Fall Hours:
Saturday and Sunday
10am - 5pm

1035 Koshlong Lake Road
Haliburton, Ontario
K0M 1S0
We are located just 8km south of Haliburton off of Gelert Road (That's only a ten minute drive from downtown!) or follow the Rail Trail.
Here at The Little Tart all of our baked goods are created from scratch and made by hand fresh daily the way home baking should be.
We take pride in everything we do from our baking to our friendly and courteous customer service. All of our recipes are tried and retried until they are our absolute best.
Visit us at The Little Tart and fall in love at first bite!
Making mouths water since 2009.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Our Lemon Squares are on Fire!

Let’s do a time warp back to Saturday morning of the August long weekend...

It was a grey, windy, cool, fall-like day; 16 degrees and rainy. A typical 2017 summer day. Our day here began at 3am. Let me just say, at 3am I will rise but I refuse to shine. We had a full morning ahead of us and it began with yours truly putting together lemon squares and then popping them into the oven to bake.

Have you ever overbaked something?

We have.

Have you ever burnt something in the oven?

We have.

Have you ever set something on fire in your oven?

We have… now.

After a few minutes I noticed the oven wasn’t at the right temperature. Oops. So I adjusted it and by adjusted it I mean turned it up.

Here’s a fun fact!

Did you know that when you raise the oven temperature the broil element comes on? Indeedy,  it does. Did you also know that if you have something on the top rack it will scorch it? Indeedy, it does. And did you know that sugar is flammable?

We do now!

Let me set the scene – settle in, I’m going to take the scenic route…

Have you ever been the first one up on a summer morning. Stepped outside with your coffee and just stared at the sky, the lake, the dew kissed grass and felt an overwhelming oneness with the universe; with nature?

It’s so serene; it's mesmerizing.

That was Bill and I, pre coffee, standing in front of the oven watching those beautiful orange flames.

“That looks like it’s on fire,” I said.

“It sure does,” Bill replied.

And still we basked in the beauty for another moment before I said; “Oh crap, that’s on fire!”

Bill grabbed the oven gloves and tossed the flaming, charred, destroyed lemon square into the sink, doused it with water and tossed it into the garbage bin.

Now, I’m sorry I don’t have a picture for this post. The phone was in the house at the time and I didn’t think to go get it because THERE WAS A FIRE IN OUR OVEN!!!

Needless to say we were wide awake after that and did manage to have lemon squares that day… although we were short a tray.

Anyhoo, as they say; one person’s burnt lemon square is another person’s lesson not to raise oven temperature with something on the top rack.

It is so a real saying.

Have a fantabulous evening!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Summer 2017 Wrap Up

It's so important to Bill and I that everyone and anyone who visits our little shop or follows us on social media have a positive experience. We try to keep everything light because we want you to enjoy yourself, be entertained, and feel like we're all friends here. For that reason we didn't tell anyone what I'm going to tell you now, but stay with me because this story starts off a little rocky, but it has a happy ending.
As we approached the July first long weekend Bill and I noticed summer was slacking it. Sure the sun made an appearance here and there but the black flies arrived late then didn't want to leave, and the weather didn't want to cooperate.
It was dreadful and depressing.
On Friday July seventh as we walked our sign to the road we noticed a construction sign. Bill made a phone call to find out what was going on and was informed that the Haliburton County powers that be had decided, in their infinite wisdom, to schedule construction of Gelert road for two kilometres in either direction of our road during peak season.
That same morning a neighbour came into the store to tell us they were tearing up the road. That's right; we found out as it was happening; no advanced notice; no impact assessment. We were in it. Several neighbours asked if we were going to shut down during the construction that was scheduled to last three weeks. By July 28 they were tarring the road. The pylons are still on the road and it still looks like a construction zone.
We couldn't say what we were thinking because what we were saying to each other was not suitable for the public and not in keeping with the light, friendly atmosphere we so greatly try to maintain. Behind the scenes we were certain this was our last summer and it was the end of The Little Tart here in Haliburton. We stayed open and decided it was time for plan B.
What's plan B?
We didn't have a plan B.
Why didn't we have a plan B?
We've lived here for eleven years. We've been The Little Tart for nine years. We didn't think we needed one!
A few years back after Thanksgiving dinner, Bill and I were driving the cottage road when a baby fox ran out in front of the car. Bill slowed the car to a crawl and we watched the poor thing, illuminated by the headlights, as it frantically ran from side to side trying to decide which way to go. We must have followed the little critter a full five minutes watching it scamper back and forth until it finally made a decision.
Bill and I were that baby fox frantically trying to decide our next move.
And then the store door bell rang. We had a customer.
And then it rang again.
And then again.
They tore up the road and people kept coming. It was like driving on a sandy beach and people kept coming. It poured rain and the road turned to mud and people kept coming. And then they paved the road and cars were made to wait and still people kept coming.
We were, for lack of a better word, dumbstruck.
We hadn't taken into consideration our absolutely wonderful customers; we owe a great debt of gratitude to everyone who came throughout that mess and kept our doors open at a time when we thought without a doubt we were done. We look back on it every day since the road was paved and are in absolute awe. It's one of those times in our history we'll never forget;
"Remember when they tore up the road without notice and we thought we were going to lose everything?"
You guys never cease to amaze us and to humble us.
As summer progressed we started to notice the pace picking up. People were waiting out front for us to open; something we're used to on a Saturday, but not on a Monday or Tuesday. It was incredible and impossible at the same time. We tried so desperately to keep up and a couple of weeks ago The Little Tart felt like a locomotive speeding along the tracks, the breaks failed and there was a brick wall ahead.
I hit the wall.
Fatigue caught up with me. It could easily have been either one of us.
After a couple of days we were open again and the response was overwhelming.
And this is our happy ending…
Bill and I have had enough life experiences to realize nothing in this life is a guarantee, but we are already looking toward and forward to next year and for that we are so grateful. Now, I may seem to have a flair for words, but there truly are none to express how we feel about our customers and our social media followers; you inspire us, you motivate us, you cheer us on.
We may own and operate The Little Tart, but you made the summer of 2017 an overwhelming success. We couldn't be more proud and feel so very privileged to be a part of something so special. From our hearts we thank you, my friends, for your kindness, your encouragement, and your overwhelming support. We treasure you.
And now it's time to slow things down, catch up on some sleep, housework, yard work, laundry, friends and family we haven't seen all summer, and of course pamper our pooch (That is not a euphemism! Mojo has been less than impressed with us for the past two months and we plan to spoil him with a lot of hugs, love and attention).
Beginning next weekend will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. (We will be open the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.) I will post the hours again during the week.
We hope you have a wonderful afternoon, a fabulous evening, and we'll look forward to seeing you in the store or here on social media again very soon!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Weather the Weather

