Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer so far. Temperatures climbed into the nineties, the sun blazed in a cloudless blue sky, low humidity rounded out the gorgeous weather trifecta.

Some people complained about the heat of the day, but after the winter we had, most did not. The heat felt like the nicest warm blanket, the sun like pure energy. I stood in the driveway, looked to the sky (don’t worry, I had sunglasses on), and soaked it all up. Though I’m not a love of living in Michigan (California here I come . . . one day . . . preferably soon . . . like before the next snowfall), this day, this summer has temporarily changed that. I did not complain about the heat; rather I am hoping Mother Nature sends more of it our way. After all, following the worst winter ever, she kinda owes us!

Individual Pluot Crisps

Along with the heat, summer brings a plethora of stone fruit. The flavorful, juicy fruit quenches my thirst and revitalizes my body. Especially Frog Hollow’s organic Flavor King Pluots.

These pluots are to be treasured. Not too big, their size is deceiving, as they pack huge flavor. The texture of a plum is combined with the flavor of an apricot to make them great for eating out of hand and even better for baking. The flesh is rather soft and sweet, while the slightly tough skin adds a pleasant tartness.

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Frog Hollow challenged me to bake something with them with leaving the skin on. I am used to eating stone fruit with the skin, but not baking with it. I also wanted a light easy to make summer dessert.

So I make Individual Pluot Crisps. Each halve of the pitted pluot is filled with the best crumb topping that you won’t believe is vegan and gluten free! Oats and granulated sugar bring texture to the party, while cinnamon packs a flavor punch. The topping combines with the juicy fruit for a not too sweet treat. Oh, and that skin? It blends right into the fruit. You won’t even know it’s there. I know you want some of these pluots in your life, so head over to Frog Hollow’s website and order some. And if you’re a fruit lover like me, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram too!

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

2 Flavor King Pluots, washed and halved

¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if you like)

2 tablespoons flour (gluten free, oat flour, even almond flour will work)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the halves of the pluots flesh side up on the tray.

In a medium bowl, stir together oatmeal, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Drizzle in oil and stir until clumps form. Divide topping among pluot halves. If there is any leftover, place it in a mound on the tray and it will be a yummy, crunchy addition to the dessert.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until topping is golden brown and fruit is juicy. Serve warm with ice cream, if you like.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with fruit by Frog Hollow Farm, but all opinions, as always, are mine!

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie #SundaySupper

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

You can never go wrong with a classic. There are tons of fashion classics I always turn to. From red lipstick and smoky eye shadow to little black dresses and cashmere sweaters to stiletto pumps and leather handbags. There are some things pretty much all of us have in our closets and turn to over and over again.

Roses are classic flowers, a welcome sight in any vase or garden. We all have a favorite classic movie, song, and book. They may depend on the generation we’re from, but we can all agree on some. Like Forrest Gump, Thriller, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

These things are all classics with good reason. They have withstood the test of time, proving their awesomeness over and over again. They bridge age and generational gaps and give us happiness and comfort.

The amount of classic dishes in the food world is nearly endless. Grilled cheese, burgers, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, ice cream, brownies, and even Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie.

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

I’ve eaten classic cherry pie tons of times, but it was always made with canned or frozen cherries with lackluster crust. I knew I needed to make my own. This summer I counted the days until sour cherry season began. The moment I saw the ruby red beauties at the farmers’ market last weekend, I snapped them up and ran home to pit them. They’re actually pretty easy to pit, as with a little squeeze, the pit pops out. Cherry pitters are just going to tear these delicate fruits to pieces.

Oh man, is this pie a delicious classic! The golden brown, flaky crust melts in your mouth, yet stands up to the slightly juicy cherry filling. The filling isn’t too sweet, letting the flavor of the cherries shine through. It’s no wonder cherry pie is such a classic!

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

Crust

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup vegetable shortening

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

4-5 tablespoons cold water

Filling

6 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted

1 cup granulated sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon bourbon

2 tablespoons butter, cold, cubed

2 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love), for assembly

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for assembly

Instructions

Make the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add shortening and butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add 4 tablespoons of water and pulse to combine. Squeeze some of the dough together and see if it holds. If it does, the dough is good to go, if not, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it holds together. Pour the dough onto plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Once the crust has chilled, divide it in half. Roll half of it on a floured surface so that it fits your pie pan. Place it in the pan. Roll the other half so that it is slightly larger than your pie pan. Once rolled, fold it gently and carefully place it in the pie pan. Return to the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together cherries, sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch, and bourbon. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Set the top crust aside. Spoon the cherries into the pie pan, leaving as much juice behind as possible. Do not add much juice or the pie will be soupy! Dot the top of the cherries with the 2 tablespoons of butter.

