Mini Berry Tarts

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Happy Wednesday to ya, folks!

Today (like most days) I was craving a little somethin’ sweet. It was a gorgeous day and I had a five-mile run under my belt, so it only felt appropriate that I treat myself. 🙂 To do so, I enlisted the help of a long-time best friend (and blog follower–she’s made it on here before!): Lizzardbacon (Elizabeth works too, I guess 😉 )

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Since it was a bit on the warmer side of things (to the tune of upper-80’s, might I add), we both thought something a little lighter (but still just as delicious) was in order. A quick scroll through Pinterest and we landed on the perfect solution: mini berry tarts! 

These are the perfect summer treat. They’re light, tart, a tad crumbly, and very satisfying. They look very patriotic, too (Fourth of July is coming up, you know!). Plus, they’re mini, so you can eat six (or ten?) and be a-okay, right? 

These little tarts also come together pretty quickly, and you probably have all of the ingredients for them on hand in your very kitchen. Right now. Seriously,  go check. 😉

The base is a simple sugar cookie crust that consists of some unsalted butter, a dash of salt, a splash of vanilla, and a bit of powdered sugar. That’s it. No eggs, milk, soy, nuts…nada. 😀 Simplicity is key. 

Once the dough comes together, you make the filling by rinsing and draining about a cup of your berries of choice (it’s blueberry season!) and tossing them with some cornstarch, lemon juice, and plain ol’ granulated sugar. About a tablespoon (maybe a little less) of the mixture goes into each tart, and the leftover juice can be drizzled onto the tarts as well. 

You then pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cookie turns all golden and wonderful, let them cool (maybe?), and proceed to eat the entire batch. 

I’m not kidding about that. We maybe made 15 of them, and by the time we were done taking pictures for the blog we had about eight left. And right now, two. 😈 Gotta love summer!

Ta-da! Simple and muy delicioso. 

Let’s get to it, shall we? 

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Juicy Berry Scones

sconeA whole week and a half has gone by since I’ve baked, shot, and blogged a recipe. 

I’ve missed it! 

My vacation was ah-mazing, though–I got to spend time with a lot of family I don’t see very often, I went paddleboarding and horse-back riding, I got to visit a place without cars, and enjoy a five-course meal two nights in a row. Plus more. 

So pretty darn amazing. 😀

But it’s good to be back, so let’s get to it!

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These scones are pretty much unlike any other scone you’ve ever had. 

They’re not dry (bleh). 

They’re not crumbly

And they are most certainly not bland

The texture of these is sorta like a muffin…just in the shape of a scone. Each bite is also studded with your choice of  juicy, plump blueberries or a pocket of ripe, sweet strawberries. They’re also something you can feel good about eating for breakfast–not only are they bursting with fresh fruit, but there’s also only four *teensy-weensy* tablespoons of sugar in the entire recipe. 

That’s not a lot at all

Maybe you can even have two. 😉 

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These scones were inspired by our two-day stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The whole place is such a throwback (but a very welcome one at that!). One of the things they offered there is afternoon tea (I know, right?). Trust me, it fulfilled every little-girl tea party fantasy inside me–and then some. 😀 They gave everyone a cup of tea (which I’ve found is delicious with a lemon wedge and a lump o’ sugar), and then these adorable personal plates of snacks, one with sweets and another with heart-shaped cucumber sandwiches and the like (!!!). 

Anywho, they gave you a little scone on one of the plates that turned out to be everyone’s favorite part of the experience. Along with that, they gave you miniature jars of raspberry preserves (the best kind of jelly), and I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock or something (more likely than not), but the scones became infinitely more delicious when slathered with jam. 

Long story short, because we liked the scones so much, I decided to look up a scone recipe and make some for myself. And they are de-licious! 

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To make them, you start out with a cup of fresh fruit (or frozen, if ya want). I did half a cup of blueberries and a half a cup of strawberries because I’m indecisive like that, but you can choose whichever fruit you’d like. After quartering the strawberries, I topped both cups of fruit with a tablespoon & a half of sugar and set them aside to let it all soak in. 🙂 

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Then you can go ahead and whisk together the dry ingredients–all-purpose flour, some sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. The yellow lumpy pile is powdered buttermilk, which was oh-so-conveniently in my pantry. If you have normal buttermilk on hand, you’ll wait to stir that in until later. 

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Then you can plop in some cubed butter and work it in with either your fingers or a pastry blender, much like making a pie crust. You will have butter under your fingernails for the next week and a half, but it was all in the name of berry scones. That makes it worth it, right? 😉 

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Once it’s all worked in, it should look a lil’ somethin’ like this. 

At this point, you’ll mix in your buttermilk and fruit. If you’re using two separate kinds of fruit (a la moi), you should wait to add the fruit until you divide the completed batter in half. Then you can dump in the fruit that you set aside…

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and mix it allllllll together. 

