Stone Fruit//Okanagan Valley

DSC_0197

Thus follow the pics from my favorite day of family vacation, wherein the boys talked shop, and I ate endless handfuls the biggest, burstiest, organic-est, hippie blueberries you ever did see. There was also more that happened on this day, but I’ve limited this post to stone fruit. Enjoy, and please git the last of the stone fruit at your local grocer before the season is out!

L

P.S. Stayed tuned for tomorrow, which is my favorite pic of the whole day/vacation.

DSC_0356

DSC_0379

DSC_0245

DSC_0193

DSC_0200

DSC_0242

DSC_0386

DSC_0181

Pipe Dream #288: To Do The Don’ts – Raspberry Quick Bread with Dark Chocolate

super bread 1

Do not eat this bread warm from the oven with butter.

super bread 4

Do not open this bag. Ever. Not for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and definitely not to chuck a few pieces into your raspberry bread.

super bread 3

Do not use up a bounty of fresh raspberries in every way you can think of, including this recipe.

super bread 5

On the real, actually: Do not overmix the batter. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, leaving some flour bits, then add the chocolate and raspberries, gently stirring them in. The rest of the flour will be incorporated without making your bread tough from overmixing.

super bread 6

Ok, back to the regularly scheduled programming of this post: Do not undertake this mix-plop-bake process, which will take you all of 30 minutes and will provide you with a moist breakfast, brunch and dessert.

super bread 2

And above all, please do not share, gift or otherwise bestow this easily freezable quick loaf with your friends and neighbors. It just wouldn’t be right.

Dazed and confused,

L

Raspberry Quick Bread with Dark Chocolate

Adapted from A Baker’s House

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
6 ounces fresh raspberries + 1 handful dark chocolate covered fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with baking spray.

Mix 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. In a separate bowl combine the greek yogurt, milk, oil and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until halfway combined, then drop in the berries and chocolate, mixing VERY gently so you don’t crush the raspberries until most of the flour streaks are gone. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes.

Pipe Dream #287: To Be Your Everyday Average – Peach Crisp Cheesecake Bars

cheesecake bars 3

In this second edition of “I didn’t make any fruit crisps this summer, but here’s what I did make,” I present to you: Peach Crisp Cheesecake Bars.

First of all, there is still time for me to make a fruit crisp. It’s August. It could happen. I luf them so.

Second of all, in honor of this occasion, I would like to bring up the best peach dessert, and possibly the best dessert I have ever made: Peach Cobbler + Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce. I actually can’t even bear to think about that right now, as I’m behind a computer and don’t currently possess any peaches. Go forth and make it.

Or these bars.

cheesecake bars 2

I used white peaches for interest.

Ok, so they are not that interesting.

Ok, so this scenario: you’re chatting with someone, and they ask you what you do or where you grew up or some average question, and you tell them (or even worse, they didn’t ask, and you’re just telling them things), and then they say, “Interesting.”

Like, it’s just habit, but people pretend that the fact that you grew up in a suburb or that you spend two hours a day responding to emails is super fascinating. Just riveting.

That is a scenario that happens to me fairly often, possibly because I talk about myself too much or possibly because this is just how polite people exchange conversation. One time, I caught it and actually said out loud, “No, it’s actually not interesting,” and watched my new acquaintance’s face. This is not the way polite people exchange conversation, but it just struck me, and I couldn’t help it. Haha, I’m laughing even remembering that.

Anyway, I’m not blameless. I sometimes tell people they are interesting when they are not, but I try to be more creative and truthful with my responses now that I’ve noticed this tendency.

The white peaches were not so much different then yellow peaches. However, they were slightly more annoying because they weren’t free stone peaches, so I had to cut around the pit.

cheesecake bars 5

This is just your everyday average cheesecake batter.

cheesecake bars 4

And this is what normal looks like.

cheesecake bars 1

 

Sew average,

L

Peach Crisp Cheesecake Bars

An LH Original

For the cookie crust:

1 stick (8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup) butter

I cup light brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cups quick oats

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 white peach, diced

For the cream cheese filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.

Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then stir in the egg and vanilla until well-blended. Dump in the dry ingredients through the salt and stir until almost combined, then add the oats and chocolate chips, mixing until well-combined. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the pan and bake for 8 minutes. Reserve the other 1/3 of the dough.

Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Pour over the baked cookie crust. Sprinkle the died peach evenly over the surface, then drop on the reserved cookie dough in clumps. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top just starts to turn golden. Let cool, then slice into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

 

 

Pipe Dream #286: To Get Gussied – Bachelorette Brownies

ka brownies 1

My best friend’s wedding was this July. This picture is so true to them. Very people-focused, loving. They make a good pair. And a handsome one.

IMG_20140718_194921

Before they were officially and for sure and no takebacks a couple of marriage, I threw her a bachelorette party. And these were the brownies that were there. Flavored with a hint of mint to pair with her wedding color of choice. How perfect.

ka brownies 3

The KA Flour recipe actually tries to sell this recipe in the description like:

“Fudgy, cakey, fudgy, cakey… can’t make up your mind? If you’re looking for a brownie that’s right in between those two styles, you’ve found it. These brownies combine a fudge brownie’s ultra-moist texture with a subtle cake-like rise, for the best of both worlds.

Our guarantee [bolding not mine]: These brownies, deep chocolate brown inside with a lighter-colored top crust, will be about 3/4″ to 1″ tall when cut. They’ll be ultra-moist without crossing the line into gooey/underbaked.”