Place the top crust over the filling and crimp the edges tightly shut with your fingers. Brush the top with the milk and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place pie on a foil covered baking sheet to catch any drips (and it will drip!).

Bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F without opening the oven. Bake for about an additional hour, rotating halfway through if necessary, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling vigorously. Cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving. Pie may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or in the freezer, wrapped in quarters in foil and parchment and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.

Notes

Additional chilling and cooling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Beverages

Appetizers

Sides and Accompaniments

Main Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberry Banana Bread

There’s nothing worse than an unexpected 6 am wakeup call. We recently had some visitors in our attic of the furry four-legged kind. To be specific, red squirrels seem to have an affinity for the living quarters above our house.

These squirrels are tiny and adorable. We are part of the problem in feeding them for our viewing pleasure. It’s hilarious to watch them do just about anything to get their hands on a peanut. This includes chasing regular squirrels at least twice their size. Providing them with food is not an invitation to chew through our siding, however. This year they even had little squirrel babies! Too cute!

Blueberry Banana Bread

They’re taken up residence in the attic before and been removed before. Most of the time they live up there quietly and neatly. That’s right, they’re neat. But not too long ago, came a string of days where each morning they rose with the sun and started chewing or digging . . . or doing other things, which would wake me up. I don’t like being woken up. Girlfrand needs her beauty sleep :)

After calling around, we found a humane removal company that would relocate our little critters. They took away one very calm little squirrel and one very rambunctious little guy. Then the other squirrels got smart and began eating the peanut butter out of the trap. Genius squirrels live in our yard! The problem has been solved . . . for now.

Blueberry Banana Bread

With all those early wakeup calls, I needed an extra delicious breakfast. I’m obsessed with summer fruit so Blueberry Banana Bread definitely fit the extra delicious bill. Insanely moist on the inside with a dense crumb and intense banana flavor, the slightly crunchy outside provided a texture contrast. The pop of color and flavor from the blueberries was more than welcome. Add a little peanut butter and you’d have a treat for you . . . or a squirrel!

Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberry Banana Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves, 8 generous slices

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

7 large ripe bananas, well mashed

2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked over

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 2 loaf pans and line the bottom only with parchment. Place the loaf pans on a sheet tray for easy removal from the oven later.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, stir together sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Stir in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Stir in the vanilla and bananas. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries until distributed.

Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans and place in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If the loaves are getting too brown, tent with foil. I recommend doing this between 30-40 minutes into baking. Cool loaves in the pan for about a half an hour before removing and allowing to cool completely on a rack or serving tray. Bread may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

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Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Developing recipes is one of the most fun, yet most nerve-wracking parts of my job. I love getting creative in the kitchen. But I totally cross my fingers whenever I put one of my creations in the oven. Clearly I make recipes I think and hope will turn out, but I can never be sure.

When Frog Hollow Farm asked me to develop a recipe using their certified organic peaches that they would share on their site, I jumped for joy.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Their peaches are crazy good and I knew baking with them would only intensify their sweet flavor. I knew the results would be fabulous . . . well, I hoped.

So I went to the drawing board and decided on Peach Upside Down Cake. The cake is easy to make and came out way better than I even imagined. First of all, it’s beautiful with all those caramelized peaches on top. I was worried they’d get stuck in the pan, but Mom’s magic touch and bravery when turning it out of the pan left it completely intact and stunning.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Then there’s the flavor. The sweet, soft peaches enhanced with a bit of cinnamon, blend seamlessly with the classic, butter cake. This timeless recipe is a summer essential made even better by Frog Hollow’s wonderful peaches. I recommend you head over to Frog Hollow’s site to order some organic peaches (don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter as well – they post some beautiful pictures from the farm on Instagram and Pinterest too!) and then make this cake!

