shortbread

Soft Jam Shortbread Bars (and Summer Beauty Must Haves!)

Soft Jam Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This simple soft shortbread recipe is filled with fresh summer jam. You can use whatever jam, jelly, or preserves you'd like! The thick butter shortbread bars have a simple crumble on top and they have low prep time. Read all about this adaptable summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com for a great way to use up leftover jelly and jam!

We’re going to get all up in these soft jam shortbread bars, because… well, why not? They’re buttery, seriously soft, and 100% adaptable for whatever summer jam you have on hand. But first, we’re going to talk summer beauty! I’m going to share a few of my absolute favorite products of the season. Let’s dive in!

Summer Beauty Must-Haves

Summer Beauty Must Haves 2024. Makeup, haircare, skin, and more for clean beauty lovers!

1. Beis Travel Cosmetic Case : This makeup case is near-perfect. It’s completely packable, washable, and comes in a variety of colors.
2. Tarte Waterproof Eyeliner and Shadow : This waterproof liner and shadow duo comes in a number of compatible colors that won’t smudge in the summer sun!
3. Matrix Brass Off Shampoo : Brunette girlies, rejoice! Summer brass doesn’t stand a chance with this blue shampoo.
4. Kosas Blush : This blendable powder blush brightens skin with hyaluronic acid and comes in a number of twisted shades.
5. Olaplex Hair Treatment : Pool time means hair mask time, and this one from Olaplex is great for summer-damaged hair.
6. Becca Pressed Highlighter : This award-winning highlighter from Becca is undefeated in my book. Try the shade “Champagne Pop”!
7. Merit Lip Oil : This lip oil feels SO GOOD and keeps you lips dewy without all the stick.
8. Saie Tinted Moisturuizer with SPF : I’ve tried ever tinted moisturizer under the sun, and this one is my flavor of the week.
9. Naturium Azelaic Acid : This is my seasonal go-to for combating sun spots and fine lines.
10. Loved01 Hand Wash : Sea Buckthorn smells like summer in a bottle. Enjoy it all summer long in this gentle hand wash.

Soft Jam Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This simple soft shortbread recipe is filled with fresh summer jam. You can use whatever jam, jelly, or preserves you'd like! The thick butter shortbread bars have a simple crumble on top and they have low prep time. Read all about this adaptable summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com for a great way to use up leftover jelly and jam!

Soft Jam Shortbread Bars

Ok, on to the main event: soft jam shortbread bars.

It’s common knowledge that my love of shortbread is deep. Last year, my Ted Lasso-inspired shortbread quickly became my go-to of the season. So when it came time to make use of the jars of summer jam that were stacking up in my fridge, I knew shortbread was the ticket. “What if there was a go-to dough that would welcome any jam I decided to fill it with?” I soon found out that the possibilities were deliciously endless.

Soft Jam Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This simple soft shortbread recipe is filled with fresh summer jam. You can use whatever jam, jelly, or preserves you'd like! The thick butter shortbread bars have a simple crumble on top and they have low prep time. Read all about this adaptable summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com for a great way to use up leftover jelly and jam!

Making the Bars

These soft jam shortbread bars are made with unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and brown sugar. Together, with an egg and a few humble dry ingredients, the dough comes together in a wet crumbly mixture. Just over half of the prepared dough gets patted out in a prepared pan before we spread out the jam of your choice. And literally, the world is your oyster. My first batch, I combined two remnant jars of jelly, one rhubarb and one blueberry lemon, and it created a delightful sweetened filling that paired perfectly with the shortbread. Once the jam has been spread, we crumble the remaining dough on top using wet fingers and allow it all to bake up until bubble and barely browned.

Soft Jam Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This simple soft shortbread recipe is filled with fresh summer jam. You can use whatever jam, jelly, or preserves you'd like! The thick butter shortbread bars have a simple crumble on top and they have low prep time. Read all about this adaptable summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com for a great way to use up leftover jelly and jam!

What to Serve with Jam Shortbread Bars

I’ll be honest- these bars are 100% delicious on their own. But if you’re looking for some perfect pairing, I’d encourage trying these with a bowl of vanilla ice cream, a cup of coffee, or a chilled glass of bubbly. These bars keep for days and are best sealed at room temperature. Give this recipe a try this week and let me know what you think! Oh, and tell me all about YOUR summer beauty faves- I’m dying to hear more. Happy Baking!

Soft Jam Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This simple soft shortbread recipe is filled with fresh summer jam. You can use whatever jam, jelly, or preserves you'd like! The thick butter shortbread bars have a simple crumble on top and they have low prep time. Read all about this adaptable summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com for a great way to use up leftover jelly and jam!
Soft Jam Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This simple soft shortbread recipe is filled with fresh summer jam. You can use whatever jam, jelly, or preserves you'd like! The thick butter shortbread bars have a simple crumble on top and they have low prep time. Read all about this adaptable summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com for a great way to use up leftover jelly and jam!

If You Like these Soft Jam Shortbread Bars You Should Try:

Ted Lasso Shortbread Bars
Shortbread Cookies
Brownie Shortbread Bars
Blueberry Lemon Bars
Jam Filled Scones

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Soft Jam Shortbread Bars

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These soft jam shortbread bars can be filled with the jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16-24, Depending on Size Cut
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 11/4 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
  • 13/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ heaping cup of jam, preserves, or jelly of your choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8” square pan with foil. Lightly grease it with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and brown sugar, beating on medium until smooth. Add the egg and lemon zest and stir on low to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and add the flour and salt, stirring on low until the mixture barely comes together into moist clumps. Do not overmix. Reserve 1/3 cup of batter and dump the remaining mixture into the prepared pans. Use barely moistened fingertips to pat out the dough and spread the jam over the dough. Use moistened fingers to break ¼” bits of dough to sprinkle onto the jam. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes (it took mine 38 minutes) or until the edges are set and the top is barely beginning to turn brown. Allow to cool completely prior to cutting and serving.

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Strawberry Shortbread Cookies

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon blog. These are simple buttery cookies with bits of dried strawberries throughout. A while chocolate drizzle finishes off the crisp cookies that make a terrific treat to go with coffee or tea! Find out how to make freeze dried fruit cookies on thewoodandspoon.com

The other day, I found myself googling, “What are the dog days?” Unknowingly, the term had registered in my brain, and even though I couldn’t fully define what it meant, I knew I was living it. It turns out, I was partially right. The dog days, according to Merriam-Webster, is the hottest period of the year, usually between July and August, and it has also become synonymous with a general sense of sluggishness. Can anyone relate?

