Monday, May 19, 2014

peach + blackberry breakfast crisp

I'm learning things about myself all the time, and lately I've noticed that I'm very indecisive. My favorite color = all the colors! Favorite band? How does someone even narrow that down? I still can't even decide what I want to be when I grow up and I'm already a grown up! However, ask me my favorite summer dessert and I'll have an answer for you.....BLACKBERRY COBBLER! It's so delicious, super easy, and buttery topping meets tart, warm berries. What could be better than that?

I know something that may be better than warm fruit dessert cobbler. Warm, crunchy, sweet, breakfast fruit crisp. Yes, that's right people, breakfast crisp! And it's healthy and really satisfying. Now I can have cobbler/crisps twice a day, and you can too!

Peach + Blackberry Breakfast Crisp

adapted from Annie's Eats

For the Granola
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch salt
dash of cinnamon & nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast coconut until light brown and fragrant. Remove from pan and place in a large glass bowl.

Toast walnuts in the same pan over medium-high heat until fragrant. Add in coconut oil and allow to melt, then add in the oats. Lightly toast over heat (about 3 minutes).

Pour walnuts and oats into the bowl with the toasted coconut. Add in honey, maple syrup, salt, and spices. Stir to combine.

Pour oat mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and spread into a thin layer. Bake for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Let cool while preparing fruit filling.

Fruit Filling
1 lb. frozen peaches
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
Juice from half a lemon
6 ounces fresh blackberries

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. 

In a large baking dish, combine everything but the blackberries until well combined and the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir in blackberries gently. 

Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until fruit is juicy. Sprinkle granola over the top of the fruit filling (you will not use all the granola) and bake again for another 10 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling. 

Cool briefly before serving with vanilla greek yogurt.

Breakfast fruit crisps for President!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Salted Caramel Brownie Pies

I don't even know where to begin with this recipe. It's one of the most delicious and requested things that I make and I always welcome the opportunity to do so.

Fluffy, light, airy, buttercream gets sandwiched between two brownie cookies with crackly tops and tender middles. It doesn't get any better than that folks. 

Oh, and see that flower up there? Yeah...that's a rhododendron bloom from my parent's yard and I picked it illegally and apparently gave my father a heart attack. I guess I'll do almost anything to get a good photo!

Salted Brownie Pies

makes 10-12 sandwiches

inspired by The Baker Chick

For the Brownie Sandwich Cookies
12 ounces dark chocolate, total (5 ounces roughly chopped)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave butter until melted and add 7 ounces of chocolate. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add in flour, baking powder, melted chocolate, and the 5 remaining ounces of chopped chocolate. Mix until just combined and put in the fridge to chill for no more than 10 minutes. 

Scoop dough into a pastry bag and cut off the end. Pipe 2 inch circles of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. You'll know the cookies are finessed when the tops of crackled. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Filling
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I usually allow my butter to rest on the counter overnight)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 caramel sauce (I used the pre-made stuff, but homemade would work as well)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Place butter, sugar, caramel, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy.

Place buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a decorative attachment and pipe onto the flat side of a brownie cookie. Sandwich the filling with another brownie cookie. 

Sprinkle fine sea salt on the tops of the finished sandwich cookies and enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Triple Lemon Cake

Mother's Day is this weekend, and I have the absolute perfect recipe for you - this triple lemon cake! My momma loves lemon desserts and you better believe I'm taking this cake home to her today! Happy Mother's Day Mom!

This is a loaf cake made with lemon zest and lemon juice and it is truly the most delicious, lemony cake I've ever had. The cake is infused with a lemon soaking syrup after it's removed from the oven, and the whole thing is finished off with a delicious lemony glaze. The cake itself is very light but the flavor of lemon is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of sugar. For the record, lemon and sugar is one of my favorite scent combos. I even googled lemon sugar perfumes after I made this. 

Triple Lemon Cake

Adapted from the Baked Cookbook

makes 2 loaves

For the Lemon Cake
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs
1/4 cup grated lemon zest (approximately 4 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the sides and bottom of 2 loaf pans with baker's  magic spray and set aside.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar, eggs, zest, and lemon juice in a blender and mix. With the blender still running, drizzle the melted butter slowly into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the sour cream and vanilla until well combined. 

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and fold gently until well combined. Do not over-mix.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans and reduce oven to 325 degrees, and bake for another 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove pans from the oven and allow to cool on a metal rack over a parchment covered baking sheet for 15 minutes while you make the syrup.

For the Lemon Syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, cook the syrup for another three minutes to thicken the mixture. Remove from the heat.

Remove loaves from the pans and poke holes into the sides and top of your cake with a fork or toothpick. Gently spoon the lemon syrup over the side and tops of the cakes. Allow the syrup to sink in, and repeat. Allow the cakes to cool completely. 

For the Lemon Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice  2 tablespoons at a time until a glaze forms with the consistency that you desire. Add more lemon juice if you want a thinner glaze and more powdered sugar if you want a thicker glaze.

Pour the glaze over the tops of the cake and allow to drip over the sides of the cakes. Allow the glaze to harden for a few minutes before serving.

This recipe makes 2 lemon loaves. The cakes can be soaked in syrup and kept in the freezer, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap for up to 6 weeks. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Summer Craving - Fruit!

We are so close to summertime that I can taste it! It's even in the high 80's here today, and I didn't have to wear 65 layers when I ran this evening! Once the warmer weather shows up, I crave fresh fruits and veggies. This year, though, the craving has included fruit prints on my clothing! So CUTE! Check these out!

This pineapple bikini started this whole obsession. The ruffles! The print! NEED IT!

from topshop
Pineapple sneaks!? Don't ever stop doing what you're doing.

Striped watermelon apron? Don't mind if I do!

The cutest strawberry earrings EVER!

These watermelon flats would be perfect with jean shorts and a simple t-shirt. 

And, if you're craving some real fruit to eat while you sport your adorable fruity wardrobe, check out this peach raspberry granola crumble from Annie at Annie's Eats. 

Have you guys seen anything with a fruit print?

Monday, May 5, 2014

baked churro donuts

Happy May 5th, or should I say Cinco de Mayo, everyone! I hope you have plans to stuff yourself with lots of delicious Mexican foods today. After you've eaten a glorious feast plan on making these donuts. They would be the perfect ending to your day or the perfect beginning to your Tuesday (assuming these beauties last that long)!

These are tender cinnamon donuts that are baked, cooled, and brushed with melted sugar...then covered in a cinnamon sugar coating. Grab a container of hot fudge sauce from your grocery store and you have the perfect churro combination!

Baked Churro Donuts

makes 6 yummy donuts
adapted from Shared Appetite

For the Donuts:
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar, combined
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, and only half a cup of the milk/vinegar mixture together.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. 

Spoon or pipe batter into a greased donut pan and bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-6 minutes then remove from the pan, and allow to cool completely on a metal cooling rack.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Combine sugars and cinnamon in a small shallow baking dish. Set aside.

Brush each donut with melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Serve with hot fudge or salted caramel sauce!

Happy Monday!