So we woke up this morning to this damp, drizzling mess. While Bill took a short coffee break, I decided to find out what the blazes is going on.

I found Summer's place pretty much the way I found it last time, the grass a tangled mangled mess of weeds, dirt stained windows, nobody home and a notice to evict.

I went to find Mother Nature and she told me Summer is in rehab. Apparently there was an intervention. Spring and Autumn were there but Winter turned a cold shoulder and didn't show. Everyone took turns expressing how Summer's self medicating was having an effect on them and then Mother Nature read a letter explaining how Summer's behaviour was having a negative effect on 'everyone'.

So I went to visit Summer who looked much better than the last time. It turns out last year Summer burned itself out and now suffers from performance anxiety. "According to my therapist, I self medicated as a coping mechanism and I have learned to redirect my internal turmoil and turn it into positive energy."

"That's fantastic!" I said. "So, when can we expect to see the new you in action?"

"I'm not sure," Summer said. "It's, like, baby steps, you know. I think I need to do me for a while."

"Sure," I said. "You should go do yourself." And I walked out.

I didn't have much time, we still had cookies and macaroons to bake, but I wanted to know who was running this sh@t show.

I found Autumn, feet up, snoozing in a recliner, an old episode of "Northern Exposure" playing on the television.

"Hey!" I shouted. "What gives?"

"I still have a couple of weeks holiday," he mumbled. "My apprentice is taking care of things until the last day of Summer's season."

"So where is this apprentice?" I asked.

"Staying in Mother Nature's basement."

Oh great, a millennial.

I mean, for real. This seasonal wannabe was only about a thousand years old (give or take a century), slouched on a sofa bed, vaping and sporting a man bun.

"Excuse me," I said. "I realize you have a busy schedule to maintain given your current seasonal responsibilies."

I was met by a vacant stare (you know the one), and complete disinterest in my sarcasm. Instead I was lectured on the importance of a work to life ratio that I in quickly disregarded.

"Look, I said, you need to get your act together. What's with the single digit mornings and seriously, no one appreciates the graffiti on the trees."

"Uh, that's not graffiti," Autumn's apprentice groaned and then he opened his wind hole and this came out; "That's your problem, dude, you just don't understood anything about conceptual art because if you did you would see the tree as a metaphor and -"

I interrupted, expressing myself with a simple hand gesture; the concept being a tree standing alone in a field adding; "Insert metaphor where the sun doesn't shine."

And there you have it folks. As much as it burns my butter tart to say this; it looks like we'll just have to weather the weather whether we like it or not.

(I heard that.)

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer's Vacation

'kayso Bill and I made a plan last night. We don't often (almost never) make plans in the summer, but we made one last night. The plan was to finish working and no matter what time we were done, we were going to have a barbecue for dinner. Didn't the rain wait until we were just about finished? You bet!