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon blog. These are simple buttery cookies with bits of dried strawberries throughout. A while chocolate drizzle finishes off the crisp cookies that make a terrific treat to go with coffee or tea! Find out how to make freeze dried fruit cookies on thewoodandspoon.com

We’ve been doing all sorts of things to keep the dog days at bay: swimming, beaching, frozen cocktails, and even a fairly elaborate collection of sprinklers. We’ve made no-churn ice cream, taken rides in inner tubes, and cranked our outdoor fan up to high, but so far, not much has protected us from the muggy sleep cloud formally known as an Alabama Summer. One would think that after nearly 20 years in the south I would be used to it, but I’m just not sure one can ever acclimate to 100 degrees temperatures when there’s a toddler crawling on your lap.

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon blog. These are simple buttery cookies with bits of dried strawberries throughout. A while chocolate drizzle finishes off the crisp cookies that make a terrific treat to go with coffee or tea! Find out how to make freeze dried fruit cookies on thewoodandspoon.com

To beat the heat, we’ve been having fun doing some indoor things too, like the tea party Aimee and I threw for her classmates last week. We made lemonade punch, macarons, and these little strawberry shortbread cookies, and it was as precious as it was delicious. We loved this recipe so much that I have decided to share it with you today!

My favorite go-to shortbread cookies recipe has become a sleeper hit on this site. So many of y’all love them! When the idea of a fruity shortbread cookie came to mind, I knew we could start safely with my original recipe. Here, butter, sugar, brown sugar serve as the basis for a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookie. Freeze-dried strawberries add flavor and texture, and a white chocolate drizzle makes them extra sweet. The cookies can be made ahead and the dough only takes minutes to put together. Talk about a win-win!

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon blog. These are simple buttery cookies with bits of dried strawberries throughout. A while chocolate drizzle finishes off the crisp cookies that make a terrific treat to go with coffee or tea! Find out how to make freeze dried fruit cookies on thewoodandspoon.com

If you’re looking for a summery recipe requiring little effort, look no futher than these strawberry shortbread cookies. Happy baking!

If you like these strawberry shortbread cookies you should try:

Shortbread Cookies
White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread
Citrus Shortbread Cookies
Brownie Shortbread Bars
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

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Strawberry Shortbread Cookies

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These strawberry shortbread cookies are loaded with bits of dried strawberries and topped with a white chocolate drizzle!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 40
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 13/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 of salt
  • ¾ cup finely chopped freeze-dried strawberries (dried raspberries also work well!)
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar just until barely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Mix just until barely combined, adding the strawberries at the end. Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and bring the dough together into a ball with your hands. Roll it out into a log about 1-1/2-2” thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for two hours or overnight if desired.
  2. When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice into ¼-1/2” thick slices and place 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are set. Allow to cool.
  3. Gently melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring regularly to keep the chocolate from seizing. Use a piping bag or a fork to drizzle the white chocolate onto the cookies, allowing it to set prior to enjoying!

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Brownie Shortbread Bars

Brownie Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon. These are two layer bars made of a buttery vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackly top brownie. The brownie is rich and fudge without being overly dark, and the crust is crisp and tender. These bars are perfect for the shortbread lovers or for brownie lovers who love a great deal of texture! Learn how simple they are to make on thewoodandspoon.com

Growing up, I remember hearing the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Even now as a 33-year-old woman, I can honestly tell you that I still don’t have a clue what that saying means. Sure, we can’t always get what we want and there will certainly be circumstances in which we’re forced to choose between two desires, but when it comes to dessert, I think it can sometimes be both. Maybe we can have our cake (or in today’s case, brownie shortbread bars) and eat it too.

Brownie Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon. These are two layer bars made of a buttery vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackly top brownie. The brownie is rich and fudge without being overly dark, and the crust is crisp and tender. These bars are perfect for the shortbread lovers or for brownie lovers who love a great deal of texture! Learn how simple they are to make on thewoodandspoon.com
Brownie Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon. These are two layer bars made of a buttery vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackly top brownie. The brownie is rich and fudge without being overly dark, and the crust is crisp and tender. These bars are perfect for the shortbread lovers or for brownie lovers who love a great deal of texture! Learn how simple they are to make on thewoodandspoon.com

Like with these brownie bars. Why should we have to choose between cookies and brownies? Isn’t it plausible to think that, every once in a while, we can indulge in two wonderful things simultaneously? I would argue YES. Absolutely. So today, I’m going to tell you all about how to make these brownie shortbread bars in hopes that when the craving strikes for both buttery soft shortbread and gooey fudge brownies, you don’t have to choose. You can have the best of both worlds.

Brownie Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon. These are two layer bars made of a buttery vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackly top brownie. The brownie is rich and fudge without being overly dark, and the crust is crisp and tender. These bars are perfect for the shortbread lovers or for brownie lovers who love a great deal of texture! Learn how simple they are to make on thewoodandspoon.com
Brownie Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon. These are two layer bars made of a buttery vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackly top brownie. The brownie is rich and fudge without being overly dark, and the crust is crisp and tender. These bars are perfect for the shortbread lovers or for brownie lovers who love a great deal of texture! Learn how simple they are to make on thewoodandspoon.com

These brownie shortbread bars have two layers. The bottom layer is a simple shortbread crust made from little more than butter, sugar, and flour. The crumbly mixture comes together in a single bowl before being patted out in an 8″ square pan. While the crust bakes slightly in the oven, we begin to mix up our brownie batter. On the stovetop, butter, sugar and chocolate are melted together until smooth. Eggs come next followed by the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, and just a smidge of salt. After a quick bake, the brownies are fragrant crackly-topped, and ready for absolutely devouring.
I hope you’ll give these brownie shortbread bars a try and let me know what you think! Have a terrific weekend and happy baking!

