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? 

[yumprint-recipe id=’23’]

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Frosted & Sprinkled Sugar Cookie Bars

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Easter is two days away. The decor accompanying this holiday usually includes one or all of the following:

  1. Pastels. Pastel everything. 
  2. Rabbits or bunnies of some sort. I’m talking about anything from rabbit-shaped marshmallow peeps to the creepy Easter bunnies at malls.
  3. Eggs. No correlation to rabbits or pastels, but hey, we dye them pastel colors and hide them! Yay!

So what did I do to celebrate this festive holiday? I made some frosted & sprinkled sugar cookie bars!

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Thick, chewy, sprinkle-loaded sugar cookie topped with an equal amount of sweet butter cream frosting dyed a festive shade of pastel pink! A perfect treat for Easter.

Now, I gave up dessert for Lent…but I made these today, and you know, I couldn’t post this recipe without trying them…so I may or may not have taste-tested the batter, and the bars once they were done baking, and the frosting, and the bars with the frosting, ’cause you know, I needed to know how they tasted together…(by the way, they’re delicious)

I justified it with the reasoning that I couldn’t possibly post a recipe without trying it first. 😉

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These bars aren’t very hard to make, either. (Making them this photogenic…that’s another story! But simply making them into bites of deliciousness…not very hard at all. 🙂 )

First, you take your stick of softened butter and cream it until it looks like this.

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You add in your half-cup of white sugar and cream it some more.

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Tasty.
You then add in an egg, an egg yolk, & two teaspoons of vanilla extract. I prefer this brand of vanilla, which I recently found out is based locally. What a small world, huh?

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Beat it some more, and it will look like this.

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You’ll then want to take some flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch and whisk them together. The cornstarch is what gives these bars added thickness and chew. To combine it with the wet mixture, what I did was leave my stand mixer running on the lowest speed, adding about three spoonfuls at a time on this speed and then setting it to a higher speed to combine it fully before repeating the process. I did this until the dry mixture was fully combined.

After, add in about half a cup of sprinkles–the more colorful, the better! For some reason, I found brown sprinkles in my pantry…needless to say, those did not make it into the batter!

Look how colorful it is! (Sorry about the lighting, too 🙂 )

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This batter is very thick, but it’s not super sticky. You’ll want to line your 8×8″ or 9×9″ pan with tin foil, leaving some extra to hang over the edges. This will help once the bars are done baking; they’ll be easier to get out. After lining your pan, press the batter into it. You’ll want to spread it out as evenly as possible so it cooks as evenly as possible. 🙂

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Like so!

You’ll then stick this bad boy in the oven for 25-26 minutes. Don’t over-bake it, though! I wouldn’t go above 30 minutes unless it’s seriously goopy in the middle.

^^^Real technical terminology right there, folks. 😉

In the mean time, you’ll want to put together the frosting! It’s a simple buttercream, made festive with the addition of a couple drops of red food coloring.

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How cute it this?  🙂

Wait for the sugar cookie bars to cool completely before frosting. (Tortuous, I know. I stuck ’em in the fridge to, ahem, expedite the process.)

After that, feel free to frost and smother with sprinkles, just like I did!

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To get them oh-so-photogenic, I froze them so they were harder and shaved off the rough edges. They taste delicious either way, though!

What you’ll need…

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg & 1 egg yolk (room temperature)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp.  baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8″ or 9×9″ pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Taking the softened butter, beat it in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and creamy.
  4. Add in the sugar, egg & egg yolk, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well-blended.
  5. Running the mixer on the lowest setting, spoon in the flour mixture 3-4 spoonfuls at a time. Beat well between each addition until fully combined. The mixture will be very thick.
  6. Beat in the sprinkles until combined.
  7. Press the batter into the pan and bake for 25-26 minutes (no longer than 30). Once completely cooled, frost if desired, cut, and serve!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Enjoy!

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Adapted from this recipe here

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