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup granulated sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

½ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

4 medium peaches, pitted, peeled, and sliced

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom only with parchment and butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time and beat until once again light and fluffy. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. I did three installments of flour and two of milk. Mix until just combined.

Arrange the peaches into a pretty pattern in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Pour the batter evenly over the peaches.

Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool cake in pan for about 20 minutes, before carefully inverting onto a cake stand or serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with peaches from Frog Hollow, but all opinions, as always, are mine!

Flag Cake #SundaySupper

Flag Cake

I’ve never had a picnic. It’s something I’d like to try once, but I have mixed feelings over it. On one hand, it sounds so romantic. The perfect, sunny day with just a bit of a breeze. A big blanket and an expertly packed basket full of an array of food and all the necessary utensils. The people I love surrounding me. Perhaps a lake in the distance. A butterfly floating by us, as we sit comfortably on our blanket.

But then there’s what I fear is reality. A stray shower that pops out of nowhere, accompanied by gusty winds. A tattered blanket that’s not nearly big enough to protect me from the dirt and grass below. Not so tasty food on paper plates with plastic utensils. And the bugs. Oh the bugs. Bees, flies, the stereotypical ants, parading off with our food. Our bodies aching from sitting on the hard ground.

Flag Cake

Flag Cake

Maybe an indoor picnic would be more my speed! Air conditioning, no bugs (hopefully), a refrigerator and pantry steps away. Yeah, indoor picnic it is.

Regardless of it you want an indoor or outdoor picnic, you have to make this Flag Cake. Really, you have to! It’s one of the best things I’ve made in a long while. In fact I ate it two nights in a row – I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that. It’s a vanilla bean butter cake topped with vanilla bean frosting. Then to make the flag part of the cake, I used blueberries and on Mom’s genius suggestion Swedish Fish. The fish look so cute on the cake and both the fish and the berries add a pop of flavor. Your Fourth of July party needs this cake!

Flag Cake

Flag Cake

Flag Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 24 servings

Ingredients

Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups almond milk

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

3 – 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup blueberries

50 or more Swedish Fish

Instructions

Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan and line the bottom only with parchment. Butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste. Alternately add flour mixture and almond milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. I did three installments of flour and two of milk.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth into an even layer and bake 40-50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.

Make the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter using a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla bean paste, followed by the confectioners’ sugar, added one cup at a time. After 3 cups are added, taste the frosting to see if it is sweet enough. Spread frosting over cooled cake.

Use blueberries to create a large square/rectangle in the upper left corner of the cake. Use the Swedish Fish to create the stripes in the flag. Make the blueberry area as large as you like, and make as many stripes as thick as you like. The flag is your creation! Cover cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Additional cooling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Beverages

Appetizers

Mains

Sides

Salads

Sandwiches and Wraps

Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

How Suits Inspires Me + Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

I have been wanting to write a letter to Suits creator Aaron Korsh for awhile now, but I couldn’t find an address to send it to him. Then I realized I have a vehicle through my blog. I figured I’d post the letter here and cross my fingers he’ll read it. Here goes nothing!

Dear Aaron,

When I watch Suits, I think three things. First, “Yay, Suits is on,” because it’s pretty much my favorite show. Second, I wish Harvey was real and would be my boyfriend since he’s smart and handsome and charismatic and basically perfect (am I right, ladies?). Third, I want nothing more from life than to have the opportunity to create a show as wonderful as Suits.

Suits takes me away from my life and all its problems. It makes me happy, makes me cheer for the characters, makes me wish I was a part of the characters’ world. Very few people have the talent you do to create such escapism, but I believe I do.

I have several completed novels, two completed screenplays, and a spec script. I have submitted my novels to agents on several occasions without success. I have submitted one of my screenplays to contests and received positive feedback, which is inspiring. There are, however, very few agents that accept unsolicited submissions from screenwriters.

Because I so admire your work, I was wondering if you would help me get my foot in the door and start my career. I’d appreciate any advice you could offer or any connections you could give me. Seriously, only a moment of your time would mean the world to me. I hope you have had the chance to read this letter. And if you have, thank you for doing so! It only takes one person to make my dreams come true, and I think that person just might be you. Oh, and thank you for creating Suits!