Brownie Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon. These are two layer bars made of a buttery vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackly top brownie. The brownie is rich and fudge without being overly dark, and the crust is crisp and tender. These bars are perfect for the shortbread lovers or for brownie lovers who love a great deal of texture! Learn how simple they are to make on thewoodandspoon.com
Brownie Shortbread Bars by Wood and Spoon. These are two layer bars made of a buttery vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackly top brownie. The brownie is rich and fudge without being overly dark, and the crust is crisp and tender. These bars are perfect for the shortbread lovers or for brownie lovers who love a great deal of texture! Learn how simple they are to make on thewoodandspoon.com


If you like these brownie shortbread bars you should try:

Shortbread Cookies
Peppermint Brookies
White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread
Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies
Caramel Ganache Brownies

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Brownie Shortbread Bars

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5 from 2 reviews

These brownie shortbread bars feature a vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackled brownie top!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 16
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the brownie:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 11/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

To prepare the bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square baking pan with foil. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Add the flour and salt and stir just until combined to crumbs. Gently press the mixture down flat into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until set. In the meantime, begin making the brownie filling.
  3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, gently melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and sugar, stirring regularly to melt evenly and prevent scorching the chocolate. Once melted and smooth, set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed with a mixer until they lighten in color and fluff up, about 2-3 minutes. Gently stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring just until combined. Pour the batter on top of the prepared shortbread and smooth. Increase the oven heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out only with a couple of small brownie crumbs. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely prior to slicing.

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White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread

White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread by Wood and Spoon blog. These are soft and tender shortbread squares with a strawberry white chocolate ganache on top. The crust is scented with lemon zest and the topping is made with fresh strawberry puree. Learn more how to make this recipe your own with citrus zest lime zest, blueberries, raspberries and more on thewoodandspoon.com

I’ve finally arrived. After years of baking with little kids nipping at my heels, swiping rogue chocolate chips and crumbles of dough from the counter in front of me, my children actually love to bake. This feels an awful lot like arriving. Over the weekend, I asked my daughter what she wanted to do over the next few days: swim? Color? Read books or play outside? She picked baking, and when my heart quit exploding, we posted ourselves by the oven and made all sorts of yummy stuff to enjoy. She was particularly in love with today’s recipe for white chocolate ganache shortbread. The pink hue was a major selling point, but she stuck around for the crumbly “bread,” AKA, the shortbread. She loved it and I think you will too!

White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread by Wood and Spoon blog. These are soft and tender shortbread squares with a strawberry white chocolate ganache on top. The crust is scented with lemon zest and the topping is made with fresh strawberry puree. Learn more how to make this recipe your own with citrus zest lime zest, blueberries, raspberries and more on thewoodandspoon.com
White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread by Wood and Spoon blog. These are soft and tender shortbread squares with a strawberry white chocolate ganache on top. The crust is scented with lemon zest and the topping is made with fresh strawberry puree. Learn more how to make this recipe your own with citrus zest lime zest, blueberries, raspberries and more on thewoodandspoon.com

White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread

This white chocolate ganache shortbread is a simple press-in crust that is scented with lemon zest. Confectioner’s sugar, flour, and cornstarch (for tenderness!) are added in too, but the butter is the star. I recommend using a high-quality butter, because the flavor really does shine. The crust gets baked in a square pan until barely browning.

In the meantime, you can start on the ganache. A smidge of cream and fresh strawberries are mashed on the stove until thin and juicy. Once bubbles begin to form around the rim of the pan, remove the mixture from the heat and strain the liquid into a bowl of white chocolate chips. Stir stir stir, until the white chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth with no clumps throughout. Pour the mixture over the cooled shortbread and allow the ganache to set up in the fridge until firm. This ganache won’t ever harden completely, and in fact, white chocolate ganache tends to stay a bit chewy/softened. The only thing that means for you is that you’ll want to avoid leaving these in the hot sun- they’re really best served barely cooled.

White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread by Wood and Spoon blog. These are soft and tender shortbread squares with a strawberry white chocolate ganache on top. The crust is scented with lemon zest and the topping is made with fresh strawberry puree. Learn more how to make this recipe your own with citrus zest lime zest, blueberries, raspberries and more on thewoodandspoon.com

I hope you give this white chocolate ganache shortbread a try in the coming weeks before those beautiful strawberries disappear for good! You can also try them using raspberries! Blackberries! The world is your oyster. Happy Tuesday to you guys and have a great week!

If you like this white chocolate ganache shortbread you should try:

White Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Tarts
Double Chocolate Ganache Tarts
Caramel Ganache Brownies
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars
Mini Strawberry Galettes

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White Chocolate Ganache Shortbread

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4 from 1 review

These white chocolate ganache shortbread bars feature a buttery lemon shortbread crust and a strawberry white chocolate ganache on top. It’s a perfect mini dessert bite!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 36
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 13/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • Scant 2 cups (300 gm) white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (140 gm) fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

To prepare the crusts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line an 8” or 9” square pan with aluminum foil extending up the sides of the pan. Cream the butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and confectioner’s sugar and stir on low until combined. Stir the flour, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Pat the mixture into a flat layer in the bottom of the pan (using wet fingers, if needed) and use a fork to poke a few holes into the bottom. Bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes or until the shortbread has barely begun to start browning on the top. Set aside to cool while you prep your ganache.

To prepare the filling:

  1. Pour the white chocolate chips in a microwave and heat-safe bowl. Combine the strawberries and heavy cream in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Use a potato masher to crush the strawberries and release their juices as your slowly heat the mixture. Once mashed and the mixture has barely begun to bubble, remove from heat and use a fine mesh sieve to strain the mixture into the bowl of the white chocolate chips. Use a rubber spatula to smoosh any remaining juice or cream into the bowl but keep the strawberries seeds out (unless you’re into that kind of thing!) Use a whisk to stir the mixture and melt the white chocolate chips. If they don’t melt down completely, put the bowl into the microwave for 10 second increments to melt. Keep stirring and microwaving until all of the chocolate has melted. Pour the mixture into the pan and place in the fridge to allow to set up until completely firm. Some bubbles may pop up in the first few minutes and you can use a toothpick to pop those if you want. Once set, use a sharp chef’s knife to cut out small squares and enjoy!

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Citrus Shortbread Cookies

Citrus Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are buttery cookies with zesty lemon, lime, or orange, and topped with a champagne glaze. You can use fruit juice to make the glaze instead if you prefer. These make excellent new year's eve party cookies or simple snacks to share with friends. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

Happy Almost-New Year’s Eve from one greasy human who has lived in a bathrobe and Ugg slippers for the past few days. I have intentionally unplugged from the interwebs and social media this last week in an effort to fully embrace all that comes with this time of year, and can I just say that it feels kinda good? Although I’ve resolved to dig in hard after the new year to bring you loads of goodies I’m going to keep my online banter on mute for now and simply settle into these last few days of December.

