Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pumpkin Muffins with Pineapple Yogurt and Cardamom-Pepita Crumble

I was all set and ready to go with the Latin explanation of these muffins: E Plagiaristic Unum which in shorthand translates to light, fluffy, delicious pumpkin muffins filled with a tart, tangy, and yet faintly sweet, yet distinctly breakfasty pineapple yogurtus, upon which is heaped a crumbly facade of pepitus nutus in which the overt sweetness is tempered in the slightest with a splattering of cardamom. Tell me you are not infinitesimally grateful that I didn't go with the longhand version.

I some how arrived at this place in time where I realized it's finally cooling off here a bit, my summer came and went like the mystery illness that plagued me all summer and even stumped my sister (which is a hard thing to do I may add), I also came to deduce I am no furniture mover (disguised as a mild mannered furniture salesperson) after a 100 pound dining table tried to send me to an unserendipitiious end.  The only thing I was left with after my nonexistent suntan started to fade was the harsh reality that my life was in extreme need of simplification and I ended my second job post haste. What else was there to do? Quit making muffins and other sugar filled treats? You people really make me laugh. 

Trolling the interweb I was taken with this recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins on Sally's Baking Addition, and while it was so lovely I thought perhaps If I eliminated a step here and pumped up the spice volume there I could reclaim a smidgen of my lost summer, sigh.  Well the dream was nice while it lasted a whole 30 seconds.

Pumpkin, Pineapple Yogurt, Cardamom-Pepita Crumble Muffins
Crumb topping:
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3-cup raw pepitas, toasted (toast pepitas in small skillet on medium heat until slightly brown and let cool)

Muffin batter:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1-teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup milk

5.3 ounces (1 container) pineapple fruit on the bottom Greek yogurt, stirred

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Make crumb topping. In a small bowl combine light brown sugar, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, butter, and toasted pepitas, stir until combined and set aside.

Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, ginger (these were spicy but not overwhelmingly in my opinion, if you wanted a little less spicy feel free to leave out or reduce the ginger), brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, vegetable oil, and milk, stir until combined and divide evenly into the prepared muffin tin.

Divide the yogurt evenly and press a large dollop onto and down into the center a bit of each muffin.  

Break up the crumb topping with your fingers and divide it evenly over the batter.

Place the muffins in the middle rack of a preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes, then turn the oven heat down to 350 degrees F and bake for 15-16 minutes longer, until the muffins are set in the center.

Let cool.

At this very moment there are serious pressing issues occupying my thoughts:

Like what to be for Halloween???? People in case you haven't noticed it's in 32 days. Not one decoration is up, not one ghoulish treat is in the works, and I haven't even started on the apology letter I need to have on hand in case I run into my sister's neighbor at the Halloween party this year after last years inflammatory incident (which will be in the book if I ever get that finished). Perhaps I should just bury my head in the muffins and go back and work on some illustrations I've been working on and forget all of this. 

Until we salivate over food together again! (Or until I experience another complete lapse in judgment, which could be sooner than either of us thinks.)


Monday, July 13, 2015

Chocolate Sourdough Pretzel Shortbread with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Let's just start things out by stating,  "I'm here but I might not be here", and if you can figure that one out you are much smarter than I am my friend.  I should probably just stay off social media and quit advertising my wares because it never fails that I'm hit up with the request for a recipe for said tantalizing item I dangle in front of you all.  I always feel kind of crappy when I don't hand it over, like I'm just hogging all the good stuff for myself or something.  I've come to realize over these past few years it makes some people happy that I bother to share and others annoyed and quite possibly pissed that I'm over here showing off my goodies while they are holed up on the couch with a bag of stale chips. But regardless of how anyone feels about it I've also come to realize it makes me happy in some small way so I guess I can deal with it.