Best,
Laura Dembowski

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

For those of you here for a recipe and not to hear about my dreams, you’ll be glad you stuck around. These cherry crumb bars are crazy good. Yes, making them means pitting a little less than two hundred cherries, but they are worth every moment of the messy work. I recommend investing in a cherry pitter, but you can also pit cherries easily with a paring knife. I’ve done it both ways because summer means pitting lots of cherries for treats like this. The slightly crispy, slightly crumbly shortbread crust, paired with the sweet, juicy cherries, and the slightly sandy, melt in your mouth topping is the perfect combination, just like the world of Suits!

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

5 heaping cups Bing cherries, stemmed, pitted, and halved

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar, divided

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9 by 13 inch pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and work it in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the butter is evenly distributed in pea sized pieces and the mixture is crumbly.

In a medium bowl, stir together cherries, 1 cup of the crumb mixture, remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon until well combined.

Pour half of the remaining crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Press it down firmly with your hands and bake for about 12 minutes, until light golden brown.

Allow crust to cool slightly before spreading the cherry mixture on to it in an even layer. Top cherries with remaining crumb topping. Press the topping gently into the cherries. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the cherries are bubbling. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Crepes of Wrath

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Carob Chip Cookies #SundaySupper

Carob Chip Cookies

Dad never used to be much of a sweets eater. He’d devour potato chips, Cheeze-Its, and other savory snacks, but pass on dessert. I didn’t mind. We all like different things; plus, it meant more for me, right?

His taste buds have since changed. Now he loves dessert almost as much as me. Maybe it’s because I bake so many treats that look delicious and make the house smell like a bakery, so he can’t resist. Maybe it’s his old age ;) Sorry, Dad! Perhaps he just takes his job as taste tester seriously. Regardless, in his world, desserts have become equal to salty snacks, if not surpassed them.

Carob Chip Cookies

Even when we go out to eat, he frequently orders dessert. The thing is, he usually orders chocolate. Chocolate cake, chocolate tart, chocolate ice cream. Lots and lots of chocolate. You probably remember I’m allergic to chocolate, and so the house is a chocolate free zone. Mom is kind enough to abstain from chocolate, but Dad clearly doesn’t feel that responsibility, taunting me with each gooey, chocolaty bite he takes.

It only drives me . . . and my taste buds . . . a little crazy. But I wanted to satisfy Dad’s obvious chocolate cravings and mine as well, without sending me into an allergy attack. So this Father’s Day, I made Carob Chip Cookies.

Carob Chip Cookies

I took a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and swapped out the chocolate chips for carob chips. These cookies are easy to make, huge, and totally satisfied my chocolate craving (and Dad’s too). Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I hope you enjoy the day and maybe another batch of these cookies.

Carob Chip Cookies

Carob Chip Cookies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 14 cookies

Ingredients

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ¾ cups carob chips

Instructions

Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, stir together butter and sugars until combined. Mix in the egg and egg yolk, followed by the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until a dough is formed. Add the chips and stir to distribute throughout the dough.

Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Pick up each scoop and pull it into 2 equal halves. Rotate the top half 90 degrees and with the jagged surfaces facing each other, push the halves back together to form one cookie. Once you have done this with all the cookies, refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a second baking sheet with parchment. Space the cookies out as far apart as possible using both baking sheets. Bake about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the cookies are light golden brown and starting to harden around the edges, but still underdone in the center. Serve cookies warm or cool completely on the trays. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated via Brown Eyed Baker

Additional chilling time is necessary

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 Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Manly Starters:

Manly Mains:

Manly Desserts:

Wine Pairings for Man Food #SundaySupper byENOFYLZ Wine Blog


Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday!
 We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Peach Blueberry Layered Coffee Cake

Peach Blueberry Layered Coffee Cake

What’s your favorite unusual combination? We all have awesome classic staples in all parts of our lives. In fashion, I love pairing black with a bright pop of color. When I’m doing makeup, I often pair a deep smoky eye shadow with a nude lipstick. I often switch between comedy and drama shows to keep the mood in the house from getting too heavy. And in the culinary world, there are so many favorites to choose from: peanut butter and jelly, maple syrup and apples, cherries and almonds.

I also love fancy restaurant desserts with many different components that all magically go together. Different textures and flavors that all go together seamlessly to make the perfect combination. This is even rare at restaurants (at least in metro Detroit), though I have had a few. My favorite had sautéed apples and candied nuts with some light sponge cake and salted caramel ice cream along with caramel sauce. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I ate my plate and some of Mom’s. I still think about that dessert!