Citrus Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are buttery cookies with zesty lemon, lime, or orange, and topped with a champagne glaze. You can use fruit juice to make the glaze instead if you prefer. These make excellent new year's eve party cookies or simple snacks to share with friends. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

Citrus Shortbread Cookies

To keep your sweet tooth satiated for the next few days, I have these citrus shortbread cookies to share with you. It took a few batches to get the sweet to zesty ratio just right but I kinda love the outcome. These cookies are intensely buttery, yet somehow still refreshing. Coated with a simple sugary glaze and edible glitter sprinkles, these cookies are the perfect accompaniment for your glasses of bubbly and midnight kisses this coming New Year’s Eve.

Making the Cookies

To make these citrus shortbread cookies, cream together butter, citrus zest, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. I prefer lemon here but orange and lime (or a combo of all three!) would work splendidly. Add flour, salt, and vanilla and stir until the mixture comes together into a dry dough. I found that when using a hand mixer that the dough didn’t really pack together the way I wanted, so if you have a stand mixer, use it here. Work the dough into a ball and flatten it into a round disk to chill in the fridge.

Citrus Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are buttery cookies with zesty lemon, lime, or orange, and topped with a champagne glaze. You can use fruit juice to make the glaze instead if you prefer. These make excellent new year's eve party cookies or simple snacks to share with friends. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

Baking the Cookies

Once you’re ready to bake your citrus shortbread cookies, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use round cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Here’s where you have a few options: for intensely buttery, semi-crisp cookies, roll the dough out thin, about ¼” thick. These will bake up golden brown and literally melt in your mouth. Otherwise, stick with the traditional thick shortbread at ½” thick for soft, crumbly butter cookies. Both taste delicious, but while I prefer the look of thicker cookies, I definitely favor the taste and texture of the thin ones. Bake in the oven for a few minutes and allow them to cool before topping with a glaze.

Glazing the Cookies

I used citrus juice (lemon is my choice!) for the glaze on half of these cookies and champagne for the remaining. You don’t really catch the flavor of the champagne, but it definitely adds a little something different as opposed to more tart citrus flavor. I like to keep mini bottles of sparkling wine on hand for projects like this, but if you’d prefer to use up the juice from the citrus you zested that totally works too. Your call.

For color, I used a tiny bit of red and peach food coloring to make a pink glaze, and I topped the whole thing off with edible glitter and stars. Aimee totally flipped when she saw these- maybe her favorite treat of 2018. She thought they were incredibly special, and I have to agree that the edible dust certainly works overtime on these otherwise simply cookies. You can pick some up at a craft store or purchase on Amazon like I did.

Citrus Shortbread Cookies by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are buttery cookies with zesty lemon, lime, or orange, and topped with a champagne glaze. You can use fruit juice to make the glaze instead if you prefer. These make excellent new year's eve party cookies or simple snacks to share with friends. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

I hope you enjoy these citrus shortbread cookies and have the best time celebrating next week. On behalf of my family, this site, and myself, I want you to know what a joy you all have made this space in 2018. I’m so happy to have a home here because of you all and the love we share for butter and sugar. Many blessings, love, and cookies to you in the coming year.

If you like these citrus shortbread cookies you should try:

Lemon Blueberry Bars

Marbled Sugar Cookies

Soft-Frosted Sugar Cookies

Lemon Lavender Cookies 

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Citrus Shortbread Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

These citrus shortbread cookies are sweet and buttery cookies with zesty citrus and a lemony/champagne glaze!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 20-40
  • Category: dessert

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 11/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons citrus zest (I prefer lemon or lime)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract will also work)
  • 31/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3+ tablespoons lemon juice or champagne

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and citrus zest just until combined, about 45 seconds. Add the vanilla, flour, and salt and beat on low speed until the dough starts to come together. You may have to get in there with your hands to pack it together into a dough. Work the dough into a flat, round disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Allow it to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. When you’re ready to bake, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out ½” thick (for softer shortbread cookies) or ¼” thick (for crispier cookies). Use 2” round cookie cutters to cut out pieces of dough and place them 2” apart on the cookie sheets. Bake in the oven until the edges turn golden, about 15 minutes for thin cookies or 22-24 minutes for thicker cookies. The browner they get, the crisiper, but don’t let them bake too long! Allow to cool completely while you prepare your glaze. Simply stir together the powdered sugar and champagne or lemon juice. You want it thick enough to where it will stay on the cookie but thin enough so that the icing isn’t glooped on there. Add food coloring and sprinkles as desired! Allow to set prior to serving.

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Adapted from Ina Garten

Lemon Berry Crumb Cake

Lemon Berry Crumb Cake recipe by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple lemon zest flavored spring time single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a simple shortbread crumble. The cake bakes up into an easy dessert that can also serve as a breakfast of brunch item. Pour on a thick powdered sugar lemon glaze for extra decoration. Find the recipe for this Easter favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

It’s here! Friday has come like a beacon in the night, so please don’t mind me while I celebrate with a victory dance and a jumbo slice of this lemon berry crumb cake. I’ve got your weekend roundup set out for you, including what to read, what to watch, and what to make for all of your Easter celebrations. Let’s get started! 
Lemon Berry Crumb Cake recipe by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple lemon zest flavored spring time single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a simple shortbread crumble. The cake bakes up into an easy dessert that can also serve as a breakfast of brunch item. Pour on a thick powdered sugar lemon glaze for extra decoration. Find the recipe for this Easter favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

Yeast-Free Cinnamon Rolls

This article from Food52 is blowing my mind. Cinnamon rolls without the wait? Without the rise? Sign me up! Read the article here about how a simple dough leavened with baking powder can make all of your cinnamon roll dreams come true.

How to Make a Living as a Food Blogger

I’ve had a million and one of you ask me how running a food blog has the potential to earn money. While I’m hardly rolling in “The Benjamins” (Mom, that’s slang for money, hundred dollar bills, okay?), I still pinch myself on the daily that people write me checks for doing something that I love. This article from Food & Wine is informative, straight-forward, and provides pointers for people who may be considering this path for themselves.

Bïeryoncé

Did you hear that someone named a beer after Beyonce? It’s a German pilsner from Lineup Brewery called Bïeryoncé, and I have to admit that I’m a little jealous. All I need is to join a chart-topping hip-hop group, start an even bigger solo career, marry a rap mogul, and accumulate a near-billion dollar net worth… maybe then I’ll have enough bad-assery under my belt to have a beer named after me. After looking into purchasing some for myself, I found out that Queen B’s lawyers served the brewery a cease and desist letter, so the brew has been laid to rest. RIP, Bïeryoncé.

Spring and Summer Bags

I may be late to the straw bag bandwagon, but now that I’m on it I’m never getting off. I recently purchased the ultra-trendy round woven bag for my upcoming warm-weather travels, and I cannot wait to start toting. Get in the trend with a bag of your own! I love the options here.

