it would be too sweet. The pie crust shriveled up and did not cover the muffin tin. Baking for the directed time would have burned them. I baked it for 5 minutes at 425 and still, they were well done. If I made them again, I would use frozen premade phyllo cups or chocolate cups. Finally, did anyone have success piping the cheese mixture? I tried every tip I had and the mini chocolate chips got stuck in every tip I used. I have a professional set with large tips. None of them worked. I finally resorted to piping from the bag without a tip.

  • msadowski
    Jul 12, 2018

    I cut back on the amount of brandy, but it still made the marscapone very runny. There was no way I could pipe it. I also found the ten minute bake time was too long-I only did six minutes and the bottoms still browned up.

  • PrplMonky5
    Mar 17, 2018

    These were delicious! I used the granulated sugar, not turbinado. I think 10 minutes was a little too long for my cups though, maybe only 8 or 9 minutes next time. The chocolate chips I put inside the hot cups didn't fully melt. They still kept their same shape but were soft to the touch. I didn't mind. The brandy mixture seemed a bit thin and the brandy flavor was pretty strong, so next time I'll cut back a bit on the brandy. Overall these were very tasty and I plan on making them again with a few minor tweaks!