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Graham Crackers (and S’mores!)

23 Aug

Sometimes, you find your 31 year old self needing the comforts of childhood: Cartoons and s’mores. After a particularly long week recently, I asked a couple of friends to come over and watch Batman cartoons with me and wind down.

It’s hard not going into full-on hostess mode when people come over. But I really just wanted to hang out with my friends. Can’t hide in the kitchen the whole time, Neen. So I decided the local Thai place would make dinner and I’d only put myself on the hook for dessert.

I thought s’mores would be pretty fun for a summer evening, so I made a batch of marshmallows (recipe here), a batch of chocolate ganache, and some graham crackers.  I know the typical s’mores chocolate is a good old fashioned Hershey bar, but the ganache was definitely tastier and meltier.

Easy Chocolate Ganache

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or coconut milk for dairy-free)

Put the semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl. Bring the heavy cream just to a boil, and then pour it over the chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes, and then whisk until smooth. It will be very liquid, but will set up and become spreadable as it cools down.

The last step was making the graham crackers, which is really more like making pastry dough than a cookie or biscuit. I’ve made graham crackers a lot of different ways, but this is my personal favorite recipe for ones that are crisp, and juuust sweet enough.

Graham Crackers

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (or 1 cup granulated sugar blended with 3 tbsp. molasses)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup. For this batch I used half and half!
  • 5 tbsp. cold milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.

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Add the butter a few cubes at a time and pulse until the mixture is sandy. You can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter or the tines of two forks.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey/maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to dry and mix until a cohesive dough forms.

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Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten into discs, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or until firm enough to roll.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Roll out one half of the dough until it is 1/8 in. thick and then cut out crackers. I used a 2-in. fluted round cutter for these.  Move the crackers to the prepared baking sheet, dock with a fork (this keeps them from puffing up) and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.

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Bake the crackers for about 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Then move to a wire rack to cool.

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We intended to use my little butane torch to toast the marshmallows (no campfire here, alas). It was out of fuel though, so Joe quickly improvised while at the grocery store and bought a sterno. We lit it and toasted our marshmallows using the chopsticks from dinner as skewers. Honestly, it was a pretty great way to spend an evening with friends. I’m glad to have people in my life who are content to laugh, eat a bunch of gooey marshmallows, and have a good time.

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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

27 Jan

What sort of red-blooded American woman has a recipe blog without a chocolate chip cookie recipe??

Oh, oh…

Oh dear.

How did this happen? Once again I fell into that trap of thinking, “Oh that’s too simple. People know how to make that.” And that’s true, but hey, who knows? Every method has its own little tricks and quirks to it. In fact, what started this was my husband showing me this image from Handle the Heat that’s been floating around social media:

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Now there’s science I can get behind! Why didn’t I do this as my science experiment for PJAS in grade school?

Joe asked about the chocolate chip cookies I make, and I told him that my recipe was a combination of several of those variables, except that I rarely chilled the dough for a whole day. Maybe he was just trying to get a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but he asked me to try it out of curiosity.

I did, and the flavor was amazing, but found that the first batch didn’t spread out as much as I’d prefer. So for the next go-round, I rolled the soft dough into a log, wrapped it in parchment, and then chilled it. Instead of rolling or dropping/flattening the cookies, I cut half-inch slices off of the dough log, ensuring even thickness and less spreading.

And lo, it was the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I doubt the ingredients are much different than yours, but I think the method here makes all the difference.

CCL’s Most Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, combine the sugars and melted butter and beat until well mixed and slightly thickened. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla to this mixture and beat until thick (2-3 minutes).

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined.

Mix in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the soft dough onto a large piece of parchment paper and form it into a 12-13 in. log. Roll the dough up in the parchment and refrigerate for 24 hours.

To bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and then use a sharp knife (those chocolate chips are chilled and hard now) to cut the dough log into 1/2 in. slices. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined sheet pan about 2 in. apart and bake for 16 minutes or until golden around the edges.

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They’ll bake more evenly, no spreading, no fuss. Just delicious chocolate chip cookies. Now stop reading and get baking!

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Neen’s Notes is BACK (with cookies)!

16 Jan

Almost a year after quietly fading away, here I am. So what happened?

Life.

Yoga Teacher Training Graduation, March 2014.

Yoga Teacher Training Graduation, March 2014.