Hamilton and Carpool Karaoke

Okay, this is an old video, but my love for Hamilton is so strong right now that I thought you may want to enjoy this video too. James Corden is my Night-Talkshow-Host in Shining Armor, and this video makes me love him even more. Hamilton has just started their US tour, so be sure to check here for upcoming dates near you. Brett, if you’re reading this, remember that Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I gave you two very incredible children, okay?

Easter Baking

There’s a million and one things you should make for this weekend’s most special holiday. For a layer cake option, check out my robin egg speckled cake tutorial. If you’re interested in a bundt cake, maybe try my carrot cake with brown butter glaze or lemon almond poppyseed bundt cake. But if you prefer a simple, seasonal option for Sunday’s affair, let me introduce you to this lemon berry crumb cake. It’s fresh, entirely delicious, and perfect for sharing as a breakfast or dessert.

Lemon Berry Crumb Cake recipe by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple lemon zest flavored spring time single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a simple shortbread crumble. The cake bakes up into an easy dessert that can also serve as a breakfast of brunch item. Pour on a thick powdered sugar lemon glaze for extra decoration. Find the recipe for this Easter favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

Here’s the breakdown: This lemon berry crumb cake is a moist and tender butter cake filled with a tart berry jam. The whole thing gets baked under a mountain of lemony shortbread-style crumbs that add a bit of salty crunch to the otherwise sweet cake. The result is an impressive single layer cake that will make all of your spring brunch dreams come true.

Lemon Berry Crumb Cake recipe by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple lemon zest flavored spring time single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a simple shortbread crumble. The cake bakes up into an easy dessert that can also serve as a breakfast of brunch item. Pour on a thick powdered sugar lemon glaze for extra decoration. Find the recipe for this Easter favorite on thewoodandspoon.comLemon Berry Crumb Cake recipe by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple lemon zest flavored spring time single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a simple shortbread crumble. The cake bakes up into an easy dessert that can also serve as a breakfast of brunch item. Pour on a thick powdered sugar lemon glaze for extra decoration. Find the recipe for this Easter favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Cake

To make the lemon berry crumb cake, we start with the batter. Butter and sugar cream together, followed by the addition of eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. The dry ingredients stir in to make a somewhat thick and spreadable batter. About 2/3 of the mixture smooths into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan and tops with a smear of your favorite jam. The cake is sweet, so I recommend a tart jam to offset that sugar. The remaining batter spreads on top of the jam and a basic crumble goes on top.

Lemon Berry Crumb Cake recipe by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple lemon zest flavored spring time single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a simple shortbread crumble. The cake bakes up into an easy dessert that can also serve as a breakfast of brunch item. Pour on a thick powdered sugar lemon glaze for extra decoration. Find the recipe for this Easter favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

Fresh from the oven, this lemon berry crumb cake is fab all on its own, however I want more.  Top it with a simple drizzle made from powdered sugar, lemon juice, and sour cream. You can pass on the glaze, but I think it fancies it up a bit, don’t you?

Lemon Berry Crumb Cake recipe by Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple lemon zest flavored spring time single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a simple shortbread crumble. The cake bakes up into an easy dessert that can also serve as a breakfast of brunch item. Pour on a thick powdered sugar lemon glaze for extra decoration. Find the recipe for this Easter favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

I hope your Easter weekends are filled with lots of jelly beans and lemon berry crumb cake. The miracle of this holiday bowls me over every year, and I’m looking forward to gathering hope in that. Happy Friday and happy baking!

If you like this lemon berry crumb cake, you should check out:

Blueberry Lemon Bars

Lemon Almond Tart

Blueberry Galette

Strawberry Almond Skillet Cake

Raspberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

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Lemon Berry Crumb Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

This lemon berry crumb cake is a sweet single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a crunchy shortbread crumble. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 9

Ingredients

For the crumb:

  • ¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (115 gm) all-purpose flour

For the cake:

  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 21/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 11/2 cups (195 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (100 gm) full-fat buttermilk
  • ½ cup blackberry, raspberry, or blueberry preserves, according to your preferences

For the glaze (optional):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream (buttermilk can be substituted in a pinch)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions

To prepare the crumble:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and lemon juice. Add the sugar and salt, stirring to combine. Fold in the flour until large clumps form. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the cake.

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9” springform pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add ½ cup of the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt. Stir on low to barely combine. Stir in the buttermilk and then add the remaining flour on low speed just until integrated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any unincorporated batter.
  3. Spread about 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of the springform pan. Smooth the preserves over top pf the batter, leaving a 1” border around the perimeter of the cake. Carefully spread the remaining batter on top and sprinkle the whole thing with the crumble, breaking up the big clumps into a crumb size you prefer. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is puffed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the glaze:

  1. When you’re ready to prepare the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients until a viscous glaze forms. Add more powdered sugar to thicken it up and more sour cream or lemon juice to thin it out. Drizzle over top of the prepared cake and enjoy!

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Pretzel Millionaire Bars

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

Last week felt like fall. Outside, the air was cold and smelled of wood and ash- the kind of smell that reminds me of staring at friends across the glow of a fire, their faces all dancing with reds and yellows and golds from the flames. Those early bits of fall are always a welcome change of season from the relentless summers we experience in Alabama, but as soon as that first cold hits, my heart longs for the holidays. I dream of Thanksgiving hams and Christmas carols; I want Nat King Cole on my radio and peppermint babka in my oven. Fall starts and I immediately crave the flavors and sights and sounds that come with the holidays.

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

It’s not so much the holidays themselves as it is the feelings that they bring. I love the connection and joy that is inspired by time spent around a big table crowded with the faces of people I love. Gratitude, while accessible all year round, feels so tangible and easy to express during a time of year centered around just that- thanksgiving. Every year as the holidays approach, I do my best to soak up all the goodness as it starts trickling in, but often schedules, shopping lists, and dinner parties come between me and (what should be) a time of year when all is calm, all is bright. I want to change that.

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

This year, let’s spend less time fussing and more time loving. Let’s shy away from the grind and the work and the stress of the holidays and ease into observing the moment. Maybe we could use this season to sow into the people we love and decide to simplify the rest.  Let’s make it easier on ourselves.