I bought the book "Cookie Love" by Mindy Segal on the recommendation of the fabulous Patty from Patty's Food and I'm loving it.  So many things to try, so little time these days.  I've also come to realize I can't even keep the battery charged in my camera from lack of use, so a cell phone and little editing is something I'm more than content with.  I should probably warn you this recipe isn't for the faint of heart, but it is darn delicious and so worth the effort.

Chocolate Pretzel Shortbread with Milk Chocolate Buttercream
(Adapted from "Cookie Love" by Mindy Segal)
2 cups sourdough pretzel nuggets
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I was out and used granulated, worked fine, p.s. sifting is for sissy types.  I did make these a second time with confectioners’ sugar and the only noticeable difference was a litte finer texture to the shortbread with the confectioners’ sugar.)
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature (She calls for extra-large eggs, but I don't ever use those so feel free if that is what you have.)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (Please forward the name of that one person still using imitation if you come by it.)

Milk Chocolate Caramel Buttercream:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I didn’t sift, my bad, probably used a bit more than a cup also.  I just add sugar until I get the consistency I like, more like 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups.)
5 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled
1 ½ tablespoons whiskey (Didn’t use, not going to admit whether or not I drank any.)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt flakes
1/3 cup Caramel Sauce (She has a recipe for it, but I just used a couple of heaping tablespoons of a jarred Dulce De Leche I had on hand, because I can admit it, I’m a slacker.  Pst, don’t let it get around.)

To Finish:
6 ounces melted dark chocolate
A small amount of crushed pretzel nuggets

1. Make the shortbread: Put the pretzels in a food processor and pulse until its crumbs but not powder. Pulse in the flour, cocoa, and salts.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugar and mix on low speed to incorporate. Increase the speed to medium and cream the butter mixture 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.

3. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the mixer and mix for a few seconds longer.

4. Add the pretzel-flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Divide the dough into two equal portions.

5. Put a sheet of parchment paper 13x18-inches on the counter and lightly dust with flour. Place one piece of dough on top and cover with another sheet of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough half into a rectangle approximately 11x13-inches and ¼-inch thick. Ease the rolled dough onto a sheet pan and place in the fridge. Repeat for the other piece of dough. Let chill at least 1 hour until really firm.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple of half sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone mats.

7. Roll a dough docker (or fork) over the dough to pierce. (I don't own a docker, so fell free to dock at your own risk, sounds a little dangerous to me anyways.) Cut dough into 1 3/4-x 2-inch rectangles or 2-inch squares. Put the shortbread on the prepared sheet pans, evenly spaced, up to 16 cookies per pan. (Cut the cookies tightly so you don’t have as many scraps to re-roll, you also have to let the scraps get cold again, because the dough becomes really sticky once it reaches room temp.) I got about 56 squares out of the dough once the scraps were re-rolled.

8. Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the cookies feel firm, 3-5 minutes more. Let the cookies cool completely on the sheet. Repeat.

9. Make frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter briefly on medium speed for 5-10 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy and pale, add the chocolate, (whiskey), salt, vanilla extract, and caramel sauce. Taste and add more sugar or salt as needed. Fill a disposable piping bag with frosting. (Using a piping tip is up to you, I didn’t bother.) Match the cookies to size and pipe one half of each set with frosting. 

10. Melt the chocolate in a shallow bowl on half power for a few seconds in the microwave and dip the cookie sandwiches in a little bit of the way, lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment and sprinkle the chocolate with a little crushed pretzel. (Store them in the fridge till firm.)

11. Now go pour yourself a nice cocktail because you are going to be at this recipe for a good long while. (You should probably do this again for good measure.)

As for me I have summer to get back to, it has been filled with ups and downs (literally) a real challenge in so many ways.  So many miles logged and so much dust removed from my shoes.

I have to say the miles sure do go a lot faster and seem easier when you have good company in tow. 

So many cookies baked and shared with friends near and far.  Hard to believe my daughter's best friend had a little girl of her own.