I want to say, “I DON’T WANT THAT DUMB GUARANTEE.”

ka brownies 2

 

Apparently, dissolving the sugar a bit in the butter makes a crackly top to the brownies. (See also, this recipe for crackly-topped brownies. Weirdly, I flavored both of these with peppermint. I must have a thing.) For best results, I would do this part on the stovetop instead of the micro so you can see what’s happening. I don’t know that I dissolved the sugar long enough; it was still quite separate from the butter.

ka brownies 4

To compensate for their correct baking time and texture, I gussied them up with garter belt-esque  frills. Downside of this: I really can’t report whether out crackly-topped at all. What I can report is that they did turn out somewhat cakey. And it was fine. Maybe it can imitative of wedding cake. How perfect.

ka brownies 5

The only guarantee I will offer is that I remain your

Lauren

Bachelorette Brownies

Adapted  from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa or regular cocoa (I used a mix)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment and grease the parchment.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and extracts till smooth.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Or just combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. Add the flour, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.

If desired, frost with half a batch of this stuff, flavored with peppermint extract.

 

The time I pruned and got pruned + the worst cocktail

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

My best friend got married. The day was so lovely and happy.

I didn’t bake for her wedding, but I did practice some floral skill-building. The easiest part was staring at all the beautiful colors. The hardest part was de-thorning the roses. Roses have to be trimmed under running water to increase their chance of maintaining a youthful bloom, and you have to get rid of the thorns so that more water can get to the flower itself. The thorns steal the water from where it is needed most.

Perfect Flower copy

After I stripped the thorns and leaves from the roses, I had to remove the sepals and a couple layers of petals to keep the blooms looking fresh for the next day. The outer layers were kind of beat up already, past the peak of their beauty. They would never have survived all the bear hugs, bouquet tosses and other bridal revelries. Tearing them was a little tragic to me. I thought the sepals kept the flowers looking rustic and charming, but it would have been only a short term gratification to keep them.

Les fleurs were another gentle reminder of why it’s good that I be pruned too, you know, just in life. Get rid of the things that I might think are pretty now, but will get shabby later and prevent new growth. I want to bear much fruit! Or at least a blossom or two.

P.S. My hands are not maintaining any kind of youthful bloom after the trimming, but it was worth it.

P.S.S. Speaking of prunes, the worst cocktail I ever made was prune juice and vodka. Don’t you ever.

Lauren

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

“The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Pipe Dream #285: To Be Honest – Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

rhub cake 4

I haven’t made a single crisp this summer with all the summer fruits (it’s a heavy shame), but I have made a strawberry rhubarb crumb cake, and it was only ever the most toothsome. You too, can have toothsome cakes. Too toothsome. I want to combine that into one word, but it just ends up becoming…toothsome. So.

rhub cake 1

No idea what “China Powdered #1″ is. I’ll be on the lookout for “Azerbaijan Ground #5″ next to do a taste comparison. But it is Penzey’s ginger, so it must be good.

Honestly, I couldn’t taste too much of the ginger in the final product, though I included some fresh ginger in the compote and the powdered ginger in the cake. Also honestly, I wasn’t on high alert for the ginger when I ate some of it (ahem, I was at a bachelorette party). Maybe it’s a good thing that the ginger isn’t too punchy/in yo face. This is really about the strawberry rhubarb, or, if we’re being even honester, this is really about the crumb. Everyone knows that crumbs are the best part.

rhub cake 7

Compotes are the easiest, and don’t worry about the rhubarb being too tart. It’s not, and it’s nice. Using fresh fruit might have made the cake firm up a little better (see the recipe linked below or this one for examples of the fresh fruit version), so I recommend giving that a go if you don’t want to take the extra time to make compote.

rhub cake 5

Despite this thick layer of crumb heaven, my cake still boiled up like lava through the cracks. I wonder if this could be remedied by spreading out my fruit to cover the entire surface area of the bottom cake. Or maybe I didn’t whisk my ingredients, and had big pockets of baking powder bursting through.

Maybe sifting the dry ingredients actually has a purpose.

Maybe following directions is the right thing to do.

rhub cake 3

Make sure to sprinkle your powdered sugar just prior to serving. I didn’t, and it soaked in a bit in the middle. (This is also because, since we’re being honest, I underbaked it a little, and the middle was slightly sogged. Will she never be better?)

rhub cake 2

Never better,

L

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

For the streusel:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the cake:

2 cups strawberry rhubarb compote, like this one
2 T. light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9×9 square baking pan. (I used a rectangle, but I think it is approximately the same proportions, maybe slightly smaller). Set aside.

For the streusel:

Whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with rhubarb and strawberry compote in a thick layer, then top with refrigerated  streusel.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

 

Wheres you was for these inspired savory waffles?

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

 

WAFFLE

Filled with

bleu cheese, bacon crumbles, fresh chive,

Topped with

homemade cheese sauce, seasonal fruit, real maple syrup

and a peated scotch ale.

AND WHERE WERE YOU?

 

Leggo my eggo this instant.

 

L

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,688 other followers

Lane Cake

Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Spicy Chai Biscotti

Red Wine Pear Trifles

Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peach Cobbler

Clementine Ginger Tequila Sunrise

S’mores Cake with Malted PB Frosting

Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake

Strawberry Shortcake

Nectarine Brown Butter Upside Down Cake

Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake

Cherry Clafoutis

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Banoffee Pie

Blueberry Bourbon Bread Pudding

Pink Sprinkle Cupcakes

Grapefruit Yogurt Loaf

No-Bake Nests

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Black Garlic Herb Bread

Pumpkin Chiffon Torte

Maple Pecan Brown Butter Cupcakes


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,688 other followers