I’m starting in the kitchen. There’s no reason to go overboard on fussy menus (read: extravagant desserts) when delicious, indulgent treats can made quite easily. Take for instance these pretzel millionaire bars. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust topped with a gooey caramel filling and rich chocolate ganache, these pretzel millionaire bars are sweet and salty bites of goodness that can be made with few ingredients and in a short amount of time. Need to bring a dessert to your Friendsgiving party? Pretzel millionaire bars. Want to pack up some sweets as a gift for your neighbor? Pretzel millionaire bars. Decadence is only but a few minutes away when you’ve got a recipe like this on hand.

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

To make the bars, we start with the pretzel shortbread crust. Combine crumbled pretzels with flour, brown sugar, and some ice-cold butter and press the sandy mixture into the bottom of a square baking dish. Pop the crust in the oven while you get going on the caramel filling.

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

Although I typically employ a homemade caramel recipe, these bars keep it decadent and simple by using Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. Combine the milky nectar with butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook it until the mixture has thickened, darkened slightly, and caramelized. That gooey goodness is spread over top of the shortbread crust and allowed to chill.

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

Once the bars have cooled, a rich, two-ingredient chocolate ganache comes next, prepared by stirring together warm cream and chopped chocolate. The ganache gets spread all over the cooled caramel and is garnished with a few more pretzels or a sprinkle of salt. Truly, if there’s anything more delicious than the sweet and salty combination of pretzels, caramel, and chocolate, I don’t want to know.

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

I’m sharing this recipe as part of Eagle Brand’s “UnCookie” exchange that they have launched to keep our holidays sweet and fuss-free. Treats like these pretzel millionaire bars are simple to make and fun to serve, leaving you with less time spent in the kitchen and more moments shared with the people you love. While planning your holiday menus this year, be sure to remember these bars and the many other UnCookie recipes that can be found right here. Enjoy these next few months and don’t forget to treat yo’ self to some UnCookies.

Pretzel Millionaire Bars by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are a simple holiday bar recipe prepared with sweetened condensed milk. A buttery pretzel shortbread crust is topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and a rich semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping. These bars are quick, sweet and salty, and will feed a crowd. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com.

This post was sponsored by Eagle Brand. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Wood and Spoon possible!

If you like these pretzel millionaire bars, be sure to check out:

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Derby Pie Bars

Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

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Pretzel Millionaire Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

These sweet and salty pretzel millionaire bars have a pretzel shortbread crust, a caramel filling, and a chocolate ganache topping.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16

Ingredients

For the pretzel shortbread:

  • 2 ounces (55 gm) salted pretzels (see notes)
  • ½ cup (65 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cold

For the caramel filling:

  • 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar
  • 114 ounce can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream.
  • 3 ounces (85 gm) semisweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions

To prepare the pretzel shortbread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8” square metal pan with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  2. Pulse the pretzels in a food processor or mini chopper until they are reduced to a coarse sandy mixture. You can leave a few small chunks, if desired. Pulse in the flour, brown sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until small clumps come together. Pat the mixture out into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven until the shortbread is soft but slightly set, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool briefly while you prepare the caramel filling.

To prepare the caramel filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter and sugar together, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup and bring the mixture to a boil. Begin stirring continuously and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has turned lightly golden and has thickened to a mayonnaise consistency. Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the salt. Pour the mixture over the pretzel shortbread and set aside to cool completely. You can expedite this process by refrigerating it.

To prepare the chocolate ganache:

  1. Heat the heavy whipping cream until hot but not simmering. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and pour the cream over top. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and allow the chocolate to melt for about 5 minutes. Stir the chocolate and cream together until smooth, microwaving in 10 second spurts as needed to help melt unmelted chocolate. Smooth the mixture over top of the caramel filling and garnish the top with extra pretzels or flecks of salt. Allow to cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Notes

  • I prefer to purchase mini salted pretzel twists. Avoid using thick pretzel rods. Flavor will differ if you use unsalted or fat-free pretzels.
  • If desired, feel free to stir 3/4 cup roasted chopped nuts into the caramel just before spreading on the shortbread. I have tried it with pecans and it is DELISH!

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Derby Pie Bars

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.

In two days, I’ll be celebrating my fourth wedding anniversary. Yes, I already know what you’re thinking. You think I’m going to spend the next few paragraphs spouting about marriage, right? About love. About how my husband is the best, or how married life is hard, or about any number of silly things that I may have learned over the course of the past four years. Well, joke’s on you! Today we’re talking all about these derby pie bars.

Our Kentucky Wedding

Brett and I got married on my grandparent’s farm in Kentucky the week before The Derby. It was a small, outdoor ceremony on a private corner of the farm’s rolling green hills. I shivered through the ceremony, half nervous, half chilled from the wet air that blew on that gray day. We said “I Do,” tried not to make out in front of all of our friends and family, and headed to the reception which took place in a tobacco barn a short walk away.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe
Photos by 509 Photo

Like any good Kentucky party, we served stout bourbon cocktails and danced to the music of a five piece bluegrass band. Our caterer passed small plates of Southern-inspired dishes to our guests, while others picked at the dessert table filled with bourbon balls, lemon squares, and even a humble little wedding cake that was made by yours truly. The day contained more than a few nods to our families, heritage, and even the Bluegrass state itself, but on the week before the Kentucky Derby, one dish that we really should have served is derby pie.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.

Derby Pie Bars

If you’re not familiar, derby pie is fudgy, chocolate and nut-filled pie that is traditionally served that first Saturday in May at Kentucky Derby. Rich and chocolaty with a subtle crunch from walnuts, the original pie is decadent and one of the few desserts that just screams “KENTUCKY” to me. These derby pie bars are adapted from the original pie but have a few twists of their own that make them a delicious Southern treat you can enjoy all year round.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.

Making the Bars

To prepare these derby pie bars, we start with a shortbread crust. Sugar, flour, and the rest of the dry ingredients work in with a few tablespoons of butter to create a flaky bottom layer for our bars.

Once baked, the crust gets a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. Next we slather it with a brown sugar pecan pie filling. The filled is made with butter, brown sugar, a swig of bourbon, and more than a handful of pecans. The whole thing gets baked in the oven, drizzled in chocolate, and cut into bite-sized bars. If you love pecan pie and chocolate, these bars are for you. If you need boozy desserts for  your Kentucky Derby party, these bars are for you!

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.Brett and I have no plans to attend the Derby this year, but I absolutely adore any treat that reminds me of our wedding day. I hope that you’ll give them next week on Derby day and think of me! Stay tuned for next week, when I’ve got not one but TWO recipes to share with you guys! It will be a mouth-watering few days in these parts.

