Peach Brown Butter Scones

Going through the process of transferring this blog to another domain and host has made me feel like I know absolutely nothing about computers or the way the Internet works.  And here I was thinking I was an informed individual.

I feel like I find myself Google troubleshooting (i.e. typing how to….into Google) way too many times a day.  I guess this stuff’s not common knowledge, but geeez, it certainly is time consuming.

Especially since I have to go through every post I’ve made in the last 10 months.  Do you know how many that is?!?!  A lot.  I have to go through them all because I’m reformatting them using a WordPress plug-in called Easy Recipe.  Easy Recipe frames the recipe portion of each post, delineating it from everything else, and giving it a print page link.  That way, you can print out the recipe without having to print out the entire post and pictures/copy and paste the recipe into a word document to print it.  Nifty, eh?

So it’s for you guys that I do this.  I stare at my computer screen until my contacts stick to my dried-out eyeballs, meticulously reformatting every post.  It’s all for you.  But then I did something for me.  I made scones.  Wonderful, fluffy, peachy, brown buttery scones.  Yep, you heard me. Brown butter in a scone.  Perfection, I’m telling you.

Brown Butter Peach Scones

Adapted from Tutti Dolce

Makes 10-12 scones

5 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup peeled and diced peaches

2/3 cup buttermilk or heavy cream

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp turbinado sugar, for topping

Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes.

Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until solid and chilled, about 1 ½ hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Dice chilled brown butter into 1/2-inch pieces; sprinkle over flour mixture and use your fingers to mush the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Place peaches between layers of paper towels and press gently to remove moisture; add to flour mixture, folding in gently.

Whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and fold in just until moist.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a circle about 1” thick.  Add flour if the dough is too tacky to handle.  Cut the dough into wedges or use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds.  Place wedges or rounds onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden.

Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.


Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Sometimes I do silly things.  Occasionally, my mom is there to take a picture of it.  I was trying to get Izzy to climb on top of me…but she had other plans.

Also, this kitty really wanted in to our house.  For obvious reasons, I could not oblige, though my kitty-in-distress senses were tingling beyond belief.  However, not enough to sacrifice the well being of my bunny or Luke who is allergic.

When the mountain of summer produce arrived, I was so stoked.  I watched gleefully as my mom pulled the bags of peaches and little blue boxes of blueberries out of her car.  She plopped them down on the kitchen counter, along with something I did not expect.

It was long and green, and I definitely did not recall asking for anything matching that description.

But then I remembered how my mom had kept bragging about her abundance of zucchini, and realized she was passing the bounty on to me.  Oh joy.  For the record, I do not enjoy eating gourd vegetables.  Squash in all its variations and zucchini just don’t do it for me.  So as I stared at that green tube of a vegetable, I thought, “What the heck do I do with this thing?”

Thankfully a quick internet search brought up quite a number of tasty looking options, and I finally settled on this quick bread.

You can’t taste the zucchini at all (bonus), and what you do taste is a whole lot of chocolaty goodness.  Double bonus.

When I cut the ends off of the zucchini to grate it, both ends started sweating.  I guess it knew it was being done in.  If your zucchini sweats too, make sure to dry the grated bits before adding them to the batter, as you don’t want that extra moisture in there.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Makes one 9×5” loaf

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (one medium) shredded zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5” loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, brown sugar, honey and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to gently fold the batter together until almost no flour remains. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips, ensuring that they are evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers at room temperature, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

White Chocolate Strawberry Almond Muffins

I am not spontaneous.  Ok, wait, that came out wrong, let me try again from the other side.  I am a planner.  Some may even call me a compulsive planner.  I want to know about things happening well in advance; I like to make schedules, menus, to-do lists, etc.

So when things happen that I don’t plan for, like say, you go to get your pork shoulder out of the fridge to get it ready to sit in the slow cooker for 8 hours because you’re making dinner for your fiancé’s boss and his wife that night, and even though the sell by date on the meat is today, the edges of the meat are turning green.  Yes, green….bleck.

It’s 9am, and you need a pork shoulder in your slow cooker fast.  You’re still in your pajamas, and halfway to tears over the money you lost on the first pork shoulder.  You manage to pull yourself together, but then trip over your rabbit going up the stairs to change and scrape your elbow.  You then head to the grocery store, thanking every god known to man you only live 3 mins from Stop & Shop.  You sprint to the meat section, select a new, very pink pork shoulder and rush back to the check out area like a wide receiver running for a game-winning touchdown, cradling your precious pork shoulder right in the crook of your arm.

