The Best Peach Shortbread

Peach Shortbread 6

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1 cup room temperature unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 -3 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Butter a 9×13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips, blend the butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly.

Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.

Peach Shortbread 1

I like to whisk the spices with the sugar first, then the flour.  It helps to make sure everything is well distributed.

Peach Shortbread 2

Press 3/4 of the flour/sugar mixture into your baking pan, reserving the rest for topping.

Peach Shortbread 3

These peaches are really the star here, but that buttery crust plays an amazingly delicious supporting role.

Peach Shortbread 7

Not so much topping that the peaches are hidden, and for a little extra crunch, sprinkle the top with a little raw sugar.

Peach Shortbread 4

OOOHHH, the smell of sweet peaches and buttery crumb can’t be beat.

Peach Shortbread 5

It might be difficult to wait, but they cut so much better if you let them cool.

This recipe came from smitten kitchen.com, so if you want to go one more step towards deliciousness, head over to her blog …. Deb Perelman …. she also browns the butter for a nutty flavour that apparently really comes through.  Today, I just didn’t have time, as I wanted to get these slightly cooled bars out to the workers to enjoy the fruits of their labours with peach picking, sorting and packing!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The first fresh fruit pie of the season … strawberries and rhubarb are ripe at about the same time and those two belong together!  The strawberries are sweet, and the rhubarb is tart …. its a perfect match.

Strawberr rhubarb pie 3

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe unbaked double pie crust
  • 2 1/2 cup rhubarb, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 large stalks)
  • 2 1/2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
Strawberry rhubarb pie

When the fruit looks this fresh, colourful and juicy you just know the pie will be perfect.

NSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Prepare the bottom crust by rolling out one of the pastry disks to an 11-inch circle. Nestle the crust inside the pan so about an inch hangs over the sides. Press the pastry down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the fruit with the sugar, flour (or cornstarch) and lemon zest. Using the tines of a fork, poke the bottom of the pie crust evenly about five times. Pour the fruit mixture into the chilled pastry. Dot with the butter pieces.
  4. Moisten the edge of the bottom crust with a finger dipped in water. Put on the top pastry in one piece and slice in a few air vents, or in a lattice pattern, trim, and crimp the edges.
  5. Brush the egg glaze over the crust. Transfer the pie to a baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake another 30 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before serving.
  8. Strawberry rhubarb pie 2

    I have a fancy little roller press that cuts this lattice pattern, but I can never get it onto the pie with it all looking smooth and even … I think I prefer just doing an old fashioned lattice … stay tuned for a photo next time I do that!

    Strawberry rhubarb pie 4

    Cut the pie while it is still warm, and you will end up with juices running … still delicious, but if you want it to be a firm slice, let it cool for at least a couple of hours.

    Strawberry rhubarb pie 5

     

     

Chocolate Chip Crisp Cookies

Cookies 6

Cookies are such a treat!  You can convince yourself (quite easily) that you are eating a nutritious cookie with the addition of wheat germ and rolled oats ….. (insert eye roll).

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (granulated)
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup puffed rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside.

Cookies 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand held blender, beat the butter for 1 minute.  Beat in the sugars until the mixture is quite light and fluffy.  Scape down the sides and beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Blend well between the 1st and 2nd egg.  Beat in the vanilla and remove the bowl from the stand.

Cookies 2

You can see how fluffy the butter, sugars and eggs are – now is the time to work it by hand.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dry mixture just until combined.  Stir in the oats, cereal and wheat germ.  Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.

Cookies 3

You don’t want to over mix cookie dough – stir just until combined.

Drop the batter in heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  You should be able to get about 12 cookies on a regular cookie sheet.

Cookies 4

What are those coloured bits you ask?  I had coloured rice crisps …..

One sheet at a time, bake in the centre of the oven until set and lightly browned around the edges.  My oven took 11 minutes, but check after 9 – ovens can be so different!  Cool the cookies on the sheet, set on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing to a separate wire rack to cool completely.

The results are best if you allow the cookie sheet to cool slightly before putting the next batch on to bake.

Cookies 5

So many schools have restrictions on nuts these days – you could always replace the pecans with raisins (but not in this house) or dried cranberries.

 

 

 

Vanilla Bundt Cake

A perfect dessert, delicious but tasty!  This simple vanilla cake can be changed up so easily.  For this version I added some blood orange juice and zest, which worked perfectly with the fruity glaze.

