I Got It Right: Whiskey-Glazed Peach Crumble Sundaes

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So I made these whiskey glazed peaches with the most perfect Colorado end-of-summer peaches.

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And then I bought whiskey pecan and sea salt caramel praline ice cream with which to pair them. Because legit, who even has the patience to make ice cream? Pas moi.

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And I crumbled the leftovers from these hazelnut, almond shortbreads on top. (Because the nutty, salty cookies were cut out after the dough was already baked, I found myself with lots of leftover nutty, salty crumbles…just like the topping of a fruit crisp, but saltier, therefore, perfect for the sweet peaches and ice cream, and now I can’t stop with this sentence because I’m trying so hard with words to explain to you how perfect this dessert was and is and is to come, something that should only be explained with spoons.)

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So I had frozen the crumbles and waited until they could fulfill their inspired destiny as a gourmet, deconstructed fruit crisp + booze eaten by friends who throw together drinks like blackberry bourbon iced tea + extra bourbon.

Sweet + salty = classic

Stone fruit + berries = classic

Crumble + fruit = classic

Peach + almond = classic

Whiskey + pecans = classic

I could go on, but I’m overwhelming myself (and likely you) with flavors right now.

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Who is to come,

Lauren

Whiskey-Glazed Peach Crumble Sundaes

An LH Original

Place peaches in a baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brown four tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisking until it smells nutty but is not burnt. Whisk in a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup whiskey, letting it bubble together so the sugar dissolves a bit.

Pour the sauce over the peaches. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping the peaches once or twice until they are soft. Remove the baking dish from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then transfer the peaches to a plate. Spoon the leftover sauce from the baking dish over the tops of the peaches and let them cool further so the glaze firms up a bit.

When ready to serve, scoop ice cream into bowls and top with peaches, cookie crumbles and flaked almonds.

Pipe Dream #291: To Use The Whole Wheat – Pumpkin Muffins with Whiskey Glaze

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Today is the official end of summer. It’s the middle of September already; get with it, guys. But unfortunately, the middle of August was the end of summer for me.

How do I know? Because in the middle of August I bought a 30-ounce can of pumpkin, and it wasn’t on sale and then baked six things with it without realizing it wasn’t time for fall yet which is the only time for pumpkin baked goods. First bite of that muffin and my entire body and mind said, “Sweater weather.” Deal sealt.

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Like I said, this was the 30-ounce can, and pumpkin goes a long way. You’ll be seeing pumpkin posts for a while, and there are ones I’m not even posting about, like those classic pumpkin bars you see at MN potlucks that I threw together at 11 PM because I was desperate to use up the last of the can. Eh, maybe I will show you it, if I come up with something creative for the frosting/presentation. Hopefully I’ve got the pumpkin out of my system so I can do cooler fall recipes with sweet potato (marshmallow frosting on the real) and persimmons.

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One cool thing, at least for me (I can’t exactly know exactly what will seem cool to you I guess I will just have to be myself), was that I bought whole wheat flour. Specialty flours (e.g. spelt, aramanth, oat, rye, etc.) are all the rage these days, but I haven’t really jumped on the train for a few reasons:

  1. I haven’t bought into their healthfulness. Are they really as nutritious as people make them seem? Or rather, is all-purpose flour (total baking staple) really as unhealthful as people make it seem? Everything in moderation?
  2. I’m subtly trying to take a stand against veganism. Not really, but a little. I don’t mind if food is vegan or not. That is, I’m just going to eat the food, and if it happens to be vegan sometimes because whaddya know, I’m eating a handful of raw nuts, that is ok. Anyway, I feel like special flours are a roundabout way of buying into the various health food movements of late.
  3. Specialty flours are a little more expensive than regular flour. Gourmet = price bump. I have not researched this in detail.
  4. Specialty flours are less useful/less tasty than regular flour. We call it all-purpose for a reason. Don’t want to get stuck with five pounds of some ground up wheat germ that makes whatever it touches also taste like wheat germ.
  5. It helps me cull through all the food on the Internet. If I’m scroll-scroll-scrolling through blogs all evening bookmarking food porn looking through a bunch of recipes that look yummy, I can usually eliminate a few off the “To Make” list by looking at the ingredients. Oh, don’t have oil of oregano? No problem, there are twenty other things I would like to make right now with foodstuffs that already exist in my pantry.

The thing is, I see so many cool recipes that include specialty flours, and sometimes I’m sad to pass them by. Plus, what if the whole health thing has some merit? So I bought whole wheat flour. I’m considering swapping it into some other recipes by halves to see if I can taste the difference.

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I was pleasantly surprised that these muffins did not taste like wheat germ! Really! C’est vrai! They just tasted like your everyday pumpkin lusciousness of muffin, friend of coffee shops everywhere. I was a still little skittish, this being my first foray into wheat flour, so I topped them with a thick whiskey glaze.

Nervousness was not the only reason I topped these with a thick whiskey glaze.

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Also, cinnamon butter. Come on.

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Give whole wheat flour a try–it may not disappoint.

Best,

Lauren

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Whiskey Glaze

Adapted from Voskos.com

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup salted caramel Greek yogurt (full fat)
1 (15oz) can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

For topping:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar + whiskey/milk to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and spray with nonstick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt. Add the pumpkin puree and the oil, whisking to combine.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

To prepare topping, mix sugar with cinnamon. Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each cup almost to top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan a few minutes, then on a wire rack.

For the glaze, beat together 3 tablespoons softened butter with 3/4 cup – 1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add maybe six tablespoons of liquid taste (4 whiskey, 2 milk?) stirring together gently until combined. Add more/less liquid or powdered sugar to get the consistency with which you are pleased.

