Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream Pie + 5 Unique Frozen Sweets Links

 

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Choices.  Difficult for many, yet easy for him.  At least when it came to leaving the old mill town where he grew up.  A town where, once, a prosperous middle class and the diligent working class lived simultaneously, both believing life was simpler for the other.  [The two, now, converged forming a single body struggling to maintain middle ground.]

An American utopia of sorts, for some, where the local fishing hole was the most popular place to take a swim on a sweltering August night; a place where first loves made love behind the high school, pledging their loyalty to each other for the remainder of time. One doctor healed whatever ailed the locals, and the packie cured what medicine could not touch.  Boys went to war or college, returning to open arms, picking up the life they briefly left behind.  Others lost. Some by choice.  A place where whatever visible was all one needed.

And yet, not for him.

He needed more than what that small town could offer.  So, he headed west as soon as he could and found himself in California, gazing at a different ocean.  [Love, marriage and children under the sunshine and palm trees would follow.]

His choice: a different life than what he knew.

Decades later [and many miles here and there] he found himself in a rented car, crossing a covered bridge, his childhood home still visible in the rear view mirror, window rolled down, a joint resting in between his thumb and finger, now burning quickly in wind.  His father freshly buried in a colorless cemetery, his elderly mother inconsolable.  And his brother.  Drinking to numbness, left solely to manage their heart-sore mother.  He inhaled, blew an opaque stream of smoke into the oppressive humid air and wept.  Wept for his father, mother, brother.  Their small town.  Wept because he could leave.

Later, alone, at the airport bar, he would order a bourbon with 3 cubes of ice, no more, and smile when he heard “flight 11, now boarding.”

Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream Pie

Ice Cream Base Recipe Adapted from NYT Cooking

Cookie Crust adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 8

Ingredients for Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream:

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

6 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla

chocolate sauce, homemade or store-bought, for drizzling optional, but yummy

Directions:

Pour cream, milk, brown sugar and salt into a small pot and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks until combined.  Next, slowly whisk one-third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks and pour the yolk mixture back into the pot with the remaining cream.  Gently cook the mixture over medium-low heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove from heat.  Strain using a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.  Stir in bourbon and vanilla.  Cover and chill overnight.
Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Store in air-tight container until ready to use.  It will last for up to a week.  This recipe will yield about 1+1/2 pints.

Ingredients for triple chocolate cookie crust:

**Makes one 9 inch pie crust with plenty of dough leftover for about a dozen or so individual cookies, or another 9-inch cookie crust.**

8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 ounces white chocolate chips

1 + 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 +1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cups or 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

 Melt chocolate and white chocolate either in the microwave or on the stove.  Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.  Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars on high-speed until pale in color and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl each time.  Beat until very light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add melted chocolate mixture.  Next, add the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips using a rubber spatula.

Grab your metal pie pan and butter and flour it, tapping out an excess flour.  Spread about 1/3 of the cookie dough into the pie pan, spreading evenly along the bottom and up the sides.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the dough is just set.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  Press down the dough with a spatula if it has puffed up.

Store remaining dough in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.  Bring dough to room temperature before baking.  If making cookies, use a two-inch scoop and bake for about 15 minutes.

Assembly Time!

Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to soften a bit.  Scoop out ice cream and spread evenly over the cookie crust using a spatula.  Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until very firm, 24-48 hours.  When ready to serve, allow to soften a bit, as this will make cutting into the pie easier.  Drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired or serve with whip cream and a cherry.  The pie will last a couple of days, covered, in the freezer.  Enjoy!

5 Unique Frozen Treat Links

Looking for a vegan, gluten-free, naturally sweetened frozen treat? Head to the BoJon Gourmet for a raspberry brownie ice cream sandwich recipe that is sure to satisfy you!

Chocolate and pretzels are a well-loved, classic combo so why not make this pair into an ice cream cake?  Oh Lady Cakes has the recipe for  you.  My mouth is watering!

Vanilla caramel gelato– yes please!  Head to Diethood for the recipe.

A simple classic ice cream cake is sometimes all you need to make someone smile.  Check out my recipe!

Minimalist Baker’s boozy, root beer float with coconut ice cream is on my must make list this summer!

 

Lemon Ricotta Zucchini & Tomato Galette + 5 Summer Savory Galette Links

 

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The blue sky  was splattered with gauzy clouds.  Our kite soared many feet above and danced in the mean ocean breeze while the kids chased its shadow down the long empty beach.  A perfect kinda day, really.  I felt you there, wrote your name in the sand and watched the tide selfishly whisk it away.  I smiled at the pointless gesture.  As if the sea were that kind.