Peach Blueberry Layered Coffee Cake

Peach Blueberry Layered Coffee Cake

I’d love to create masterpieces like that in my own kitchen, but I don’t very frequently. I’ve had my eye on Hungry Rabbit’s Nectarine-Blueberry Cake with Caramel Frosting forever and I finally made it. It’s one of those masterpieces with the perfect combination of all the tastes and textures complementing each other. Mom at first thought it might be too much, but after one bite, we decided it was perfection. Though there are a lot of steps, none were overly time consuming and making some ahead definitely helps!

Mine might not be as pretty as Ken’s, but it sure tasted good. I swapped nectarines for peaches in the recipe because they were ripest in my kitchen, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. The cake, loaded with peaches and blueberries, is insanely moist and topped with a delightful crumb topping. The filling manages to add a maple syrup/vanilla flavor, even though it has neither. It’s probably the bourbon working its magic. Oh and the caramel frosting! Silky smooth, not too sweet and almost custard like in its texture, it’s the first cooked frosting I’ve made like this, but it certainly won’t be the last. This cake? It might just be my new favorite combination.

Peach Blueberry Layered Coffee Cake
Peach Blueberry Layered Coffee Cake

Peach Blueberry Layered Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 8 generous slices

Ingredients

Streusel

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons canola oil

Cake

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup granulated sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3 cups peaches, pitted, peeled, and diced

1 cup fresh blueberries, picked over

Filling

1 ½ cups peaches, pitted, peeled, and diced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons reserved streusel

2 tablespoons bourbon

Frosting

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

Instructions

Make the streusel. In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugars, and cinnamon. Add oil and stir until clumps of various sizes form. Set aside or make ahead and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 1 day.

Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment and butter and flour the entire pan.

In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream sugar, lemon zest, butter, and salt until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, fully incorporating each. Beat until once again light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in blueberries and peaches.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Reserve 2 tablespoons of streusel for the filling, and sprinkle the rest evenly on top of the cake. Bake 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool cake completely in pan.

Make the filling. Cook peaches and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until peaches are softened and juicy, about 3 minutes. Add reserved streusel and cook 1 minute more. Add bourbon (carefully) and cook about 1 additional minute. Pour mixture into a heat proof bowl and cool completely. Filling may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, baking soda, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in milk. Once the milk is whisked in, place the pan over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour mixture into a bowl and cool completely. Mixture may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat cooled milk mixture and vanilla to combine. Add butter 1 piece at a time while beating. Continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Assemble the cake. Carefully remove the cake from the pan, peel off the parchment round and place on a cake stand. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally, keeping the layers as even as possible. Remove the top half. Spread the filling evenly over the bottom half. Place the top half on the cake on top. Frost the top of the cake only with the frosting. Cake may be stored in the refrigerator for up 3 days.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Hungry Rabbit

Additional cooling time is necessary

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Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

I told you a few weeks ago about my sketchy history with computer (my new one is up and running and I’m loving it), but I’ve realized it’s not just computers I kill, it’s electronics. Seriously, if there’s an electronic in your life that you value, stay far, far away from me.

Recently the washer quit working. It even sparked when plugged-in to reset it. That’s a little too exciting for my taste! Then about a week later, the dishwasher went. It totally and completely quit working. It was super fun hand washing all the dishes for the better part of a week. Not! I do have to admit, shiny new appliances are pretty awesome. I never thought I’d say this, but I looooooove our new dishwasher.

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Oh, and now the latch on the microwave is broken. Mom (or as I like to call her MomGuyver :)) is determined to fix it herself. As opposed to the dishwasher and washer, which get used and abused on a daily basis, the microwave sits idle most of the time, so it has no excuses to break. Of course, suddenly, I want to use the microwave all the time.

I can’t forget about my cell phone and me. We barely survived the last two year contract with it constantly telling me it was out of storage space, even though I had deleted almost EVERYTHING on it. The day the contract expired, I went and got a brand new phone, which I discovered two weeks later had a faulty microphone, so I couldn’t be heard when making calls (clearly I make a lot of calls). I have another new, fully functioning cell phone, thanks to the nice guy at the phone store, and I’m frankly just hoping I’m not part magnet, out to destroy the world’s electronics.