A day well spent having a friend over and helping her learn the mysterious ways of the macaron.  

Okay, well maybe not every cookie gets shared.

So many wine country days still need to be had. 

Setbacks aside this year I'm writing this in hopes that things move forward and up from here.  

Happy summer!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lemon, Blueberry Shortbread Cookies

I finally got around to downloading some photos off my memory card and I was like, "Dang, I wish I could just go back to that moment in time."  You all were probably leaning towards; I dropped off the face of the planet, suffered a horrendous case of karma retribution from the Halloween episode, or worse yet was abducted by aliens.  I'm not completely ruling out the last option since there was this one episode at Trader Joe's last week where I lengthily explained why I was buying freezing dried fruit to the clerk.  For the record, never dribble on about macaronage to the uninitiated, it makes their head spin in ways I've never seen before.  For the most part, I had to lay low and do the thing I hate most, actually I dislike it so much I really don't want to give it any credence by uttering it's vile name.  So we won't talk about the four-letter word that has been sucking the life out of me these days.

Did I ever tell you guys about the stalker who asked me out on a date via weird random e-mail (Patty) shortly after I started blogging?  Apparently I lack street sense or something, because I thought it was a fabulous idea to run off and meet up with this stalker and be all starry-eyed bloggy geek with them.  We met at a swanky, hip eatery owned by the Tyler Florence in San Francisco, we sipped ice tea, we ogled our food, and of course we snapped photos of it.  After that one date I was hooked, ready to kick Hot Dog Dude to the curb and hook up with my new bff and play out some romanticized version of the Golden Girls (with much younger hotter chicks of course).  Good times I tell you.  Life changing I tell you to know that there are people out there that see no problem whatsoever with debating the merits of a perfect tart crust.

Truth be told, I have been over blogging for some time.  Yet I am far from over the wonderful people who have come into my life and made it that much better.  I adore checking up on them and seeing what treats they are baking, even what their kids and pets are up to.  Not to mention the fabulous adventures they are always on.  I am way over the endless time suck that is social media, the Pinterest whoring, and the endless content spamming.  I have received some of the sweetest e-mails from folks over the years and keep all of you in my thoughts.  I'm at a crossroads here as to whether or not filling this space fits with me anymore.  I will never be over the Christmas cookie exchange that has been going on for the last few years that included myself, PattyLisa C., Lisa D.Jean, and Azmina this year.  Long live the cookie exchange.

If you are far from over cookies, perhaps these may tickle your fancy.

Lemon, Blueberry, Almond, White Chocolate Shortbread
Shortbread dough:
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest from 1 lemon (Meyer is best if you can find them)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dried blueberries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup whole toasted almonds, chopped

White Chocolate Ganache:
3/4 cup white chocolate, chopped finely (chips will work)
3 tablespoons heavy cream

In the bowl of a food processor combine sugar and lemon zest, pulse a few times until the aroma of the zest is nice and strong.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and sugar mixture and beat until well combined and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, lemon extract, salt, and flour and mix on low speed until combined.

Remove the dough from the mixer and fold in the blueberries and almonds.  Spread dough out into a 2-inch thick square on a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly and store in the fridge until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4-inch and cut the dough with square or round cookie cutter, re-roll any scraps.  I’ve found a 2-inch square works really well and less re-rolling will be necessary. Place cut out cookies a 1/2-inch apart onto prepared baking sheets, prepared with silicone mats, parchment, or greased.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Cool cookies on a rack. Once completely cooled combine white chocolate and heavy cream in a small saucepan and melt on very low heat. You can either just slowly drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies with a small spoon or add it to a piping bag for a more controlled drizzle. 

Makes about 48 cookies if cut into 2-inch squares.

I liked these cookies so much I ended up make a few extra batches and shipping them off to a few friends I felt may be in cookie need.

So for now I shall kick back with cookies in hand and contemplate the future.  Who knows maybe I will come back as a symbol, you know like Prince.  