Later, I bounced my youngest on my hip in the cool salt water pond and kissed his wet, chubby cheeks, all while he giggled at fun mommy.  The older kids swam around us like a school of trout, approaching and darting quickly away.  I passed our youngest off to J and returned to my sand covered beach chair.  I watched, fully present, something I hardly ever do.

Is there much more?  

You laughed.  The dead are so wise.  No, no there is nothing else.

I smiled, easy for you to say.

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Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Tomato Tart

A savory summer galette starring garden ripe zucchini and heirloom tomatoes paired with a bright lemon ricotta filling

serves 6

recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens and Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

Ingredients for filling:

1/2 of a 15 ounce package of your favorite refrigerated pie crust or use the recipe listed below

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 2 + 1/2 cups)

3 heirloom tomatoes, 1/4 inch slices

3/4 ricotta cheese

1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 goat cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper + more to taste

kosher salt to taste

basil leaves, torn

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

Sea Salt

Optional: Balsamic glaze like this

Directions:

Sprinkle sliced zucchini lightly with salt.  Place in colander and drain for about 15 minutes.  Pat dry.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and roll out your pie dough to a 12 inch circle.  Transfer to a large baking sheet and set aside.

Using a medium bowl whisk together ricotta, Parmesan cheese, goat cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, kosher salt and pepper.  Grab a spatula and spread the filling evenly over the dough leaving about 1 and 1/2 inch border.  Top with zucchini, followed by tomato slices and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Gently fold over pastry edge, pleating and pressing down as needed.

In a small bowl whisk together 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water.  Using a pastry brush lightly brush the edges with the egg mixture.  Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with torn basil leaves and sea salt.  Drizzle all over with balsamic glaze, if desired.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Galette is best the day it is made, but it does make a nice breakfast the next day.  If you have leftovers, store in an air-tight container at room temperature.  Bring to room temperature before eating.  Enjoy!

Pate Brisee or Short Pastry

recipe from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

Makes 1-9 inch pie crust

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/8 tsp. salt

8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter

3-4 tablespoons ice water

Directions:

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.   Next add cold butter, cut into 1 inch pieces. Rub butter and flour between your fingertips until the butter is pea-sized. Dump dough onto clean counter. Form a “trough” lengthwise (vertically) through flour mixture. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and fluff it with your fingers until large lumps form and the pastry is blended. The dough should be a bit dry, not too wet.

Gather the dough together and flatten the dough with the heel of your hand so that the butter will layer between the flour (fraisage). Rotate dough and repeat once again.  Repeat a few more times.  Form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

5 Summer Savory Galette Links

Can’t get enough of heirloom tomatoes?  Head to Joy the Baker for her heirloom tomato tart recipe with sun-dried tomato pesto.  Yum!

Not sure what to do with all of your garden’s summer squash?  Try A Cozy Kitchen’s summer squash lattice ricotta tart.

Gluten-free?  Head to Tartelette  and try a gluten-free tart with savory greens, tomatoes and goat cheese.  While you are there be sure to check out Helene’s recipe for a Swiss chard, goat cheese and prosciutto tart.

If your CSA contains more Swiss chard than you can handle, try making Smitten Kitchen’s leek and Swiss chard tart!

Strawberry Rhubarb White Chocolate Cheese Tart + 5 Summer Tart Links

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Tomorrow marks the start of  a much needed vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, so I will keep it short.  More stories to come, but for now enjoy this recipe: a sweet press-in, no-fail tart shell filled with white chocolate, cream cheese and Greek yogurt; topped with a sweet and gelatinous strawberry/rhubarb bite of summer.  I hope you enjoy it.  Thanks for reading and happy 4th!

Strawberry Rhubarb White Chocolate Cheese Tart

Serves 8

Recipe adapted from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

Tart recipe by Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients for (1) 9-inch tart shell:

1 + 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick + 1 tablespoon super cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg

Directions for tart shell:

Using a food processor with a blade attachment, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together.  Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and combine in long pulses- about 10 seconds each time, until the dough forms clumps.  Remove the dough and kneed once or twice to make sure all of the flour is incorporated.

Dump the dough into your tart pan (with a removable bottom) and press it evenly across the bottom and up the sides.*See note.*  Pierce crust all over with a fork.  Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better, before baking.

