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    Entries in that's just peachy! (2)

    Tuesday
    Jul022013

    Peach Cobbler, Cookies

    Because I had peaches.

    I spent the day baking today, with the bedroom air conditioner (only air conditioner) on full blast and the bedroom door open, with a fan in the hallway directing the cool air into the kitchen.

    What? I wanted to bake.

    I made bacon and onion quiche, banana almond muffins, and peach cobbler cookies. 

    Yes, peach cobbler in a cookie.

    I'm back at turning things that aren't cookies into cookies. And making way too many of them.

    Peach Cobbler Cookies

    • 3/4 c butter
    • 1 1/2 c brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp cream
    • 2 c flour
    • 1/2 c ground almonds (or more flour)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 c chopped peaches

    And of course, stuff is missing from the ingredient pic. But it's not the vanilla. Because I forgot to put vanilla into the banana muffins, so I made sure it was on the counter for the cookies.

    NOTE: I made a double recipe.

    Cream together the very soft butter and brown sugar. I opted for brown sugar in this one to get that slightly caramelized flavour that you get from baking fruit. White sugar would also work, and would result in a lighter, more biscuit like colour, but I wanted caramel, so that's what I did.

    Add the egg (I doubled things, remember), vanilla, and cream and beat them all together.

    Sift in the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Or, just pile them up on top of the wet stuff and give the dry part a bit of a stir before stirring it into the wet.

    Add the ground almonds (also called almond flour, but not as finely textured as I think something should be in order to be called "flour") and then fold in the peaches.

    I contemplated tossing the peaches with a bit of flour or cornstarch, but ended up just dumping them in as is. I was using fresh peaches though. If you're trying this with canned, I suggest opting for the extra bit of flour.

    The dough will be very soft, and feel borderline too soft. Fridge it. After only about 15 minutes, the edges will have firmed up, and since you're dropping this by tablespoon onto parchment paper, the edges are all you need. Just put the bowl back into the fridge while the first batch bakes.

    When you're baking on a hot day, leave the preheating of the oven to the last minute.

    350 degrees.

    Bake for 12 minutes. They'll be golden on the edges, but soft and cakey in the middle.

    Soft and cakey with sweet bursts of bright summer flavour.

    What are you doing with all of your summer peaches?

     

    Friday
    Aug192011

    Millions of Peaches... Peaches For Me.  

    So, I was walking through the grocery store the other day when I suddenly collided with the most amazing aroma.  You know what I’m talking about… that smell that makes you stop, dead in your tracks, and search out its origin.  You may even utter something like, “Oh my god, what is that smell?  I must eat that!”  If I said that to Hubby, he’d think I was talking about the air outside that amazing barbecue joint, but I’m not.  I refer, of course, to fruit.  And in this particular instance, peaches.  Sweet, juicy, perfectly ripe, fragrant peaches.  Did I care that they were selling them by the case and I couldn’t possibly eat them all within their short period of peak deliciousness? 

    Nope!  I just had to figure out creative ways to use them, and since my kitchen is still a work in progress, jam was out of the question.  So, here are just a few of the ways I came up with to enjoy them. 

    As you can see, I am actually using the not fuzzy variety, usually called a nectarine, but either will work just fine.  For most applications you’re going to start the same way.  Wash and dry the fruit, then carefully cut all the way around its vertical axis.

    Holding both sides, gently twist the peach to release the flesh from the pit. 

    Pull the halves apart, and carefully remove the pit with your thumb.  The hardest part is to not bruise the fruit in the process. 

    The first dish I made is something I grew up eating.  Peaches and milk.  Yes, I know it’s traditionally peaches and cream, but in my house, it was peaches and milk.  It’s a delicious, simple dish that can be eaten for breakfast, or for a snack anytime.  Start by peeling and dicing a peach. 

    Pour on some milk.

    Sprinkle on a little sugar.

    And dig in!

    Next is another breakfasty, snacky, kind of dish.  A yogurt parfait.  It requires only three ingredients. 

    Diced peach
    Yogurt (I like vanilla)
    Granola

    I like using granola bars rather than regular granola, mostly because I’m more likely to actually eat granola bars.  Just make sure you get the crunchy ones, then you can just smash them up with something heavy.  I used the handle of a butter knife.

    See how cool that is? 

    So, drop in a few diced peaches.

    Add ¼ cup or so of yogurt.

    Sprinkle on some granola. 

    Repeat.  Beautiful peach and yogurt parfait. 

    The next creation requires a few ingredients, but it’s simple, refreshing, and delicious.  Peaches and cream soda. 

     

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    1 Peach
    1 Tablespoon sugar
    ½ teaspoon vanilla
    1 Tablespoon lime juice
    1 Tablespoon cream
    1 scant cup ginger ale

     

    One peach will make enough puree for 2 or 3 sodas.  Peel and slice your peach, then throw it into the blender with the sugar, vanilla, and lime juice.  You should end up with a nice, smooth puree.  I’m using 12 oz. glasses, so adjust if you’re using larger ones.  For this size, pour ¼ cup of puree over a few ice cubes, then slowly add the ginger ale. 

    It’ll fizz a lot, so be patient.  When you’ve filled the glass just about to the top, add the cream.

    You can serve it like that, and let your guests stir it themselves, or you can stir it so everything comes together. 

    We’ve done a few things using the peaches fresh, so it’s time for a warm dish, and it’s definitely time for dessert.  How about some caramelized peaches with ice cream? 

    You’ll only need a few things.

    2 – 4 peaches
    2 Tablespoons butter
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ cup water
    Really good vanilla ice cream  
    Chopped almonds

    Halve and peel your peaches and set them aside.  In a skillet melt the butter, sprinkle on the sugar, and stir in the water.  Heat over a fairly low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Turn up the heat to medium high and add your peaches, cut side down. 

    Basically you just have to stand back and watch, but do spoon the liquid over them occasionally.  Allow them to cook for about 6 minutes or so.  When they’re ready they should just be starting to brown on the bottom and look something like this. 

    Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.  Then spoon one or two halves into each dish, top with ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce from the pan.  Sprinkle on some chopped almonds, and you have peach perfection. 

    So let’s recap with some close up, peach porn.  First was the peaches and milk.

    Then the peach and yogurt parfait.

    Next was the peaches and cream soda. 

    And last but certainly not least, caramelized peaches with ice cream. 

    I gotta be honest, even after all that work, I still think nature does it best.  There’s just nothing better than biting into a slice of fresh peach.  Lusciously sweet.  The juice running down your chin.  It’s like summer’s last hoorah as we head toward fall. 

    Which fruit’s aroma lures you into buying it by the case?