Enough was enough! I decided to have me a chat with Summer.

I knocked on the front door. No answer. I banged on the door. No answer, but I could hear music; a familiar song I couldn't quite recognize. I peeked through a window and there he was (Yes, Summer is a he, a big sulky sack of he.) slouched on the sofa in his tighty whities sucking back moonshine.

"Hey!" I shouted. "Open the door!"

He did. Blaring from somewhere inside Air Supply wailed "the sun ain't gonna shine anymore!" (I know, eh? I didn't know they covered that song either.)

What a mess!

"You're drunk!" I shouted. "And is that -?"

"That's not mine," he slurred. "I'm holding it for a friend."

"So what gives?" I demanded. "Where have you been?"

"I'm on vacation," he said.

"But you're summer."

"So… Winter doesn't have to work, Autumn doesn't have to work, teachers, politicians, people take summer vacations all the time. Why can't I?"

"Because you ARE Summer!"

And then he passed out because apparently he wasn't holding it for a friend. (Seriously? Who did he think he was kidding?)

So, I called Autumn. I swear, I tried calling Spring first, but I kept getting the machine and there's NO WAY I was going to call Winter! I thought about calling their Mother; I mean, she's a nice lady and all, but you don't want to get on her bad side and I didn't want to get anyone in trouble.

So, I may have made things worse.

I'm sorry.

Hey it could be much worse… it could be snowing! (heh heh)

Have a good one!

We are OPEN!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Question of Coffee

We are often asked why we don't serve coffee.

Very often.

So very often.

And it is almost always someone new arriving in the store at this time of year when the pace is a little more conducive to conversation and serving coffee doesn't seem like such a big deal. Today was our first customer of the season to ask and Bill politely gave a brief explanation. Because the topic arises so often throughout the summer, I thought I would post the long winded explanation here for your reading pleasure.

We are always open to suggestions and take every suggestion into consideration but believe me when I say this; if you've thought of a way for us to serve coffee… we've already considered it.

The coffee question is probably one of our biggest and so I'm going to attempt to address precisely why we do not serve coffee at The Little Tart. So settle in because I'm about to make a short explanation very long.

I'll start by saying we have served coffee in the past. We have, in fact, tried several times to offer coffee in the store. We purchased a nice big coffee urn, stored up on good quality coffee, cups, spoons, sugar, and cream. What we didn't have was milk (well, we did have some in the house, but not the 1% the customer requested), nor did we have non-dairy creamer, artificial sweetener, decaf coffee (because why would you offer coffee without offering decaf coffee?), tea (because why would you offer coffee and not offer tea? And not the Earl Grey stuff Bill and I like to drink, but green, preferably decaf with a hint of lemon (which we do have but they're for baking), and finally honey, which we often have but it's for baking, hot toddies, and putting in our peanut butter samiches because that's how we like them.

Here's what we did; we purchased a second urn, made sure we had regular coffee, decaf coffee, sugar, artificial sweetener, cream, milk (2% - we refused to budge on that one), and non-dairy creamer. We also purchased a kettle for the store, several kinds of tea, lemon, and honey just for the tea. Phew!
And then Saturday morning in July arrived. Now, if you haven't seen the store on Saturday mornings in the summer it is often wall to wall people and lined up out the door. It takes two of us working the front to keep the line moving. The first customer requested four coffees. (I know because I write these things down in a little book - "Memoirs of The Little Tart" - that's going to happen one day.) I don't remember what they wanted in each coffee, but I do remember I didn't put enough milk in one, not enough sugar in another, and could I pour half of one of the coffees out and fill it with more coffee because now there's too much milk?

Ah!!! Ah!!! Ah!!!

Several people got tired of waiting and walked out. We quit selling coffee that very day.
We thought about and were later asked; "What about self serve?" That would certainly solve the problem of slowing down the line except…

Let's say we put a table with an urn for coffee, decaf coffee, tea (we'd have to pick one), cream, milk, sugar, sweetener, lemon, honey, cups, lids, spoons, napkins. The first question is: Where?
The Little Tart store front is only about 350 square feet. The space for our customers is less than half of that. Now imagine a Saturday morning (wall to wall people lined up out the door) and you're trying to get your coffee. Now add excited kids coming from or going to camp. Someone's going to get burnt. Need I say more?

We can't make the store any bigger and we certainly don't want to put anyone at risk.

Quite simply, offering coffee isn't as simple as it sounds. The fact is, we're not a coffee shop. We're a mom and pop, take-out, artisan pastry shop and we're happy with that. While we understand why people would want us to have coffee, we do offer the best baking we possibly can and hope that makes up for it!

If you made it this far, thank you so very much.

Have a wonderful evening.

Hold on. I know what someone is thinking...

What about that those little single serve k-cup thingies?

Uh... no.

Friday, June 2, 2017