Happy Valentines Day!!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza and I'm probably coming back for yet another life...

I'm sure you've all heard about that little old thing where you have to keep being reincarnated until you get it right here on this earth.  Well I hummed along pretty smoothly for most of my years; I mean there was a little slip up here and there.  For the most part the faux pas were negligible and I figured there was that first 40-year free pass clause anyways.  Most of the details are still a blank and I haven't quite even begun to figure out exactly where things went sideways, but trust me friends this one was bad, really bad.  In the big scheme of things I shouldn't be too upset about it, because I have this sneaking suspicion that this isn't my first rodeo here on earth and what is another 90 years or so added to the sentence.

The worst plans are always hatched out of desperation, and desperate we were.  I shouldn't have gently persuaded (conned) my sister into going along with my evilly delicious plan.  It is practically not my fault that she has not yet learned that going along with my ridiculous ideas could spell trouble.  I'm not blaming her though; actually we've both decided that the blame should rest squarely on Hot Dog Dude. (Besides, he makes it way too easy.)

It started off on such a good note; I was all decked out in my vampire slayer outfit, clutching my dagger ready for any rogue vampires whom might cross my path.  Ready, willing, and able to defend innocence against the dark forces.  Seriously, do I look ready for business or what?


What happened next was so heinous I can't even tell you here.  Look I do have a reputation in the community to uphold and why in the heck wasn't someone keeping a closer eye on where that tiny little Doc McStuffins was leaving her hard earned candy loot.  I'm too embarrassed I just can't, well maybe I could if I wrote it into a fictional story and changed the names to protect peoples privacy a little, hmm.  

How about we just change the subject and focus on the important things in life, like the very important fact that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I haven't even begun to explore what I'm making this year.  I'm going to also completely block out the fact that I signed up to run a 5K the morning of Thanksgiving and then will come home and cook for everyone.  Complete mental blockage, it's a gift; so I suppose I shall have to add that one to the gratitude column.

Quite sometime ago I ran across Cauliflower Pizza recipes and they looked quite tasty, a pizza without carbs, can't go wrong there.  It would be perfect, except I love carbs and I'm much too lazy to cook cauliflower and then arrange it into a fancy pizza shape.  So consider this recipe a gift friends.

Cauliflower Pizza (for the lazy)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper and toss over the cauliflower and tomatoes.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment (because we've already established we are lazy and why on earth would we want extra cleanup chores).  Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the grated parmesan and return to the oven for an addition 5-10 minutes, depending on how soft you like your cauliflower.

Serve warm or cold.

Please don't tell me you thought I'd dropped of the face of the earth.  Didn't we already establish earlier, I have plenty of more years left remaining here; so I may as well entertain myself someway and torment the internet in the process.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Extreme Brownies - Peanut Butter Cup Brownies


I'm sure you all have heard that old saying, "when the cat's away, the mice will play", well for this mouse the cat just headed off for a hunting trip.  This mouse has big plans, make that super big plans, they involve non-stop yoga pant wearing, zero make-up or hair combing, eating raw cookie dough (I like to live on the wild side and add raw egg) (GASP), lots of take-out, staying up late doing crafts, some sort of Netflix bender, and possibly a pan of these Peanut Butter Cup Brownies.  If that sounds like your kind of weekend you should call me, I mean I do love me a good brownie, but even on my best day, I'd have trouble consuming more than half a pan.  Brownies are the kind of thing you need to share, share with friends, family, that skin flint in the office who tells you all you need to do to get their physique is add 3 hours a day to your total work out time (scratch that, no scratch that, give them extra brownies.)