And on the off-chance that he’s reading- Brett, I love you. You make my life better and I’m grateful to be yours. Happy Anniversary.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

If you like these derby pie bars, you may also like:

Kentucky Bourbon Balls and Homemade Chocolates

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pecan Toffee Bars

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

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Derby Pie Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.3 from 7 reviews

These derby pie bars are based on the favorite Kentucky pie. A shortbread crust, bourbon pecan pie filling, and a drizzle of semisweet chocolate make these bars rich, decadent, and delicious to serve a crowd.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

For the crust

  • ¾ cup (90 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (35 gm) corn starch
  • ½ cup (55 gm) confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cold and cut into teaspoon sized pieces

For the filling

  • ¾ cup (170 gm) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (160 gm) brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons good quality bourbon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups (320 gm) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup (130 gm) mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” square baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on each side to easily remove the bars from the pan once baked. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, corn starch, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or the backs of two forks, cut the diced butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes a coarse meal consistency with pea-sized clumps. Press the mixture evenly into the square pan and then chill for 5-10 minutes in the fridge. Then, bake in the preheat oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is set and then edges have just started to turn golden. Do not overbake. Set aside the cooked crust while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling

  1. Combine the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and optional bourbon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the butter and sugar have dissolved. Once melted and no graininess from the sugar exists any longer, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, boiling for 3 minutes. After three minutes have passed, remove the pan from the heat. Add the chopped pecans and heavy cream to a medium sized bowl and stir in the butter/brown sugar mixture until evenly combined.
  2. Sprinkle ½ cup of the mini chocolate chips over the cooked crust. Spread the warm filling over top of the chocolate chips and smooth out. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges and parts of the center are bubbling and the bars have turned caramel in color. Allow the bars to cool completely prior to removing from the pan (you can speed this process up in the fridge). Remove from pan by pulling out the foil liner. Melt the remaining chocolate chips in a microwave on low heat in 15 second increments or over a double boiler. Drizzle bars with chocolate and allow to set. Cut into 16 bars and serve at room temp.

Notes

  • Be sure to allow bars to cool completely prior to cutting. You can place them in the fridge or freezer briefly to expedite this process.
  • The drizzling chocolate can seize up if it gets too hot while melting. Be sure to melt on low heat and (if microwaving) in short increments so that you get smooth chocolate.

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Recipe Adapted From: Once Upon A Chef

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple, individual mini tarts made in removable bottom tart pans. An easy cheesecake and canned pumpkin puree filling swirled together with sugar and fall spices like cinnamon. The press in crust is easy to make and the whole thing is topped with sweet and salty walnuts or pecans or other nuts. Find this great dinner party dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

What age is too old?

This is the question I’m faced with more and more frequently. 

For example, I secretly love Harry Styles, but am I just way too old to admit that? I want to buy a chokers and lace up shirts, but wait, didn’t I wear those twenty years ago!? And then what about my secret stash of Mary-Kate and Ashley movies? AM I TOO OLD FOR ALL OF THIS? PLEASE INFORM. 

I’m stuck in this purgatory age known as 28 where (to quote the great philosopher Britney Spears) I’m not a girl, not yet a woman, and I have no gauge of where my awkwardness fits in society.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Ok, I can already hear you rolling your eyes at me, and that’s fine. You can judge me. You can hate me for getting antsy about nearing my thirties, or you can laugh at the immature desires of my old, wrinkly heart. But I’m just being honest here, ok? 

This past weekend, we traveled with friends to Atlanta for a football game and 36 kid-free hours of food and shopping. Following an afternoon of day-drinking, pre-dinner cocktails, and a few poured bottles of wine throughout dinner, I was feeling pretty fancy. And to be clear, by fancy, I mean Ready. To. Dance. 

We attempted to crash a wedding at our hotel, but security swiftly asked us to leave (#proudmoments). Instead, we decided to walk to a club around the corner. Brett paid our cover, the thick velvet curtain was drawn back for us, and for a minute, I was 21 again. Yes, in my mind’s eye, I was young, fresh-faced, sans stretch marks or nursing boobs, and for all intents and purposes, a BABE. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Well, that moment lasted about as long as it took for me to get to the dance floor, because then the question hit me: Am I too old? 

I am choosing to believe that the age to enter this club had to have been, like, 14 because some of these kids looked downright preteen. These were tiny, infant children, playing pretend with their mom and dad’s stash of Bud Light and cocktail straws. That has to be it. Otherwise, the alternative is that I was the old one.

Well, I danced. I danced and jumped and sang and did a bunch of other fistpump/pelvic thrust movements because when you’re old, you don’t have time to practice your moves in the mirror of your bathroom anymore. The DJ amused us by playing an assortment of hits from the 90’s, and at one point, Brett and I were booty dancing (do we still call it that?) and yell-singing the six or seven words we were able to make out of “It’s Tricky” by Run D.M.C. I have no doubt in my mind that those fetus humans we danced alongside went home and told their friends about the crusty old people who humiliated themselves doing the hand-jive in the middle of a struggling dance floor, but honestly, if you can’t dance when you’ve been casually drinking for 12 hours, WHEN CAN YOU DANCE!?!

The moral of this story is that growing up is hard to do, but if you manage to dance your way through it with your friends, you’ll make it out with not much more than a dull headache and a few blurry photos to fondly laugh at later. 

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I’ll be 29 in a few weeks and I’m considering these pumpkin cheesecake tarts as an ode to my earlier years. They’re cute, petite, and wildly delicious. I shared them with a friend who said they would make a terrific alternative to the usual Thanksgiving desserts, but honestly, life is short and we really don’t need an excuse to indulge in delicious desserts. The time for dancing and pumpkin cheesecake tarts is now. 

The recipe for these pumpkin cheesecake tarts is adapted from my bruleed key lime pies, so if you’ve tried those you know how simple these are to make! We start by pressing a shortbread crust into the bottom of 4″ tart pans. I used my favorite shortbread crust from these blueberry lemon bars. The filling is sweet and creamy, similar to a cheesecake, with swirls of pumpkin and all of our favorite fall flavors. After a quick bake in the oven, the tarts are cooled to room temp before being topped with toasted hazelnuts. Sound awesome? Yeah, I thought so.

You can make these pumpkin cheesecake tarts ahead of time and warm slightly just before eating.Whipped cream isn’t mandatory, but I really can’t think of a reason not to go for it; a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg in that whipped cream would be magical. I’ve also tried adding the hazelnuts directly to the shortbread crust, and let me just say that I was NOT disappointed. If you don’t have mini tart pans, you can make this in one larger 10″ tart pan (or maybe even a jelly roll pan as a bar??) as well! You will most definitely have a little extra dough and filling, though, so I recommend making only 2/3 of the recipe and lengthening your bake times.