*If you find the dough sticks to your fingers too much, spray the bottom of a measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray and use the bottom of the cup instead of your fingers.*

When ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 375F.  Place the frozen tart on a baking sheet and place it on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven.  Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

If the crust puffs up, press it down gently.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Set aside.

Ingredients for fruit topping:

2 cups of rhubarb, sliced

2 cups of strawberries, hulled and quartered

2 ounces of water

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of water to make a paste

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions: 

Combine sugar, water and vanilla in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add strawberries and rhubarb.  Add cornstarch paste to mixture and bring to a boil, again.  Stir in the lemon zest and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Set aside and cool completely.

Ingredients for white chocolate cheese filling:

12 ounces of white chocolate, cut into small pieces

12 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup Greek yogurt (2% or full fat)

pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon lemon zest

white chocolate shavings- optional

Directions:

Melt white chocolate either using a double boiler or in the microwave until completely melted and smooth.  Allow to cool.

Using a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until light and smooth, about 5 minutes.  Pour in the white chocolate and beat for another minute.  Next, add the Greek yogurt, salt and lemon zest.  Beat until well combined.

Assembly:

Pour the white chocolate cheese filling into the cool tart shell and smooth with a spatula.  Spread the strawberry/rhubarb evenly over the filling.  Optional: garnish with white chocolate shavings or melted white chocolate drizzles.  Serve at room temperature.  Store the remaining tart in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  This tart looks best the day it is made, but tastes great for a couple of days.  Enjoy!

5 Summer Tart Links You Can’t Miss!

Savory Sweet Life’s granola crusted yogurt fruit tarts are on my must make list, three of my favorite things to eat in one delicious bite.

Fan of panna cotta?  Head to Hummingbird High for a rhubarb panna cotta tart recipe that looks divine.

Do not let plum season pass without making Not Without Salt’s plum tart.

Summer = campfires=s’mores, right?  How about individual s’mores tarts?  Pastry Affair has the recipe for you.

Looking for a savory summer tart topped with zucchini and cherry tomatoes?  Proud Italian Cook has the recipe.  My mouth is watering!

 

Cold Oven Strawberry Pound Cake + 5 Can’t Miss Pound Cake Links

 

This cake tastes like love Mama!  I think I know what you mean sweet girl, although its been awhile since I tasted love.  Lucky you.  Your first taste, something you will chase and I’m pretty sure find again.

I remember the first time I tasted love.  A hot dog encased in a buttery, toasted bun.  Papa made it for me.  [Do you remember him?  It’s OK.  You were so small, months from your fourth birthday.  You sat next to him on his hospital bed, old westerns playing on TV, though no one was watching. So brave of you!  He didn’t look like himself: pale, listless. Blue, really.  His hands looked like wax; incoherent with morphine.  I’m glad you don’t remember.]

Just shy of 8, on a humid summer day I spent the morning swimming in my grandparent’s pool, like most summer mornings many decades ago; only slightly tired after hours of play, but always famished.

[Can you picture me love?  Full of energy?  Playful?  Try. We are, we will be, more similar than you hope.]

I walked into the kitchen, a towel clumsily wrapped around me, a puddle of water forming around my feet.  Papa stood at the counter, khaki pants, navy t-shirt, sweat puddling above his giant, caterpillar eyebrows.  Eating, barely chewing a hot dog and taking long swigs of a cold Budweiser in between each colossal bite.  He smelled like gas and grass clippings.  [Some days I smell both.  Inhale deeply.  Think of him and feel nothing but gratitude.  A familiar smell may do the same to you someday.  Enjoy it, be thankful for it.]

Hungry? How about a hot dog Kel-bel?” [I wore hunger in my eyes just like you.]  I settled at their small, wooden kitchen table, still in my bathing suit and watched as he got to work. He placed a large dollop of butter into an old, greasy Teflon frying pan.  While the butter melted, he made 3 small slices in the hot dog and grabbed a bun.  Carefully he placed both in the pan while the butter crackled and danced around them.

[The smell of butter still comforting to me.  What will comfort you, goose?]

Minutes later the hot dog was ready, plated and decorated with a long, squiggly strip of ketchup.  I devoured it.  As I drank a glass of cold milk, I heard the the sizzle and sputter of butter in the frying pan, the smell of another hot dog frying to golden perfection.  Smart man.

[That’s the thing with love my one and only girl; once you taste it, you have a hankering for it.  Feast on it. Chase it. And, if you are very lucky, you will find love many times over.]

