If you don’t already know this, Trader Joe’s is awesome. There wasn’t one where I grew up but since I moved to Wisconsin I have access to a TJ’s and I love it. When I was there the other day buying the cookies for this recipe, the employee offered me a list of all their gluten-free items. And he asked me about my day in the genuine sort of way that seems almost uncomfortably intimate until you realize how much you miss it in everyday interactions.
This tart is simple, pretty, and delicious. It’s a sandwich cookie in tart form….because that needed to happen. I wanted to make a traditional cookie crumb crust, but opted to add cookie crumbs to an almond-flour crust because I didn’t want the crust to crumble when I un-molded the tart. It worked perfectly! The tart is filled with sweet and creamy vanilla pudding, which then gets covered with more cookie crumbs.
Here’s a tip for un-molding a tart from a pan with a removable bottom…..set the pan on a bowl or cake pan that is smaller than the base of the tart pan. The tart (with the removable bottom of the pan) can then sit suspended on the bowl/cake pan while you carefully remove the outside edge of the tart pan. This picture should help that make more sense…
GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES AND CREAM TART
1 box Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Joe Joe Cookies
2 cups almond flour or almond meal
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup cold milk
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 egg yolks
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
¾ cup sugar
Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place all the cookies in a blender or food processor and blend until crushed into fine crumbs. Dump into a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut oil, egg, and 1 cup of crushed cookies until mixture forms a ball (I like to use my hands, but a large spoon would work too).
Press this crust mixture evenly into a 10” tart pan, using a knife to level off the top edge. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until set. Let cool.
Make the pudding filling:
Whisk the 1 cup milk, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla together in a bowl. Set aside. Combine the egg yolks, 3 cups milk, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue whisking as the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat, allow to cool briefly, and then pour into crust, spreading with a spatula if necessary.
Place the tart in the refrigerator until ready to serve (three hours is ideal).
Before serving, sprinkle remaining cookie crumbs over pudding filling and remove tart from pan. Slice and enjoy!