Okay, you want details. After I finished yoga teacher training at the end of March 2014, there was a void. It was a steady, dull ache that huddled in my heart and reminded me constantly of how much I missed the long weekends learning about yoga with kind souls. I grasped at every opportunity I could to take classes from my friends (now amazing yoga teachers!), but I couldn’t get grounded. Things at work were really challenging. The organization where I worked had gone through huge transitions in procedures and leadership, and the growing pains got more palpable with time. Every time one fire started to die out, another blazed in its place. There was sadness within me that I couldn’t shake, but I did my best to keep grinding forward.

As we do each spring, Joe and I made our grand return to Boston for PAX East in April and that was when everything started to change. While we were away, two local studios emailed me and offered me yoga teaching jobs, and one of them offered to hire me to do some writing work for their website and blog. That night I was sitting at a panel event hosted by the team from Giant Bomb. All of the panelists and their guests were having fun—they’d found a way to take their joy and make a living doing it. I decided that night to leave my office job.

In Boston for PAX 2014, the weekend it all began!

In Boston for PAX 2014, the weekend it all began!

The next few months were an insane experiment. At the beginning, I only had one or two classes a week that were permanent, so I took substitute teaching positions as often as possible. I spent the rest of my time writing about yoga for a studio blog, and studying therapeutic yoga as a way to expand and continue my training. I wrote class plans, built a website, found a graphic designer to create a logo, started developing a social media presence on Instagram and YouTube, and began to teach myself the ways of Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing (oh we have a ways to go together). And I read. I devoured yoga books, always looking for things to share with my students.

It was not and is not a linear experience. In July, the studio that hired me to write for their blog decided to take their student outreach in a different direction, and at the same time another studio cancelled two of my classes because of low attendance. I was crushed. Maybe I’m not actually cut out for this. I was having some health issues too, and felt frustrated and overwhelmed by everything.

I started to really question myself and did some serious svadhyaya (self-reflection in yoga practice). They say comparison is the thief of joy, but it is also the creator of doubt. I saw my friends in crazy arm balances and strength poses that I didn’t have in my practice and thought, “I can’t offer that to my students. How can I possibly be a good yoga teacher?”

The answer came quietly: You do you.

Instead of focusing on what wasn’t there, I remembered my friends during teacher training telling me that they wished they could just lay in savasana and listen to my voice. It is round, rich, and warm. It is probably my favorite quality about my physical self. So I started using that—sharing a soft chant while students were in a restorative pose or reading a poem during our break between standing and seated poses. People smiled. They thanked me for an experience.

I reminded myself of the importance of maintaining a beginner’s mindset. I was intimidated when I came to yoga by all of the strength and flexibility around me. The teachers I returned to were those who took that away, the ones who offered variations so everyone could try something, and who encouraged students to own their practice. Those are the people I thought, and still think of, when I stand at the front of the room. I decided (rather radically for me) to love myself unconditionally. I looked in the mirror and said aloud, “I love you.” Nothing else needed to be said.

When I let go of trying to be what I thought I needed to be, my confidence grew. I was me when I stood up, and not anyone else. Sure, teachers beg, borrow, and steal cues from one another all the time. That’s the amazing thing about yoga—there is always, always, always something more to learn. Part of the reason I love social media is because the Instagram community is chock full of talented, smart yogis who share their journeys. It makes me feel so connected and whole knowing that we are all in this together, all working together.

And here it is, 2015. I finished my graduate certificate in nutrition in the fall, I’m teaching yoga seven days a week, and have learned to just ride this wave. Classes will ebb and flow, but there is always more to learn and there is always an outlet to share it with others. I’m making my own way and living life on my own terms. It is not always easy and I do still feel twinges of doubt or the urge to control, but more and more I am learning to breathe through it. Life happens one moment at a time.

The universe has put me exactly where I need to be, and I trust that. I have faith. I am welcoming it in, and I hope you’ll join me.

And because this is, after all, Neen’s Notes, I also have cookies!

Over 6 years of Notes, and I never shared my favorite cookie recipe with you: Shortbread. Shame on me.

How lame is that? The truth is that it’s such a simple recipe that I never thought to share it. And then I was making a batch last week and thought that of all the things I make, it is pretty much the embodiment of those words: You do you. (Well, me doing me, but that sounds strange.)

Why? A few reasons. First of all, it’s pretty much pie dough with a slightly different method. And if you know anything about this blog, you know my love for pastry dough runs deep. Secondly, it’s four ingredients that I always have in the house. That’s it. And third of all, in encapsulates my loves of recipe manipulation and kitchen science, because I tried a whooooooole lot of shortbread recipes (tough job), and then made up my own based on knowing exactly what I was trying to achieve in terms of texture and flavor. For me, the perfect shortbread is crisp, but flaky on the inside.

