berry cobbler

Sometimes I panic when we have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. I hate throwing away any food, which isn’t always a good thing because I will sometimes overeat just so I won’t waste anything, but when it’s summer and there are constantly fresh things from our garden and overloaded family and friend gardens, I just throw things in the freezer. Like berries. But it makes for really easy desserts when you find recipes like this that are based on basically just throwing things in a pan and baking it. I came across this recipe and it caught my eye purely because of the crispy-looking crust. I’ve tried and failed at cobblers before because the doughy part didn’t rise properly or got soggy or too spongey, and this one just looks like the perfect texture on top of warm fruit. It was extremely easy to make, and I think I want to substitute lots of different fruits from different seasons. The original recipe used just blackberries, but I combined those with blueberries, and I imagine you could have any combination that you can think of really.

originally from here

ingredients:

dough:

  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 9 tbsp. cold butter
  • 1/3 c. boiling water

filling:

  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/4 c. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice (I omitted this because I didn’t have any and it worked anyways so…)
  • 2 c. fresh blackberries (or thawed from freezer)
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries (or thawed from freezer)
  • 1/2 c. sugar

directions:

Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Grease an 8″x8″ pan.  For the dough, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry blender until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Pour in the boiling water and stir together well so that all of the dough is wet. Set aside. For the berries, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, berries, and sugar. Mix together well. Transfer berries to a sauce pan. Heat mixture over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Transfer berry mixture into the greased pan. Drop spoonfuls of dough over the berry mixture place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the berries are thick and bubbly.

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blueberry lemon buttermilk cake

It’s been almost two months since my last recipe post, and that’s kind of ridiculous isn’t it? Well, there are many new things going on, including becoming very busy with freelancing, and it’s been especially hot and humid seeing as how it’s finally summer and I can’t help but get annoyed getting sweaty every time I want to create something in the oven. So, when there are breaks in the heat, I’ve been wanting to bake summery things using summer ingredients, like blueberries for example. The middle of Summer is so lovely for there being so many seasonal foods. We have pounds and pounds of blueberries in the freezer, and any day our garden will explode with veggies. I’m thinking the next few things I bake may include lots and lots of zucchini. So for now, I began with blueberries, and this cake was a simple dessert I wanted to make one Sunday afternoon.

from No Tea After 12

ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. plain flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c.  sugar, plus 2 tbsp. for sprinkling
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 10 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour an 8″x8″  pan.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, and add the sugar and nutmeg. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy. Add the buttermilk, butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix well until incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spread the mixture into the pan and sprinkle the blueberries over the top and sprinkle with the 2 tbsp. of sugar. (I accidentally began adding some blueberries into the mixture before I realized while reading the original recipe that they were only to go on top. I actually thought it was quite nice in the end having some blueberries in the cake as well as on the top). Bake for 25 minutes until the top is just golden , or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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blueberry lemon cupcakes

So I was invited to a fun dinner party with my friends, and I offered to bring a dessert. I like opportunities like this because it’s an excuse to try a new recipe without having to eat all of the results myself. A few months ago I came across some really pretty photographs of blueberry cupcakes with a gorgeous purple frosting and have been waiting to experiment with blueberries. I also really like the idea of putting blueberries in cupcakes. Normally I only think of using them in muffins when it comes to hand held treats, but the idea of adding them to cupcakes (especially with the addition of something lemony) seems particularly happy and summery.

slightly updated from this recipe

makes about 15 cupcakes

ingredients:

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Zest of  1 lemon (divide in half and use other half in frosting)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
lemon frosting:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of ½ lemon (use same lemon from above)
  • Additional fresh blueberries, for garnish

directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the ¾ cup all-purpose flour, the cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes with hand mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice. With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Blend in the buttermilk. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Using a spatula, gently fold the berries into the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. You can also beat this with a spoon by hand. Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. You can experiment with different types of frosting bag tips or just simply frost them with a knife. I experimented by making flower shapes with a flat, basketweave tip and they came out very pretty I think. Garnish with fresh blueberries.

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rhubarb buckle

i had never heard of a buckle before in the baking world, until a few days ago when i received my cookie of the day recipe in my inbox from martha stewart. the world buckle just made me want to know more, and suddenly i wanted to bake everything that could be attached to that word. it’s also very fun to say. rhubarb buckle rolls of the tongue especially well. but anyways, from what i read, buckles are basically a rustic style baked fruit dessert similar to crumbles and crisps. my perfect dessert. i really do love chocolatey cakey sweets, but i think i’d almost always choose a warm, crumbly, cinnamony baked fruit dessert first.

makes about 9-12 bars | inspired by this martha stewart recipe

ingredients:

pastry:

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. butter ( 1 1/2 stick butter) softened (not melted!)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c. sour cream

filling:

  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • about 1 1/2 c. chopped rhubarb (about 1/2 inch size pieces)

topping:

