My schedule is quickly filling up for the rest of the year and I get stressed out even looking at it. Between Jorge and I, we have over 12 trips before the end of the year. Some are work related and a bunch are personal, but it makes our calendars look pretty crazy. Today we sat down to go through and fill our joint calendar out and it was really overwhelming to look at.

Before the end of the year, we will be heading to NYC, Texas (more than once probably), Blue Ridge Mountains, Boston and South Florida to visit friends (and again to visit my baby sister at college). And that’s only our joint trips! Airlines really need to start offering stock options once you fly them as much as we do.

We are kicking this all off with a warm up weekend to Orlando. Some of Jorge’s family is in Orlando for the week and we are heading over for a quick over night stay to visit and catch up. Thankfully Orlando is only a little over an hour away, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need a road trip snack!

I love that you get the taste of pie with these bars, but don’t actually have to roll out pie dough. It’s a miracle! At least it is to me — the girl who unreasonably hates to deal with rolling out perfect even pie dough. I love the burst of berries and all the delicious crust surrounding them, but I really love how easy it is to make. I used blackberries, but raspberries and blueberries would work great too!

Blackberry Pie Bars

Yield: 12 Pie Bars

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon, divided
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch slices
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups fresh blackberries
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a food processor, pulse together flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, cinnamon salt and lemon zest. Add the butter, egg and vanilla extra. Pulsing until dough is crumbly. Pat half of dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, saving the remaining dough for the topping.

In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blackberries. Sprinkle the blackberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown (you are only looking for the top to slightly brown, if you cook for too long - the bottom will burn).

Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container.

adapted from allrecipes.com