And then you’re back home at 9:20, slapping some serious dry rub on that shoulder, crisis averted.  *whew* But then you realize you totally forgot to write a blog post the night before because you were too tired after your dancing lesson. *cringe*  I’m only human guys.

Lucky for me I had a fantastic breakfast that morning by way of these muffins.  They combine white chocolate, strawberries and almond meal together in one perfect little parcel; not too sweet, and full of flavor.

White Chocolate Strawberry Almond Muffins

Adapted from Honey & Jam

Makes 8-10 muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup almond flour or almond meal
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda

2 large eggs
¼ cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup honey
½ cup chopped white chocolate
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.  Mix dry together ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine wet and dry until well incorporated. Gently fold in white chocolate and strawberries.  Divide batter into cups; you will most likely not need all 12.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before removing muffins.


Peanut Butter & Jelly Coffee Cake

I am thoroughly convinced that I have the best fiancé on the planet.  Yesterday he emailed me a link to a line of clothing he thought I might like.  If you should know one thing about me and clothing it’s this: I hate shopping.  I loathe, despise, abhor it.  If I do ever go shopping, I have to be in the right mood, otherwise, well, let’s just hope I went alone.

I had to admit though, some of the dresses on the site were cute.  Another thing you should know about me: I am a bargain shopper to the core.  So when I saw that those cute dresses were outside of what I felt comfortable paying, I tried to put my foot down and say no.  The conversation went like this.

“Luuuuuuke (I can’t felt but feel like Aunt Beru everytime I say his name like this), these dresses are tooo expensive.”

“But you need something to wear to the rehearsal dinner.”

“I know…but can’t we go to like Marshall’s or something.”

“You are not getting your rehearsal dinner dress at Marshall’s.  Even if you go to the mall, you probably won’t find a good dress at this price.”

“But there are two I really like, and I can’t decide between them…”

“Then get both.”

“At that price?!?!  Two!??!!  Are you insane?!!?!”

“Sweetie, either you get them now, or I’ll buy them for you tomorrow.” Hands over his credit card.  See what I mean?  You’d think I would have baked him something special to show my gratitude.  Well, I’ll get to that soon.  This one’s got my name written all over it, since someone says they don’t like coffee cake.

I’ll leave that comment alone for now, even though I don’t think it’s humanly possible.  This coffee cake is a spectacular presentation of the peanut butter and jelly variety.  A peanut butter flavored cake gets kissed by a swirl of grape jam and topped with a crunchy peanut butter crumble.

It’s THE breakfast for the p& j enthusiast.  (i.e. me)

Peanut Butter & Jelly Coffee Cake

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Makes one 8×8” pan

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup grape jelly (or jelly of your choice)

For the Peanut Butter Streusel Topping:

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter

¼ cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

First, make the peanut butter streusel topping. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Mix with a spoon until there are no big brown sugar clumps. Add the peanut butter, melted butter and chopped peanuts, stirring until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter together until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and mix until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract.  Alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Don’t over mix; beat until just combined.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Spoon grape jelly evenly over the cake. Take a toothpick or butter knife and gently swirl in the jelly. Sprinkle the peanut butter streusel over the cake. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Enjoy!

Peach Poppy Seed Muffins

These muffins and I go wayyyyy back.  Like, back before I knew how to operate an oven and my “baking experience” was licking the brownie batter covered spoon.  This is a recipe passed down to me by my darling mother.

I know you’ve heard of lemon poppy seed muffins.  I’ve even posted about them.  But peach poppy seed?  Yes, friends, OH YES.

I’m not sure where the idea for these muffins originated (I guess I should ask my mom) but I am sure about how much my brother and I loved them.  I recall eating them straight from the freezer once or twice because I was worried that the monstrous black hole that was my growing teenage brother would eat them all before I had managed a single taste.

They taste better thawed out for the record, though they do freeze beautifully.  I love the tops of these muffins.  Such a deep golden brown, and crispy on the edges.  It pairs so wonderfully with the moist, tender interior that contains subtle undertones of peachy goodness.