Vanilla Bundt Cake 2

To create the blood orange cake, squeeze the juice from one blood orange into a one cup measure of milk, fill the remaining cup with milk.  Zest one orange and stir into the batter.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ¼ cups (315 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups (370 g) sugar1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (125 ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk

PREPARATION

  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously butter and flour a 10 to 12-cup (2.5-3 litre) Bundt pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture triples in volume and forms a ribbon. Drizzle in the oil while beating.
  4. At low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beating just until smooth. Spread the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes. Unmould and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cake Donuts with Fruit Glaze

Delish

These fun little donuts are delicious!  So easy to make, and even quicker to bake.  The toppings can be anything you like to suit the occasion.

I bought silicone donut molds to bake with, and they are so much fun!  This recipe comes together quickly, and bakes even faster.  Whatever you top them with, they are sure to be a winner.  Today I did a raspberry glaze and an orange peach glaze, but I included a few others here.

Realistically you can make any toppings you like, next time I might do chocolate with toasted nuts on top ….

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Sprinkles for decorating

Special equipment:

a 12-cavity donut pan and a piping bag

  • To make the donuts: preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Coat a 12-cavity donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Cake Donuts 1

    Always whisk your dry ingredients together first, that way you can use the same whisk for the wet ingredients.

  • Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and water in a medium bowl.
  • Cake Donuts 2

    Yes, I’m often a bit generous with my vanilla ……

  • Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine.
  • Fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe the batter into the donut pans, filling each cavity halfway. This could get a little messy.
  • Cake Donuts 3

    I used a ziplock bag and just snipped the end off.

    Cake Donuts 5

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes.
  • Check your oven at 12 minutes, if a toothpick comes out clean, you are done.
  • Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely.
  • Cake Donuts 6

    I think I might have overfilled these a touch, as they did get a little lip on them.

  • To decorate the donuts, dip them halfway into the glaze and then allow excess glaze to drip off. Sprinkle the tops with a little fun and enjoy.

Have you seen “Girl Meets Farm”?  It is on Food Network and features Molly Yeh.  Her recipes are easy to follow, usually contain simple ingredients and I love everything I’ve tried.  This recipe is from her “baby shower” episode.

Cake Donuts 7

Here are some glaze suggestions, also from that episode:

  • Orange Glaze:

    1. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, honey and 4 tablespoons of the juice in a bowl. Add more juice little by little until the mixture is spreadable (you might not need the full remaining tablespoon). It should be quite thick yet spreadable.

    Rhubarb Glaze:

    1. Put the rhubarb, granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small pot on a stovetop. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar as needed for taste and consistency.

    Blueberry Glaze:

    1. Put the blueberries, granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water into a small pot on a stovetop and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the berries have burst and the sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a small bowl, straining if necessary, then add the confectioners’ sugar. Whisk to combine, adding more confectioners’ sugar as needed for taste and consistency.

Irresistible Turtle Cheesecake

turtle cheesecake 4

Not sure how a cheesecake can be creamy, delectable and somehow light at the same time.  As an added bonus, it’s easy to make.

 

3 cups cups finely crushed chocolate wafers (or use a combo of graham and chocolate wafers)

3 Tbsp. butter, melted – use your judgement, may take a little more to get the crumbs to stick together
1/4 cup caramel sauce (plus more for drizzle)
1/4 cup chocolate sauce (plus more for drizzle)
1 cup chopped and roasted pecans
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs
I used a 9 1/2″ springform pan for this cake – depending on the size of your pan, you may need to adjust slightly for the amount of crumb.
Heat oven to 325°F.
Combine cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 1-1/2 inches up side of 9 1/2 inch springform pan.
Sprinkle toasted and chopped pecans over crust layer, and top with the caramel sauce.
turtle cheesecake 1

I used a combination of chocolate and graham crumbs and really loved the way it turned out,

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each one, until really smooth.  Pour over caramel layer in crust.  With an offset spatula smooth the top.
I always like to bake my cheesecakes in a water bath – this makes them even smoother and creamier, as well as less likely to crack on top.
turtle cheesecake 2
TIP – Double wrap your cheesecake pan with foil, then set in large roasting pan.  Put this in your preheated oven, and ONLY THEN fill with hot water until about 1/2 way up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake 1 hour 5 min. to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.
turtle cheesecake 3
When the cake is completely cooled, remove from springform pan and sprinkle reserved pecans over.  Then drizzle with both caramel and chocolate sauces.  Irresistible.
turtle cheesecake 5
You can be as creative as you like with both the caramel and chocolate sauces.  They are easy enough to make, but if you are inclined to take it easy on yourself, just buy them.

Pumpkin Pie

I will bet you don’t even know how easy it is to make your own pumpkin pie at home!  Try this one out and you may never go back to grocery store pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie hit all the notes, tender and creamy, with just the right amount of spice to wake up your taste buds.   I used my flaky pie crust with vinegar and egg to make the crust, but if you’d rather, a frozen pie crust will work well too.  Give yourself that break when you need it …

  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired (we like whipped cream).
  3. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.