I hope you give these pumpkin cheesecake tarts a shot. I also hope you weren’t at that bar secretly laughing at my dance moves. 

Cheers to you and happy Monday!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts 

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

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These pumpkin cheesecake tarts are a pumpkin pie and cheesecake mashup, baked in a shortbread crust and topped with toasted hazelnuts. It’s a perfect fall dessert!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 18 ounces block of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 11/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts
  • Whipped Cream (if desired)

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 6- 4″ tart pans with removable bottoms with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar, about 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla. Add the flour and salt all at once and stir on low speed until large crumbles begin to form.
  3. Divide the dough between the 6 tart pans and lightly press the dough out evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Place on a sheet pan and in the freezer for the dough to set up for about 10 minutes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Once removed from the oven, carefully press out the bottom or any areas where the dough may have gotten droopy in the pans. Be sure to do this while it is still warm from the oven! Set aside while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling

  1. Cream the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 of the can of sweetened condensed milk and beat briefly to combine, scraping the bowl as needed. Add 1 egg, the vanilla, and salt, beating together to combine. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture in a medium sized bowl.
  2. To that 1/2 cup of cream cheese mixture, add the pumpkin, the rest of the sweetened condensed milk, an egg and the egg yolk, and the pumpkin pie spice. Beat to combine, scraping the bowl as needed.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of the pumpkin mixture in each of the cooled tart shells, and drizzle 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture over top. Drag a knife through the filling to create swirls, if desired.
  4. Place each tart pan on a sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the outer edge of the tart has set well. Allow to cool briefly on the counter for about 30 minutes and then place in the fridge to cool completely. Serve each tart with a sprinkling of hazelnuts and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Notes

  • Be sure the cream cheese is room temperature! If it is still cold while beating, little clumps will form in your batter and you’ll be forced to whisk it through a fine mesh strainer prior to pouring in your tart shells.
  • You can add your hazelnuts directly to your crust by finely chopping them and stirring into the dough clumps. You may have a little extra dough if you use this method, but I totally approve eating little handfuls of it raw. (gasp!)

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Blueberry Lemon Bars

Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com

Are we ready to close out the summer? Is it really already time?

Saying goodbye to summer feels a lot like saying goodbye to an old friend. Summer is that lively, carefree friend who shows up out of nowhere at your front door, sleeps on your couch and eats all your food, but gives you a load of funny stories and blurry photographs to save as memories. You shared some good moments and probably even got burned a time or two, but at the end of the day, there’s always promise that they’ll come back around again. 

For my family, this summer meant a ton of joyful, big life moments, but was also not without its share of challenging learning experiences. Here’s a few things I learned: 

 

Summer Learning

  • I learned that I could keep two humans alive, surviving on minimal hours of sleep.
  • I learned that hormones are the wild, unbridled beasts of a postpartum body. They were generous enough to treat me to a receding hairline (at 28) and sweat production akin to a linebacker in a snowsuit on the Fourth of July.
  • I learned that my toddler is SMART. Smart enough to learn the ABC’s (thanks preschool!) and smart enough to wait until I leave the room to crawl up on the counter and put her grubby paws in my freshly iced sugar cookies.
  • I learned that I probably don’t have a future in gardening. As it turns out, my green thumb is actually more like gangrene- decrepit, black, and in desperate need of an amputation STAT (sorry, tomatoes). 
Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com
This summer was a series of ups and downs, learning and unlearning. While I’m sad to leave my jean shorts and tank tops behind, I’m excited for the next chapter. Plus, I can keep some of those summer repeats on replay for at least another couple weeks, right? (I’m looking at you, ice cream cones!)
 
Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com

Blueberry Lemon Bars

One thing I did manage to get right this summer? Blueberry lemon bars. 
No other fruit is so quintessentially summer to me than blueberries. With their beautiful purple skins and juicy innards just begging to burst in my oven, I usually can’t keep blueberries in my fridge long enough to test out new recipes. BUT! This summer, I set out to perfect my blueberry lemon bars, and hold the phone because I think I did it.
My goal was to create a good crust to fruit ratio. I wanted the crust to be lightly scented with lemon, and for the bars to easily be sliced into neat squares for serving. After a few trial runs, this is the recipe I nailed down.
Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Blueberry Lemon Bars

The crust is a lemon shortbread/sugar cookie hybrid. It also doubles as the crumble sprinkled on top of the bars as well. The filling is simple: berries and sugar, with a sprinkle of a few other ingredients, all tossed together quickly in a bowl. The whole thing bakes up pretty quick in the oven. Bonus: fresh or frozen blueberries can be used for these little pals.
 
BONUS! I’m also including an expanded recipe in the event that you want to make these bad boys for a crowd. The smaller recipe still make more than you’d expect though, so don’t go too crazy right off the bat (actually, go wild, because who cares. I’m not holding you back.)
 
Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com
Blueberry lemon bars should be the cherry on top, the encore, or whatever you want to call it of a delicious and well-lived summer. I hope you share one or two of these before we fall face first into autumn.
 
Cheers to you and have a great week!
 

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Blueberry Lemon Bars

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These blueberry lemon bars boast a sweet and salty lemon shortbread crust and crumble, and are filled with juicy blueberries!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 11/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 21/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ square pan with aluminum foil, covering all sides of the pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and lemon and stir to combine. Scrape the bowl, then add the flour and salt. Stir on low speed until clumps begin to form. Scrape the bowl as needed, continuing to stir only until combined. Pat out 2/3 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and toss gently. Strain any extra juice from the berries and sprinkle them evenly over the crust.
  4. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the blueberries and crust.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and bake until the crumbs on top are golden brown, about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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Blueberry Lemon Bars for a Crowd

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No reviews

A slightly adapted version, these blueberry lemon bars boast a sweet and salty lemon shortbread crust and crumble, and are filled with juicy blueberries!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 21/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 2 pints blueberries
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a quarter sheet pan with aluminum foil, covering all sides of the pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and lemon and stir to combine. Scrape the bowl, then add the flour and salt. Stir on low speed until clumps begin to form. Scrape the bowl as needed, continuing to stir only until combined. Pat out 2/3 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and toss gently. Strain off any extra juice the berries produce and sprinkle them evenly over the crust.
  4. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the blueberries and crust.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and bake until the crumbs on top are golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!