Cold-Oven Strawberry Pound Cake

A moist pound cake baked with fresh strawberry puree and topped with a slightly sweet strawberry icing

recipe adapted from Food 52 Baking

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened and cubed

1/2 solid shortening

3 cups of sugar

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup  low-fat milk

3 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 cup fresh, pureed strawberries

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Butter (really butter) and flour your Bundt pan and set aside.

Measure out your flour and add a teaspoon of salt.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

Hull and slice strawberries and puree in a blender.  You will need about 1 cup of pureed strawberries.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter, shortening and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat until well combined.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then continue beating for another minute.

Add the vanilla to the cup of milk and then pour about 1/3 of the milk into the sugar mix.  Next, add a cup of flour and beat until just incorporated.  Repeat the process two more times: milk then the flour, beating until just combined each time.  Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan.  Pour 2/3 cup of pureed strawberries over the batter and swirl gently with a butter knife.  Add the remaining batter and smooth the top with a spatula.  Place Bundt pan in cold oven.  Turn the oven on to 300F and bake for 45 minutes.  Increase the temperature to 325F and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes.  The cake is ready when it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a serving plate.

Using a small bowl add 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of the remaining strawberry puree.  Stir until smooth.  If the icing is too thick, add a little more of the puree until you achieve the consistency you desire.  Drizzle over the cake.  Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

**The cake will last stored in an air-tight container, at room temperature, for several days.**

 5 Can’t Miss Pound Cake Links!

Cherry season is here so why not throw some into a buttery marzipan covered pound cake? Check out 1 Big Bite’s cherry and marzipan pound cake recipe.

Looking for a low-fat pound cake recipe? Bakers Royale has a recipe for you.

Summer berries are abundant now and perfect in a pound cake.  Head to Orangette for a raspberry-blueberry pound cake that sounds divine!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Coconut Key Lime Pound Cake.  Yes it exists.  Head to Baker by Nature for the recipe.

Lottie + Doof’s  salted caramel pound cake is on my must make list.  I’m drooling.

 

Rhubarb Strawberry Cherry Crisp + 5 Delicious Fruit Crisp Links!

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The last thing Eloise ate the day she died? A piece of rhubarb pie.  It was an ordinary day, really, nothing extraordinary to note.  She sat at the kitchen at table alone, the sound of the grandfather clock ticking away, taunting her, so many minutes in the day ahead.  Or so she thought.  The Russian Blue cat she inherited from her granddaughter many years ago sat on the kitchen table, within a short leap of her slice of rhubarb pie.  The cat gazed at her with what seemed like concern, but likely hunger. [Though she fed the cat plenty, he seemed to crave food more since Russell died.  Fancy Feast soothed his broken heart. Nothing soothed her heart.]

“Shoo!”

He remained, as he sensed he should.  He wouldn’t budge, so she took a big bite of her slice of rhubarb pie.  Delicious, as always, Russell’s favorite.  A flaky, buttery crust filled with slightly tart and perfectly sweet rhubarb from their garden.  A recipe passed down from her mother.  [A difficult woman to love.  And yet.  She was loved.]

“Damn cat!  Bringing me a dead mouse at 5 in the morning.  Some companion you are!  Russell, you should be here!” she hollered into muggy morning air.

[She called to him often.  Talked to  him in her head.  Dreamt of him at night. Occasionally, he did appear to her in the quiet blue-black stillness of night;  sleeping, his chest heaving up and down, the sound of his breath lulling her to sleep.  Russell had always been enough for her.  In sixty-two years of marriage she never entertained the idea of another man.  He thought of other women, as men do, yet never sought a thrill.  She was enough.]

Eloise stood from the table, opened the front door and stepped into the damp morning air, barefoot.  [Unlike her to be barefoot, wet grass between her toes.  She loved her slippers, but she was not herself today.]

As she made her way across the yard to her jungly garden, she marveled at how good the dewy grass felt underneath her feet, the warm sun on her back, penetrating her bones. She stared at her garden, the tomatoes heavy on the vines, raspberry bushes growing wildly, engulfing the zucchini and Blackeyed Susans.  A few stalks of rhubarb remained, enough for another pie.

And with a moan, she howled  “Russell, you should be here!”

[Neighbors thought for sure the old woman was loosing her mind, calling out for a dead man.  And when they saw her skitter across the lawn faster than she had moved in years, arms held out, smiling, well they made a quick call to her son.  An hour later he would find her, curled up on the summer grass as if asleep, her body turning cold.]