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

I’m also in need of some of this Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake. I actually used a mix of yellow and white peaches and nectarines, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand. This coffee cake is super moist with the best crumb topping and a boozy, bourbon glaze. The glaze packs a bit of a punch and isn’t cooked, so feel free to use lemon or orange juice, or even water if you’re concerned about the alcohol. I hope summer, peach season, this cake, and my new electronics last forever.

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 9 pieces

Ingredients

Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons bourbon

½ cup sour cream

4 small peaches or nectarines, pitted, peeled, and sliced thinly

!Topping

¾ stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8 inch pan. Line with parchment and butter the parchment.

Make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would also work. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to fully combine. Add bourbon and mix until fully incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture and mix only until barely combined. Mix in sour cream. Mix in the rest of the flour until you have a thick cake batter with all flour combined. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Top with sliced peaches in even rows, some overlapping is fine.

Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt until fully incorporated with no big lumps. Add the butter. Stir until all of the dry mixture is moistened and clumps of various sizes are formed. Pour topping evenly over cake and fruit.

Bake for 70 to 80 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the very center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, rotating halfway through if necessary. Make sure the toothpick has crumbs, or the cake may still be liquid in the middle. It will be golden brown on top. Some of the crumbs will become very crunchy, if you do not want this to happen, cover the cake after about 60 minutes of baking. Cool in pan for at least 1 hour.

Make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and bourbon until fully incorporate, adding more sugar or bourbon as necessary until a glaze that can be drizzled is achieved. Drizzle over the cake.

Cut into 9 pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. Store for up to 2 days at room temperature or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw pieces at room temperature for several hours or in a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes, wrapping in parchment if you wish to prevent it from becoming crunchy. Whole cakes will take much longer to thaw.

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Honey Nut Muffins +Giveaway!

Honey Nut Muffins

This giveaway is CLOSED!  Congratulations to Linda on winning!

Spring has finally sprung. The sun comes up earlier and stays out later. The flowers are blooming, the trees have leaves, the birds are singing, my coat is in the closet, and I’ve even gotten to take a few walks outside. Life is good!

It’s amazing to me how much the nicer, warmer weather impacts my mood. I feel like doing so much more. I want to be productive and make stuff happen. I’m happier and feeling more positive, like the world is my oyster. At least for the next few months until fall and winter roll around again. But we don’t have to think about that right now.

Honey Nut Muffins

Despite warmer temperatures, I still love to bake. It’s been way too long since I’ve made muffins, so I whipped some Honey Nut Muffins to celebrate Peanut Butter & Co’s The Bee’s Knees. Peanut butter and honey is such a great combination, so to have honey in the peanut butter is an added bonus.

These muffins are crazy good! Look at those beautiful, bakery worthy domed tops. I want to dig in to one right now. The soft muffins are accented with crunchy peanuts and finished with a delectable crumb topping. These are a serious treat for any peanut butter lover!

Honey Nut Muffins

Peanut Butter & Co. has also been kind enough to offer two jars of The Bee’s Knees as a giveaway for one lucky reader! You will fall in love with this creamy and flavorful peanut butter. And it’s a good thin, they’re giving two jars – one to bake with, one to eat with a spoon. Not that I did that ;)

Honey Nut Muffins

To enter the giveaway answer the question: What is your favorite thing about spring?

To earn additional entries:

Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow @piesandplots on Instagram. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.

The giveaway ends Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Yum Squad food blogger club, I received product and the giveaway in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Honey Nut Muffins

Honey Nut Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 Muffins

Ingredients

Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup PB&Co The Bee’s Knees peanut butter

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup milk (I used almond – use what you love)

¾ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts

Topping

2 tablespoons PB&Co The Bee’s Knees peanut butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoon dry roasted unsalted peanuts

1 tablespoon canola oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Make the muffins. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, eggs, vanilla, peanut butter, and oil until fully combined. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. I did three installments of flour and two of milk. Stir in the peanuts until fully distributed. The batter will be thick – that’s okay.

Make the topping. In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, flour, brown sugar, peanuts, and oil together with a spoon or your fingers until clumps form.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into the prepared pan and top with some of the topping, pressing it gently into the batter. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

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