Berry Cream Tarts

There’s something insanely exciting to my kids about being able to build their own meal. They light up at any chance to help in the kitchen when it involves assembly. These berry cream tarts fit perfectly into that category. The not-too-sweet cream cheese and mascarpone cream balances the buttery graham cracker crust. Top it with berries and you can have a perfect treat for a (virtual) tea party or summer evening.

Baking tips by age

2-4 years can help:

  • Smash the graham crackers into little pieces using their hands or a toy hammer.
  • Help mix the graham cracker mixture and scoop into the muffin tins.
  • Help cut strawberries with toddler safe kitchen knives.
  • Topping the tarts with cream and fruit.

5-7 years:

  • Smash the graham crackers into little pieces using their hands or a toy hammer.
  • Measure and mix ingredients to make crust, they might use their hands to break up any pieces bigger than a penny.
  • Scoop crust evenly into muffin pan.
  • Cut strawberries with toddler safe kitchen knives.
  • Top tarts with cream and fruit.

How we baked it

Berry Cream Tarts

20 minutes prep | 10 minutes bake + assembly time
Makes about 12 tarts in muffin tin*
Crust adapted from “Magic Cookie Bars” recipe by Samantha Seneviratne

Ingredients

Crust
6 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
20 graham crackers, about 2 3/4 cup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Cream Topping
8 oz cream cheese softened
2 oz mascarpone
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Strawberries cut into pieces
Blueberries

Directions

  1. First prepare the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  2. Spray or butter muffin tin.
  3. Crumble graham crackers by hand or in food processor until only small pieces remain.
  4. Add sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to incorporate.
  5. Add butter and egg.
  6. Mix well until the graham crackers are moist and small clusters begin to form.
  7. Divide into cupcake tin and spread, pressing firmly against the bottom and sides. Form a thin layer of crust around the mold, tarts will rise while baking.
  8. Bake tarts for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool completely before removing.
  9. While tart crusts are baking make the cream topping and prepare fruit.
  10. Hull and half strawberries and cut into small pieces.
  11. Combine cream cheese and mascarpone in bowl and mix on low with an electric mixer.
  12. Gradually add heavy cream and increase speed to medium until the mixture begins to thicken.
  13. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until fluffy and whipped.
  14. Once tarts are cooled remove from muffin tin and top with a scoop of cream and berries.

Notes

Store ingredients in the refrigerator to assemble later. Crust will also fit in a 13×9 inch baking pan and make about 15 bars.

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S’more Crispy Treats

This has been the summer of s’mores for us. With more evenings at home backyard campfires have been a reoccurring event. So with plenty of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in the pantry we wanted to make something tasty – minus the campfire.

We started with the amazing salted brown butter rice crispy treats from Smitten Kitchen. Which has easily become my go-to recipe for the most deliciously refined rice crispy treats. Then we added some graham cracker pieces and a Nutella drizzle to top off a satisfying summer treat.

This is a simple recipe that doesn’t take long, however the amount of time you need to spend over the stove (melting marshmallows and chocolate) makes it tricky for younger bakers. Penny and I baked rice crispy treats when she was 3 and it was a little hectic because of the timing with the brown butter. Two years later, with the addition of the graham crackers and chocolate drizzle, she had more to be involved with. She and Jack were able to measured the cereal and smashed the grahams while I melted the butter and marshmallows.

Baking Tips by age

2-4 years: They can help smash the graham crackers and measure out the cereal. To help with the chocolate drizzle they might scoop the Nutella and pour the cream into the sauce pan.

5-7 years: They can help prepare the ingredients by smashing graham crackers and measuring out the cereal. After the butter and marshmallows are melted, your little baker can add the cereal, graham crackers and salt to the pot. You might tied a kitchen towel around the pot to be sure they don’t accidentally touch it because it will still be warm. They can measure and pour ingredients for the Nutella drizzle. Once you transfer the chocolate out of the sauce pan, they can help drizzle it on the rice crispy treats.

How we baked it

S’more Crispy Treats

About 16 bars in 9×13 inch cake pan
Total time: 30 minutes
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
5 cups rice crispy cereal
1 cup graham cracker pieces (about 5 crackers)
10 oz marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate topping
1/2 cup Nutella chocolate
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Break graham crackers into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in large pot over medium-low heat. The butter should melt and bubble, turn a clear golden color and then start to brown. This process adds a pretty delicious nutty flavor. I got the trick from @smittenkitchen and have never looked back!
  3. Remove butter from heat as soon as it’s browned and add the marshmallows.
  4. Mix until marshmallows are melted and smooth. The pot should be hot enough but if not return it to low heat until marshmallows melt.
  5. Add the cereal, graham crackers and salt to the pot.
  6. Mix until well coated and spread into a lined or buttered cake pan.
  7. To make Nutella drizzle add 1/2 cup of Nutella and 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream to small sauce pan and melt over medium low heat.
  8. Once Nutella is smooth drizzle over rice crispy treats.
  9. Cool and cut into squares.

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