Let’s do it.

Crisp Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4.5 oz. (9 tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Heavy ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • *Optional: 2 tbsp. corn starch. Adding cornstarch to your flour will make these ultra-snappy and crispy. Especially ideal if you want to use these as sandwich cookies or plan to ice them. It gives them sturdiness without making them tough.
  • *Optional: Sprinkles!
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Team Shortbread

Method:

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the flour and salt (and cornstarch if using it) in a bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and smooth.

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Nice and fluffy, buy you can taste to be “sure”.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, mixing slowly and just until pieces of dough start to adhere together. Pour this on to a clean surface.

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Bring the dough together with your hands and knead just until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

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Smooth and ready to wrap/roll.

Lightly flour a counter and roll the dough out until it’s about a 1/4 in. thick, and cut out shapes as desired. I used a fluted 1 ½ in. biscuit cutter and got 2 dozen cookies.

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Any shape will work, but if there are a lot of fine edges, roll the dough a bit thicker.

Put the cookies on a baking sheet with about ½ in. of space between them. They won’t spread very much. Here you can add sprinkles if you like.

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Ready to bake.

Bake the cookies on a rack in the middle of the oven for about 17 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.

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Ta-da!

Enjoy!

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Sparkling shortbread, yum.

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Mmm, so flaky inside.

 And that is the delicious, and dare I say very happy, return of Neen’s Notes. It’s good to be back.

Ciao for now,

Neen

Back in the Saddle: Nutty Blondes

30 Oct

One of the concepts that I think is the most difficult for me and my ego to accept is the idea that just because I have done something well once does not mean that I will do it well every time I attempt it. At a point, we like to thing we have a particular task mastered, right? Sure, I can reliably get into halasana (plough pose) 99% of the time, but there are some days where my back just says, “NO.” I’m getting better at listening to the mental cues, but they are always humbling. In a way, they are the messengers I dislike the most, and probably the ones I need the most at the same time.

It’s been that way with baking a lot lately. For a long time, baking was just that thing for me that I was reliably “good at.” But with going gluten-free, I’ve spent a lot of time lately feeling like a complete amateur. Every batter and dough is foreign, and every attempt is hopeful scientific experimentation mixed with prayers to the divine forces. This has been frustrating because for the first time in years, I haven’t been able to just wander into the kitchen and start throwing things together. I’ve had to measure and think about it all.

I felt so much resistance to it, because it felt like my sanctuary had been stolen. My ego kept throwing internal temper tantrums, wanting to stray from every recipe and make it my own. But just like learning to cook and bake the first time around, I kept reminding myself that you have to create the solid foundation before you can start playing with the details.

And though my ego still pouted in the corner, I began to feel the joy and excitement of the unknown return to my kitchen endeavors. In letting go of needing to maintain the identity of “a good baker,” I afforded myself the opportunity to really learn from the gluten-free cooking resources I’d gathered. I discovered that (at least so far), I don’t care much for sorghum flour in cookies, millet flour adds the perfect crunch to pizza dough, brown rice pasta dough needs more xanthan gum and some tapioca to give it the right tackiness for rolling, bean flour gives things an odd smell, and that at the end of the day…it’s still all about ratios (Thanks, Michael Ruhlman!).

Last night, I really felt like I was home again. Back in the saddle, just doing what I do. I took a moment and said I brief “thank-you” to the universe, because I know that I have a long way to go. This recipe is a special victory, because it’s the first gluten-free cookie recipe I’ve developed on my own. It’s also the first one I’ve taken a bite of and said, “I could open a bakery tomorrow and sell these.”

Yeah, they’re that good. For those of you reading from the Folger or who donated to me for Warrior Dash, these might sound familiar. The version I made then was full of pecans, coconut, and M&M candies. This version nixes the M&Ms, but only because I didn’t have any on hand and (gasp) wasn’t in the mood for chocolate. I have no doubt they’d be a welcome addition.

Brown Butter Pecan, and Coconut Cookies, aka “Nutty Blondes”

makes 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 ¼ cups Neen’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend for Cookies (recipe below)
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 90 grams unsalted butter (about 7 tbsp.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Neen’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend for Cookies

Makes 9 cups

  • 2 ½ cups finely ground brown rice flour
  • 2 ½ cups super-fine sweet rice flour
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 tbsp. xanthan gum

Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, sugar, pecans, and coconut in the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside.