I was asked if I would like to review "Extreme Brownies" and I reluctantly said yes.  Not because I don't love brownies, it's just I've had some real disappointing ones over the years and I'm not even going to lie here, my kids will say after many of them, "Can't you just make the ones in the box."  I made Connie's Today Show Peanut Butter Cup Brownies first and gave quite a few away and everyone seemed to really like them.  I had a few left sitting on the counter and I threw all my will power at avoiding them, yet every time I turned around I was leaving the area with a small piece in hand.  It didn't help that they were so darn thick, fudgy, and rich.  I see why Connie has done so well with these brownies, they are a bit addicting.
Connie’s Today Show Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
Makes 12 large squares or 24 smaller bars

When I’m in the kitchen, I like to listen to either the TV or radio (preferably NPR) for background fodder as I’m cooking. One day on the Today show, Hoda Kotb held up a package of brownies she’d bought at a grocery store as one of her favorite things that she likes to share with viewers. I made a mental note that my brownies looked a lot better, and one day I would send her some. About six months later I did, and I hoped I would get a reply from Hoda, maybe with an autographed picture. Instead, I had an email from the producer asking me if I would like to come on the show to do a cooking segment. I was thrilled, and in July 2012, some friends and I went to New York and had a blast with my 15 minutes of fame. One of the results of that appearance, however, is that I always have people at my booth asking for the Today show brownie, so as much as I like to change up my selection, this is one I always have to bring.

Vegetable shortening for pan
1 (12-ounce) package miniature peanut butter cups
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter
4½ ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1½ cups (9 ounces) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups (10.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1½ packed cups (12 ounces) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups (6.8 ounces) bleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons (0.07 ounce) coarsely chopped salted peanuts
¼ cup (1 ounce) milk chocolate chips

1.     To make the brownies, adjust an oven rack to the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Prepare a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil as shown on page xvi. Lightly grease the foil in the pan.

2.     Unwrap the peanut butter cups; set aside.

3.     Cut the butter sticks into 1-inch slices. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the butter pieces over the lowest setting. While the butter is melting, chop the unsweetened chocolate into ¼-inch pieces and add to the melted butter along with the bittersweet chocolate chips. Use a small whisk to speed the melting process. When the chocolate is melted and completely smooth, turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the burner while proceeding with the recipe.

4.     Using a large whisk, lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Place the sugars and salt in a separate small mixing bowl, then whisk into the eggs just until incorporated. Briefly whisk the melted chocolate mixture, then gradually whisk into the egg mixture until just combined. Briefly whisk in the vanilla.

5.     Place the flour and baking powder in the small mixing bowl; whisk together to combine. Sift through a medium strainer directly onto the batter; stir in with a silicone spatula until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a small offset spatula. Push the peanut butter cups into the batter; do not place any within ½ inch of the pan sides. Use the offset spatula to cover the candy with the batter. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the batter, then place the milk chocolate chips evenly on the batter. Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, then refrigerate the pan for 7 to 8 hours, or overnight. See page xix for instructions on removing and cutting the slab, and for refrigerated storage (up to 3 weeks) and freezing guidelines.

From Extreme Brownies: 50 Recipes for the Most Over-the-Top Treats Ever by Connie Weis/Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2014.  You can get a copy of Extreme Brownies here if you'd like.


Come on friends don't let me down, come on over and help me polish some of these off.  Besides if none of you come and help me shave some calories off my bottom line, I'm going to have to go to the gym and work some of these off and there is no way, I repeat no way I want to do that this weekend.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jam filled Almond Doughnut Muffins


I'm going to call this summer "the summer of contentment".  Banished was the run down, over-scheduled version of myself instead I opted for a deliberate, quiet, and content with the moment summer.  I took back my free moments and put them to better use.  I methodically went through a small mountain of belongings without a home, rearranged furniture, and took carefully inventory of what was necessary and what wasn't.  I have to say a clearing out of the environment is equivalent to the clearing out of the mind, or at least it is to me anyways.