  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, melted

directions:

preheat oven to 350°F. spray a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray. stir together the rhubarb pieces and white sugar in a bowl, and let sit while you make everything else. to make pastry, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. cut in the butter with two butter knives or a pastry cutter. in a separate smaller bowl, beat the egg and sour cream with a fork. mix this into the flour mixture with a fork. the mixture should now be moist, but a little clumpy looking.

pat about 3/4 of the pastry mixture onto the bottom of the baking dish. flatten slightly with a spoon. sprinkle the rhubarb mixture over this. then sprinkle the remaining pastry mixture over the rhubarb with your fingers.

make the topping by stirring together the flour, brown sugar and salt. then mix in the melted butter with the fork. sprinkle this topping over the rhubarb with your fingers. bake until golden on top and cooked through about 50 minutes. let cool completely on wire racks. 

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banana cake

so i was going through some old cookbook recipes again, and i came across an old-fashioned banana cake recipe that sounded perfect for Easter. it just seemed so cozy and classic and hopeful of spring. there are plenty of variations online, but this cake recipe comes from a clipping from an old newspaper that looks to be from the 1950’s by it’s yellowness. the only thing i updated was the frosting by using a cream cheese brown sugar recipe. in my mind that was just the perfect final cozy touch.

with cream cheese brown sugar frosting.

paper clipping recipe from a “mrs. burgess”

ingredients: (2 layer cake) 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas ( 2 or 3 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

cream cheese brown sugar filling/frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
  • 1 8oz. brick of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c.  toasted chopped walnuts

directions:

preheat oven to 350°F. cream shortening and sugar. add eggs and beat until fluffy. sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; add to first mixture and mix for two minutes with electric mixer or 200 strokes by hand. add mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix. pour into two buttered and floured layer pans and bake 30-35 minutes. let cake cool completely before adding filling.

make filling/frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. then beat in the powdered sugar and brown sugar and vanilla. sprinkle in a small handful of walnuts, and gently stir to mix.

place 3 or 4 squares of parchment or wax paper on the plate or display stand that you will serve your cake on. you can slide them from the cake when you are done frosting and ready to take pretty pictures of the finished cake. start by placing the bottom layer on the parchment paper, and frost a somewhat thin layer on it. then place the top layer over that. frost the top and sides of the whole cake. use your hands to press the rest of the walnut pieces against the sides of the cake, all the way around. store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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sour cream coffee cake

it seems that i have disappeared for awhile! march has gone by fast and i’ve been busy with many things such as freelance design projects, portfolio website (slowly) finishing, super early warm weather, and the hunger games. have you read that book and/or seen the movie? if not, stop reading this and go do that now. this coffee cake will be here when you’re done. if you are like me and have already obsessed over that story, you know what i mean.

to welcome myself back to my blog, i wanted to bake a recipe that included a few things i’ve been wanting to use for awhile now. these would be a really nice bundt pan i totally forgot i had, cake flour (which i invested in after spending way too much time staring at pretty cupcake pictures and recipes), and sour cream which was leftover from another recipe (because i hate wasting food!). when i think of bundt pans, i think of retro cakes that i might find in magazines and cookbooks from a few decades ago. i just don’t feel like i see them anymore that often. but i like retro and vintage things. and the new episode of mad men is on tonight, so this cake makes me even more excited for that. my photos got instagrammed for this special occasion too.

recipe from ina garten and food network

ingredients:

  • 12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 2 1/2 c. cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
for streusel:
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

for glaze:

  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. milk

directions:

preheat the oven to 350° F. grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a handheld mixer or by hand with a spoon, until light. add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. in a separate medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. slowly add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

for the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and use a pastry cutter to cut everything together until it forms a crumble. you can also use two butter knives or your fingers.

spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. let cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. run a knife along cake edges to loosen. place a serving plate on top of pan and carefully flip over, and then gently remove the pan. make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and milk together to make the glaze runny. drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or by placing the mixture in a small plastic bag and cutting a small corner off.

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blondies

i’ve never made blondies before, but was inspired this time by the cookie of the day recipe in my inbox from martha stewart. if you love cookies and aren’t already subscribed to that, you really should think about it! so anyways i guess a blondie is the opposite of a brownie based on color, but i think it’s basically just a delicious, dense chocolate chip cookie bar. i doubled this recipe because i used a bigger pan, and as i do with brownies, i slightly undercooked them too, so that they are chewy and soft and worth hoarding.

makes about 12-16 blondie bars, in a 8×11 size cake pan, adapted from martha stewart

ingredients:

  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. packed light-brown sugar
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

directions:

preheat oven to 350°F. grease a 8×11 or 9×13 inch pan with butter or butter spray. in a large bowl, mix together butter and sugars until smooth. whisk in eggs and vanilla. add flour and salt, and mix just until moistened (do not overmix). gently fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips. transfer batter to your prepared pan and smooth the top a little bit. sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely. 

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