20131029_185542Brown the butter by placing it in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring frequently, cook the butter until it is amber in color. Then move it to a small bowl and put in the freezer or refrigerator until it is still liquefied, but no longer hot to the touch.

20130906_233809With the mixer running, slowly add the egg, butter, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is clumpy. If it feels dry, you can add a few drops of milk, water or egg white to get the dough to come together.

20131029_190424Scoop the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and form into a log. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze or refrigerate until firm. I usually freeze the dough for 30 minutes to an hour. If you aren’t feeling particularly patient, you can make these as drop cookies, but the dough freezes exceptionally well. I like to make a bunch of dough logs, freeze them, and have them ready for holiday cookie baking and gift-giving.

20131029_19084920131029_191419Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the chilled dough into ½ in. thick discs and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet with 1-2 in. of space in between them (they will spread slightly). Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown. Cool on a wire rack, eat, and share with friends for maximum enjoyment.

20131029_202026SNICKERDOODLES, too???

I thought that this dough would also make for excellent snickerdoodles, and since I was so determined to play, I approached it as I try to approach difficult arm or single-leg balances: If you fall and it’s ugly, at least you learned where the edge is! Fortunately, there was no such disaster and my intuition was right on in this case. To make these into sweet cinnamon-sugar delights, omit the pecans and coconut. In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp. of sugar with 1 tsp. cinnamon. After freezing and slicing the dough log, toss the discs in the cinnamon sugar mixture and then bake on parchment-lined sheets. Voila! Now you have two distinctly different cookies from one simple method. Oh, the possibilities!

snickerdoodlesAnd suddenly, there it is. That inspiration and charge that sparks through me when I realize that there is something new and delicious to share with the world around me. The stress of “figuring it out” melts away and I remember why I love cooking: it’s a dare and a challenge, it’s a learning experience, it’s a love, and oh yes…

…it’s a joy.

Ciao for now,

Neen

Oh, Canada? Thanks for the Butter Tarts!

13 Apr

When I visit Pittsburgh, there are certain things that are required eating. It’s unfortunate (or maybe fortunate?) that I’m not there long enough to entirely destroy the faaaairly clean  diet I have so carefully constructed for race season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had excessively vivid dreams about pancakes at Pamela’s. We seem to lack decent breakfast places around where we live here, and really it’s probably the easiest meal to cook anyway, but sometimes…damn, I want those pancakes.

However this isn’t about my homeland. The Shakespeare Association of America’s yearly conference was held in Toronto, ON this year, so one of our resident Canadians was waxing poetic about some of her favorite foods from home. One of these was Nanaimo Bars, which if you haven’t made, you really, really should. It’s a three layer bar cookie that has pretty much everything good in it: graham crackers, coconut, almonds, chocolate, butter, vanilla custard…nom nom nom…you get the idea. The official recipe from the city of Nanaimo can be found here: http://www.nanaimo.ca/EN/main/visitors/NanaimoBars.html I followed it to the letter, using Bird’s custard powder as was specifically recommended to me for maximum authenticity.

But for me, the treat that sounded most delicious was the Butter Tart. From the very name, you can probably guess why it appealed to me. I’ve given monologues on my love for making pastry dough, and just about any recipe that requires a good pâte brisée is right up my alley. People fear pie dough, it’s one of those elusive kitchen tasks that scares off a lot of cooks. It is heat and humidity sensitive, so you really need to trust your intuition. Fortunately, the advent of the food processor has made it much easier to manipulate. For things like biscuits I still prefer to go by hand, but when it comes to tart or pie shells I really prefer the food processor to get that perfectly fine sandy texture. And honestly? If you put all of the ingredients together and just doesn’t seem right, pat it out until it’s thin, sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top, and make cut-out cookies. Bake at 375 F until they feel dry, about 7-8 minutes. Have no fear my friends, because even screwed up pie dough is delicious and useful.

Anyway, I digress. After my friend and colleague finished describing the butter tart, all I could think was that it sounded like someone took pecan pie filling, nixed the nuts, and put in raisins instead. Intriguing! Since the tarts are small, I decided to use a butter-cream caramel for the filling, and rather than relying on corn syrup to help it set up I went with some eggs. Between caramel and raisins, it seemed like there was quite enough sweetness going on there already.

Butter Tarts

adapted from The Joy of Baking and a description from a certain Curator of Art.