It was the sound of a lawn mower that made Eloise turn.  He stood a few yards away: khakis, white t-shirt wet with perspiration, smiling, the lawnmower now at rest. “Russell?”  She walked towards him, her pale blue nightgown skimming the damp grass, her ninety-year old body outlined by the sun, visible through the thin cotton.  Eloise reached for Russell and he smiled. His damp face, his slight stubble, his dry lips all in her hands once again, the blue eyes she looked into for sixty-two years, again, looking at her.

She felt light-headed, her breath slowed and she fell to her knees.

Eloise lay on her back in the emerald grass, Russell lay on his side right next to her.  She stared at the hazy sky, the large elm beginning to sway, the wind mercifully picking up on this oppressive summer day.  She understood what was happening and a single tear fell down her cheek.  What relief!  No more marking of days, minutes too long to bare without him.  She would miss a few souls and that damn cat.  She thought of the half-eaten pie sitting on the kitchen table and wondered if the cat would eat it.  She didn’t care.  Ready now, Eloise turned her body to Russell, curled up into space between them and let go.

 

Rhubarb Strawberry Cherry Crisp

Serves 6

Recipe Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen

Ingredients:

2 stalks rhubarb, 1/2 inch slice

2 cups of cherries, pits removed and halved

2 cups strawberries, quartered

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For the Crisp Topping:

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

3/4 raw sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 stick + 4 tablespoons, chilled, unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

generous pinch of kosher salt

vanilla ice cream for serving

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 375F.  Butter a 2 quart baking dish and set aside.

Grab a medium bowl and toss sliced rhubarb with cut cherries and strawberries.  Add sugar and cornstarch and mix gently to coat.  Next, add the orange juice and stir again.  Pour the berries into the prepared baking dish.

Grab another mixing bowl and stir together the flour, oats, sugar and salt.  Add the almond extract and butter.  Using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until the ingredients are clumpy and resemble wet sand, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.  Place on the middle rack of your oven and bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is a deep golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.  Allow the crisp to cool for 15 minutes or so before serving.  Serve with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

**The crisp topping can be made a few days ahead.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  The fruit should be prepared just before baking.  The baked crisp is best the day it is made.  If you have leftovers, re-heat in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes or the microwave for a few minutes.**

5 Delicious Fruit Crisp Links

Memorial Day and 4th of July are just around the corner so why not make Joan Nathan’s Red, White and Blue Fruit Crisp?

I can’t wait for peach season!  Dolly + Oatmeal’s peach, hazelnut, shiso crisp with ginger ice cream and Minimalist Baker’s easy peach crisp are on my must make list this summer.  Oh and they are both gluten-free!

Can’t get enough of sour cherry desserts?  Check out my cherry oat crisp.  It is the perfect summertime treat.

Want to know how to many any fruit crisp in just 5 easy-peasy steps?  Head to Food 52 for some tips.

 

White Wine Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream + 5 Cupcake Links for Mom

“Most was said in our first moment, when we were so quiet.  He swam through the air to me and there was nothing.  No spaces.  I suppose it was the first moment I was thoroughly alive because I fell too far in it to ever describe it.  There was nothing to look at because I was too busy seeing, and I got to be a beginner too.  Will always be now, as every moment with your child will never repeat itself with something lovely after it, like a sunset or a passage in a book.  Real time with them, I think, is the only actual.  Everything left over is just a weather report.” Mary-Louise Parker, Dear Mr. You

[My words, lost for now, adrift in a dense, gunmetal fog will come back.  Thank, whomever, whoever or whatever for Mary-Louise Parker’s insight.  Happy Mother’s Day. xo]

White Wine Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

A lightly sweet cupcake with a tight crumb topped with a super silky chocolate buttercream

Recipe adapted from Silver Palette Cookbook and Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup dry white wine ( I used Pinot Grigio)

2 + 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 + 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.  Line two standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Set aside.

Grab a medium bowl and sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.  Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs on medium speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Reduce speed to low and add oil, wine, dry ingredients and vanilla.  Increase speed to medium and beat until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.  Pour batter into prepared muffin pans.  Place 1 pan on the middle rack and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.  (Be sure to check at 20 minutes.)  Once baked, remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Proceed with baking the next pan of cupcakes.

Once cool, frost the cupcakes generously with chocolate buttercream.  Enjoy!