I really scratch my head and wonder sometimes how I made it all these years living with HDD.  On most things I'd say we are polar opposites.  I thrive in an "everything in its place" environment devoid of attachment to belongings, whereas HDD lives in a constant state of "what if I need that", unable to part with anything because it has some sort of memory or future use.  For myself I believe the memories live upstairs and while having a memento of someone may bring them into my consciousness for a brief moment, I think of them regardless.

I think the only way we survive such differences by knowing each other's strengths and weakness.  There is always going to be struggle and strife in any relationship.  In the long scope of things, I opt for letting go of strife and just letting what is, be what is.  This summer I moved on from so many things that I felt were holding me back in invisible ways.  I even felt content to move on from this space I have shared with you for the last four years.  Yet I kind of missed everyone, maybe it's those memories living in my head, still sorting out that one.

Jam filled Almond Doughnut Muffins
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (could substitute vegetable oil)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
8 ounces whatever flavor jam you’d like

In a large bowl mix together coconut oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and almond extract and mix until combined.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin wrappers and place about 2 tablespoons batter in each cup. Add a heaping tablespoon of jam on top of the batter in each cup and cover the jam with the remaining batter equally.

Bake in 350 degree F oven for 18-20 minutes. Let cool.

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons milk

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine in a small bowl powdered sugar, almond extract, salt, and milk and drizzle over the cooled muffins. Sprinkle the toasted nuts over the tops.

Serves 12.  (If you interpret that in a non-ambiguous sort of way.)

What do you all think; is it better to be content or malcontent?  After all, if one was completely content one would never go back and have a second muffin, would they now.  Hmm.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grilled Honey Peaches with Soft, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

I wish summer could last forever.  I've been sitting at my desk all morning listening to the birds chirp outside the open window, not to mention the snores coming from down at my feet.  My four legged friends are exhausted still from the long walk my daughter took them on yesterday.  I ate a whole basket of blackberries all by my lonesome yesterday without remorse.  I polished off quite a few strawberries and raspberries too, but let's just keep that under our hat.  Despite my schedule being turned upside down by all the extra bodies and activities in the house, I'm enjoying a sense of peace that seems to come over me when the sun amps up around here.

I find myself wandering across town every chance I get to see what new fruits are coming out of the local orchards.  Something about summer that makes everyday feel like a new one.  Summer just feels more hopeful, more time to realign goals, and plan for the future.  I'm hoping to see jars of fresh jam on my counter any day now, I'm hoping my daughter is ready to drive me to the farm stand every chance we get since she has her permit now and all, I'm hoping these days filled with hours and hours of daylight last a good long time, I'm hoping the flip-flop tan mark on my feet will get more and more pronounced, I'm hoping we get a chance to go on at least one adventure before the summer draws to a close.

Grilled Peach & Oatmeal Cookie

I'm hoping that I enjoy more desserts such as this one and summer goes on.

Grilled Honey Peaches and Soft, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Bake cookies and set aside.

Oatmeal Cookies:
1 stick (1/2 cup) + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup light brown sugar 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 

Add butter and sugars to a mixing bowl or the bowl of a mixer and mix until butter looks light and fluffy. Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, egg, and vanilla and mix until combined. Add oatmeal and mix until combined. Place dough in fridge for 2 hours or so until cold. (Don't skip this step or your cookies will come out flat and crispy.)

Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop out 1 1/2" balls of cookie dough, place the balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Press the balls down slightly leaving them at least 1/2" thick. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 12 to 14 minutes. 

Makes about 24 cookies.

Several ripe peaches split and kernel removed
Small amount of honey
Flake sea salt

Drizzle cut side of peach halves with honey and place skin side down on medium grill for 2 minutes and turn to honey side and grill for 2-3 more minutes.  Just want to warm the peaches and soften them and caramelize them a bit.  Sprinkle the grilled peaches with a pinch of sea salt.  Serve in a bowl with cookies and a squirt of whip cream if you so desire.

I'm hoping that summer is being as good to you as this bowl of warm honey peaches with soft, chewy oatmeal cookies was to me.



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