Neen’s Super-No-Fail Pâte Brisée

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 oz. butter, cut into small pieces and briefly chilled in the freezer (5-10 minutes)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup cold water (the colder, the better.)

Butter Tart Filling

  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Begin by making the pâte brisée. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend well. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is a fine, sandy texture. Slowly add water, pulsing intermittently, just until the dough begins to form pebbly chunks. Once you can pinch the dough between your fingers and it adheres together, it’s ready. Quickly bring the dough together in a ball and then pat out into a circle about 6-7 in. in diameter. Wrap it up in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until it feels firm enough to roll out. I don’t like the dough to get too hard, so I usually only wait about 15 minutes. I find it easier to work with when it is still a little bit soft.

Once the dough has chilled, roll it out until it’s about 1/4 in. thick, and then cut into circles 4 in. in diameter. For size reference, I used a pint glass to do that part.

cutting tart shells

Fit the dough circles into a 12 cup muffin tin and pat them down gently and evenly. (Take your extra dough scraps and make cookies!) Set the tart shells aside while you prepare the filling.

tart shells

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light, smooth, and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between additions, and then add the vanilla extract.

Stir in the cream by hand and mix until smooth.

Place an even amount of raisins in the bottom of each tart shell and then add a spoonful of filling to each tart. Repeat spooning filling into the shells until you’ve used all of it. It ended up being about 2 tbsp. in each tart.

Bake the tarts for 16-17 minutes, or until the filling is puffed up and has set. The pastry will be golden-brown. The filling will deflate after you take them out of the oven.

Place the pan on a wire rack and cool the tarts completely before de-panning. I actually chilled them in the fridge for an hour or two and then ran a knife around the edge of each. They came out very easily, one of the fortunate side effects of buttery pastry. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

whole tarts

The recipe makes 12, but I cut them in half to serve, so there were 24 portions to go around.

more finished tarts

Verdict? Well, my friend and colleague said that they tasted just like the ones her grandmother used to make—and that that was a very good thing. It made my day to hear such a compliment, as you can imagine.

So get to making this delicious treat from our friends up north! Between these and the Nanaimo bars, you might find yourself wondering how quickly you can pack up and move to where they are consistently available.

Ciao for now,

Neen

Peach Prizewinner

11 Aug

It’s peach season! It’s peach season!

I went to the Foggy Bottom farmer’s market on Wednesday and loaded up a backpack full of them. Cut in half and roasted or grilled with a small pat of butter and a few tsp. of brown sugar in the hole where the pit used to be, they are perfect. Usually I eat one with a dollop of plain yogurt for a cool, tangy topping. If there’s any homemade granola around I’ll throw a spoonful of that on as well. It is the best summer dessert and I love that you can just make one serving.

Delicious little drupes.

Anyway with the Arlington County Fair going on this weekend, I thought making something with the most in-season fruit I could find was the best bet. But somehow I just got stuck. No recipes stood out to me and I finally just started pulling out ingredients in the kitchen and hoped that using some basic proportions would guide me along. We’re currently rich in bourbon that was either gifted to us or left over from the wedding. What could be better than bourbon and peaches? Bourbon, peaches and pecans, THAT’s what. If it will win anything at the fair, I can’t even guess. There are a lot of talented bakers in Arlington and only so many awards to go around. The greatest joy to me is seeing them disappear at work and having colleagues give them a thumbs-up.

Peach, Pecan and Bourbon Streusel Bars

Pastry:

  • 2.75 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped.
  • 8 oz. (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into cubes.
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tbsp. bourbon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

Filling:

  • 2 peaches, peeled and sliced ¼ in.
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. bourbon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9×13 in. pan.

Toss the sliced peaches with the 1 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 2 tsp. bourbon. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, grind the pecans into a coarse meal. Add the flour, sugar, spices, and baking powder and combine. Add the butter a few tbsp. at a time and process until the texture is mealy.
Beat together the egg and bourbon and then process into the dry ingredients just until the dough is a crumbly texture. Add more bourbon if extra liquid is necessary; an extra egg will make it too doughy.

Press half of the dough into the prepared pan and then top with a layer of sliced peaches. Crumble the remaining dough on top.


Bake for 30 minutes or until the top and edges are lightly browned.

Cool completely (overnight is preferable) before cutting into 24 squares.
Store squares in a sealed container between layers of wax paper and refrigerate.
In between the time I wrote, edited and prepared this post, I got this:

What a weekend!

Ciao for now friends,

Neen