*Cupcakes are best the day they are made.  However, they still taste great the next day.  Be sure to store them in an air-tight container, at room temperature.*

Chocolate Buttercream

Ingredients:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature

6 eggs, whites only, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature

pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

Cut the butter into tablespoon chunks and set aside.  Melt your chocolate either in the microwave or stove top and set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place egg whites in bowl and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  While the egg whites are beating, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.  Cook on high until it reaches 238F or the softball stage.  Immediately, with the mixer on medium speed, add the hot sugar in slow but steady stream.  Beat until the whites have cooled.

Reduce the speed to low and the add the butter, one chunk at a time, until it is completely incorporated.  Increase the speed to high and beat until glossy and light.  Turn the mixer off.  Grab a rubber spatula and fold in the melted chocolate until smooth.  Mix in a pinch of salt.  Frost your cupcakes generously!

**If your buttercream breaks or looks curdled when mixing, hold a cloth ice pack or ice against the bottom of the bowl and continue to beat on medium speed.  The buttercream will eventually come back together.  Be patient!  This happened to me and the cloth ice pack trick worked!**

5 Cupcakes Just for Mom

Rhubarb is showing up the in market just in time for Mother’s Day so why not make mom cupcakes studded with fresh rhubarb?  Head to Kitchen Konfidence for the the recipe.

Looking for a quick and easy cupcake recipe mom is sure to love?  Head to i am Baker for Amanda’s coconut angel food cupcakes.

Eat your bananas and make Local Milk’s buttermilk and roasted banana cupcakes with Lindt truffle filling and marshmallow frosting.  This sounds like a bite of heaven to me!

David Lebovitz’s chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel cupcakes will make any mom forgot a horrible, no good, very bad day.

Keep it simple and make my chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream.

 

Tahini Chocolate Chip Banana Bread + 5 Loaf Pan Recipes You Can’t Miss!

 

 

I found myself childless and alone, aimlessly wandering a Nordstrom attempting to return a pair of on sale, over priced Ray-Ban sunglasses, the frames suffocatingly hip for me.

It’s all about choices, honey.  This sentence spoken so intimately, I turned around, searching for the voice.  I found a mother/daughter pair, or so it seemed, slowly walking next to each other, each gazing in different directions.  [Choices.  Some they will share, others unmentionable in this relationship.]

I quickly returned the sunglasses and drove home;  it’s all about choices on repeat now, a sentence so achingly true. Like our blue-eyed, rabbit chasing heroine, Alice, I fell into a rabbit hole that afternoon. My choices floating in out of memory: some too easy, others heartbreaking, a few regretful and a handful of hallelujah, brow-wiping ecstatic choices.  I may have kept falling that April day if it weren’t for the sound of little hands banging on the front door, tiny, round faces pressed against the glass.  Home again.  This family, my husband, our house: a wonderland in its own right.

Later that afternoon, I made banana bread.  I replaced peanut butter with tahini, a choice, though small, proved successful.  The tahini added a umami taste which paired well with the sweet bananas and bittersweet chocolate.  We loved this version of banana bread so much, I may not make it any other way.

A small choice changing everything.

Tahini Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

yields 1 9×5 loaf

recipe adapted from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 + 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour

1 + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 + 1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 + 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar

1 + 1/4 cups mashed banana, about 3 bananas

2/3 cup tahini, stirred well before measured ( I used light roast tahini.)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.  Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.  Line with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, allspice and baking soda.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, bananas, tahini and butter on medium speed until well combined.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined.  (Always scrape down the bowl once to make sure everything is well incorporated!)

Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and chocolate chips.  Mix until you can no longer see the flour.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes about clean, about 55-70 minutes.  (If the top of the bread is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil and finish baking.)

Remove bread from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.  (If necessary, run a knife along the outside of the bread before removing from the pan.)  Remove bread from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Enjoy!

*Bread will last up to a week if stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.*

5 Loaf Pan Recipes You Should Check Out!

Have a date lover in your life? Make them Not Without Salt’s salted caramel date loaf .

Alexandra’s Kitchen’s orange and ricotta pound cake is a perfect baked goody for the holidays, but there is no need to wait until November.  Make it now!

Love lemon?  Here are three recipes sure to satisfy any lemon craving: A Cozy Kitchen’s lemon upside down loaf cake, Adventures in Cooking very lemon loaf with poppy seeds and The Sprouted Kitchen’s lemon blueberry loaf.