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Favorite Shots: Petunias, such a “common” flower.

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As my Grandma tells it, with a tinge of snobbery. So are these daisy things. But any flower looks good in a sun flare.

L

Pipe Dream #290: To Watch It Again – Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bars

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I’m going to make an idea statement that is unsubtantiated, even in my own mind:

Most things are not worth looking at, listening to or otherwise consuming more than once. Case in point: all of Twitter. Second case in point: The “Watch It Again” tab on Netflix. Brotha, please. You be reaching for the nigh impossible.

There are too many things in this world to try that are unique and different. Plus, the vast majority of things are average or downright not good, and why bother with average more than once when you might discover wonderful?

I know something is probably actually good if I want to deal with it a second time. Case in point: black truffles, this song, The Christmas Story.

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These bars (originally muffins, you should try that) are nothing special, but for a healthy blender recipe, I was actually fairly impressed. Moist, freezable. Nothing but oats, greek yogurt and bananas. It’s my favorite blender recipe yet. I’ve been warming them up for breakfast with Nutella and maple bacon peanut butter. Yes, you heard me right.

Point of this whole post that I’m not taking very seriously and is not really about the baked goods: I’m now going to post nearly the exact same picture I posted above so hope you liked it to the max enough to enjoy it again like a better than average film.

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:]

L

Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bars

Adapted from Running with Spoons

1 cup salted caramel Greek yogurt (full fat)

2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and prepare an 8 x 8″ pan by spraying with non-stick spray (I used Baker’s Joy, which includes flour).

Add all ingredients except to a blender or food processor and process on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the top of the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for a bit before removing. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week or freeze.

How to Make Two Cupcakes with Just One Measuring Tool

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To prevent this post from feeling extremely lonely (see above. poor, sad little upside down cake. name that movie.), I’m going to add a little interest. A little intriguing twist, you might say. Some extra sparkle.

We are talking about a two-cupcake recipe here. Just two. For a few humans, two cupcakes sounds like a weeknight date dessert for two (oh fer cute), but for the rest of the population, a two-cupcake recipe falls under the category of “Single Lady Dessert.” Or single dude. I won’t discriminate.

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But back to my twist.

Eight ingredients. One measuring tool. That is, a teaspoon. You may recall me waxing on about the most revolutionary baking equivalent I learned: four tablespoons to a 1/4 cup? No, you don’t remember this extremely interesting and personal fact about me that I shared with you in confidence on the Internet?

Well fine whtvr. I learned that, and it was great. Also useful, particularly for this recipe: Three teaspoons to a tablespoon.

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If you don’t mise en place your ingredients like I did, you can easily whip these up with only two small bowls and your teaspoon (if you use the teaspoon to stir).

Glaze away (re-using your small bowls, of course), and in 30 minutes flat you’ve got a tasty treat with the added bonus of a sparkly kitchen. I found the cupcakes sturdy but a little eggy. There is a heckuva lotta vanilla in this recipe for just two cupcakes, but go with it. Top with a big swirl of frosting (not my half-thrown attempt at a glaze), and I’m sure you could forgive any egg flavor.

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Sparkling,

L

One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

By How Sweet Eats

1 egg white

6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) sugar

6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

12 teaspoons (1/4 cup) flour

1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

4 teaspoons (1 1/2 tablespoons) milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.

In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.

Winyards//Okanagan Valley

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In case you were wondering, wine country is more fun as an adult.

Not pictured: The goat farm and cheese shop.

L

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An Ironic Salty Double Nut Olive Oil Shortbread

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Bringing Minnesota cookies to a potluck at which Jeremy Messersmith was playing. Oh, the irony. Also on the table: tater tot hot dish. How appropriate.

Even though cookies are MN-shaped (made possible by my friend Hannah, who left her cookie cutter in my possession for months before I could steel myself to take on the detailed, laborious process that is cut out cookies. Can I get an amen?), I worked out a shortbread recipe that is distinctly un-Minnesotan. Un-American even. Something had to offset.

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Never mind the chocolate ones. They are just dark chocolate ginger sugar cookies for effect (recipe linked below). The real interesting ones are the lighter-colored shortbreads, made with hazelnuts, almonds and olive oil. It’s practically Italian.

I used a few salted almonds in the almond meal, and the resulting cookies were distinctly salty. Still a sweet cookie, but almost a little too much on the salt. I think it would pair fabulously with ice cream. I saved the leftover cookie crumbles and have visions of olive oil grilled peaches topped with ice cream/honey/cookie crumbles like a deconstructed fruit crisp. Is it September already? Am I too late to the game on the summer fruit crisp?

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My only suggestion based on experience (the recipe is correct): you really ought to let the cookies cool on the sheet after you bake them/cut them. I found the warm cookies to be a little fragile, so unless you want Wisconsin-shaped eats…let cool completely before storing.

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Ironically yours,

L

Salty Double Nut Olive Oil Shortbread

Adapted from The Kitchn

makes 18 to 24 small cookie slices

1 1/4 cup hazelnut/almond meal (I ground up hazlenuts and almonds in a food processor until fine)
1/2 cup flour + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup extra-virgin light olive oil

Heat the oven to 375°F. Whisk together the nut meal, flour, brown sugar, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, salt and lemon zest. Whisk in the vanilla and olive oil. The dough will be sandy and quite crumbly.

Press the dough firmly into a 8×8-inch (or 9×9-inch) dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until just lightly browned around the edges. Immediately cut the shortbread into shapes. Let cool completely before lifting them out of the pan, however.

Frost as desired with royal icing.

For the chocolate cookies, I used this recipe, adding a teaspoon or two of powdered ginger, which I couldn’t taste in the end.


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