My mom’s original recipe calls for peach baby food.  I decided to use pureed peaches instead, and they tasted exactly the same.  If you’re looking for a way to use up a summer peach or two, might I proffer these muffins as a solution?

Peach Poppy Seed Muffins

Adapted from my mom’s recipe

Makes 12 muffins

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

3 Tbsp poppy seeds

¾ cup (6 oz) pureed peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.  Finally stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the mixture and stir to combine.  Fold in the poppy seeds and peach puree.  Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling until about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-25 mins, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

Homemade Poptarts

There has been a recent movement in the food blogging world that calls for people to make certain staple foods at home, instead of buying a mass-manufactured version.  I am certainly a proponent of this idea, as I think homemade versions are almost always better than their store-bought counterparts.

When you make these foods at home, you know exactly what goes into them; no unwanted preservatives, dyes or other chemicals that you can’t pronounce.  Perhaps this is what makes the “homemade” touch so delicious.  Or maybe we can taste the love and goodness being transferred into these goodies as our family members or friends painstakingly take the time to make something homemade instead of running to the store real quick.

Whatever the secret ingredient is, homemade just seems better to me.  Even in the poptart realm.  And believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of poptarts in my day.  Including the great sounding, but rarely living up to the real thing flavors like hot fudge sundae or chocolate chip cookie dough.

I’d still take one of these homemade ones any day.  Homemade poptarts are remarkably easy to make, and the many different filling ideas out there make them even better.  I like to use up whatever I have on hand, which in this case, was a little container of cinnamon and sugar from a previous recipe.

Cinnamon sugar poptarts anyone?  I also used nutella as a filling for the chocolate dough-ed poptart.  Now, you may be wondering why my poptarts are so heterogeneous.  Well…this is because I kind of cheated.  Whenever I make a pie or tart and wind up with extra dough, I wrap it up, pop it in the freezer, then thaw it out later to make poptarts.  Obviously, I had a few different kinds of leftover dough in the mix, so I didn’t actually use the dough recipe below.  Whether you make these with leftover dough or fresh, I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the result.  I mean, come on, you just made your very own poptarts!

Homemade Poptarts

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 8-10 poptarts

For the dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 Tbsp milk

For the filling*:

½ cup brown sugar
1 -1 ½  tsp cinnamon, to taste
4 tsp all-purpose flour

cinnamon chips (optional)

4-6 Tbsp nutella
1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured surface if necessary.

Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins or up to 2 days.

Next, make the filling.  *These measurements make enough to fill about 9 tarts.  If you want some poptarts with nutella filling, I’d recommend halving this recipe.  In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, flour and cinnamon chips is using.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 20 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″.  Repeat with the second piece of dough.  Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack and enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Mom’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

Oh July, I’m going to be honest with you.  There is only one reason that allows me to tolerate your ridiculous heat and humidity, and that is blueberry season.

It seems like every year I’ve found myself in the midst of blueberry patch, the ever familiar “plunk” as the berries hit the bottom of my container a symphony of summertime joy.

The joy could also be from my mouthful of ripe berries, too delicious to even make it into my basket.  Blueberries have always been my favorite berry; both bite sized and devoid of hard seeds that lodge themselves in my teeth.

Yep, blueberries have it all.  A baked good containing blueberries will always make me swoon, but this one stands above all others.  Call it nostalgia, call it sentimentality.  I just happen to think my mom makes a damn good blueberry coffee cake.

I’m not alone in the sentiment.  She entered it last fall in the local fair, and it won a first place ribbon.  Of course I’ve known it was a winner since the first time I tried it, and have loved it ever since.  I’m so glad to be able to share the recipe with all of you, it’s quite simple, and the results are incredible.

Mom’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

Recipe via My Mom

Makes one 9” or (7×11”) square pan

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

½ cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

For the crumb topping:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 9” or 7×11” baking pan and set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg and milk and stir to combine.  Sift in dry ingredients; the batter will be stiff.  Fold in blueberries.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

To make the crumb topping, combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Massage the butter pieces into the mixture with your fingertips until clumps the size of peas start to form.  Sprinkle the topping over the batter, making sure it is evenly covered.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until crust is a deep, golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely.  This coffee cake is best enjoyed at room temperature and will keep in an air-tight container for up to a week.