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The texture of the batter is very…weird. It’s not like traditional scone batter in the sense that you can plop it out of the bowl and knead it. It’s almost like muffin batter in consistency (very sticky!), which means it lends itself very well to being spooned out onto a well-greased cookie sheet, like you’d do with cookie dough. Bake them for fifteen minutes and you’ve got yourself some scones. 

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Try topping your scones with jelly. Please. 

It’s life-changing. 

Let’s get to it, shall we? 

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 Adapted from this recipe here

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Juicy Peach Cobbler (and Yearly Recap)

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Has it really been a year?

A whole year since I started this blog? 

That’s insane. 

It’s weirding me out! 

But, unless the calendar is lying (in which case we are all in massive amounts of trouble), a year ago today I posted my first recipe (which happened to be for some de-licious snickerdoodles). 😉 

I didn’t start SGL with the expectation of gaining popularity, or recognitio,n or even for it to be read at all (that would be nice, though!). I love(d) baking, writing, and photography, and this blog gave me this amazing outlet to express all of this random creativeness into a cohesive little corner of the interweb. 😀

In the year that I’ve been blogging, so-o-o-o many people have supported me in one way or another–be it introducing me to a food (Lizzardbacon); allowing me to photograph treats we’d made together at her house (Anna); setting up an Instagram account because I was clueless on how (my aunt Kate); telling people about my blog (my family, especially!); acting as an inspiration (Sally’s Baking Addiction, Joy the Baker, Bakingdom, just to name a few!); and even reading it (all of you!). 

It’s so surreal to think that people take the time to visit my blog, read my posts, leave a comment, and share it with people. It’s mind-blowing to me! 

All the same, thank you, guys! I hope this next year is as fabulous as the last. 😀

Shall we do a yearly stat recap? I think so!

  • My most-pinned recipe was the Death-by-Chocolate Zucchini Bread and was pinned over 800 times
  • The most views I’ve gotten in a day was 200 
  • People from 57 different countries around the world have visited SGL
  • There are 37 posts in total on Sweet Grace’s Life
  • 27 of those posts are recipes
  • 6 of them are Sweet Life Bites Weeklies 
  • There was one 6 month hiatus this year (whoops!) 
  • There are 4 social networks connected to SGL (Pinterest, Twitter, Bloglovin, & Google+) 
  • SGL has had 2 domain names over the year
  • And for amazing year I’ve had SGL! 😀

And now…onto the peach cobbler! 😀

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In honor of SGL’s 1st birthday (can blogs have birthdays?), I decided to make something birthday-appropriate. But I figured I’d ticked the traditional cake box (in a non-traditional way) with the Birthday Cake Pancakes, so when my mom recommended making a peach cobbler, I jumped right on it!

Juicy, syrupy peaches are spiced with cinnamon and layered with a buttery, crumbly topping and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. This cobbler captures summer perfectly when served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream! 

I feel like we all know those people who don’t like cake. Or they prefer pie over cake. 

I am most definitely not one of those people. 

But I have friends (and my dad *cough cough*) who are like that, and in this cobbler, my friends, cake has met its match. 😀

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I even stuck a candle in it and everything! 

(Erm, excuse the lighting…and the photo…I took it around 7:30 with some horribly yellow kitchen lighting so…yeah.) 😉

If you could put summer into a dessert, this would be it. It’s just brimming with juicy peaches and this cinnamony-syrupy goodness that fills up all the cracks and crevices–not to mention the buttery cake topping. 

Swoon-worthy. Positively, absolutely swoon-worthy! 

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You start off with about eight peaches, all sliced and peeled, and you mix ’em up with some sugar, spices, lemon juice, and cornstarch. You pour them into a greased pan and bake them for 10 minutes, until they look a little something like this. 

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They. Smell. Heavenly. 

While they’re cooling, you’ll whip up the cakey topping, which involved whisking together some all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, as well as working in some cold butter with your fingers.

I am going to have cake batter under my nails for the next week and a half, but it was well worth it! 

You’ll then stir in a 1/4 cup boiling water and spoon the mixture over the baked peaches. After that, you’ll sprinkle the whole shebang with some cinnamon sugar. 

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You’ll pop that in the oven for another half hour or so, until it gets all golden on top. While this is baking, it makes your house smell like a bakery. Oh, goodness. The amount self-control it requires to wait for it to cool once it’s out of the oven is insane. 😉 

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We ate this after dinner served warm with vanilla ice cream. Oh, goodness. The peaches are fresh and juicy and drowning in this syrupy, rich, cinnamony concoction, and then it’s topped with this layer of crumbly cake that’s positively coated with cinnamon sugar. 

Perfection. 

Why don’t we just get to the recipe? 😉 

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