Peach Yogurt Cake

August is now officially over, which means peach season is going to be winding down soon. Excuse me while I shed a tear or two. While I try to eat most things only when in season, there are times when I bend this rule. However, with peaches I am very strict. I will not buy peaches at any other time of year except in late summer. There is nothing as disappointing as biting into a beautiful golden peach and hearing a crunch, and find yourself looking at a dry, hard and very sad piece of fruit. Peaches just don't do well at all out of season. 

To celebrate these golden beauties for a little longer, Lara whipped together a light and delicious peach cake to bring to a friends house this weekend. We enjoyed it after feasting on grilled pizzas, hot and bubbly right off the grill. It was the perfect way to end a late summer Saturday night. 

IMG_3090.jpg

The original recipe called for figs instead of peaches, and then had you swirling mascarpone and jam into the batter before baking. This sounds absolutely divine, but unfortunately I had neither, and was not making another trip to the store so I ended up with a simpler version of the cake with only some chopped peaches. It was still absolutely wonderful, but if you're looking for something with just a bit more pizazz, I would definitely give the mascarpone and jam a try!

This cake baked up nice and tall, and had a lovely tender crumb. Nice and moist, and really not super sweet at all which I really like. It would be fantastic with some lightly whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream! Next time!

 
IMG_3095.jpg
 

Peach Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 peaches, chopped

Directions
Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch wide and 3-inch tall cake pan and lightly dust with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, eggs, and buttermilk. Whisk in the vanilla or almond extract.

Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and no lumps remain. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool to room temperature before slicing to serve. Serve plain or with sweetened whipped cream.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

My sister served me this bread last week for breakfast and I enjoyed it quite a bit, so this weekend I decided to make myself a loaf. It's a wholesome chocolate banana bread made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt. When eating a breakfast bread, I like like having a nice thick slice; something I can really sink my teeth into. This bread is perfect for that. And topped with a little peanut butter for a little extra protein umph is my favorite way to finish it off! 

IMG_0682.jpg

I streamlined the original recipe here, just so I didn't have to use as many bowls! Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another and mix them together. Done. I also did what I seem to always do and cut back on the sugar from 1/2 c honey, to 2 tbs honey + 2 tbs brown sugar (so 1/4 cup total). Feel free to double this for a sweeter and more indulgent bread. 

 
IMG_0675.jpg
IMG_0677.jpg
 

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Adapted from The Baker Mama 
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) milk
  • 1 cup (225 grams) mashed ripe banana; about 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 - 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix with a spatula until mostly combined. Add in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks if using, and continue to mix until completely combined with no more streaks of dry flour in the batter. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Press more chocolate chips into the top of the batter before baking, if desired. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 50 minutes, turning halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely and serve.

Yields: 8-10 slices

Date and Oat Cookies

A few months back I bought a bag of medjool dates with plans to turn them into some sort of naturally sweetened dessert. I brought them home and placed them in my pantry where they have sat ever since. Occasionally I have thought, "I should do something with those dates" and then nothing would happen. Today I decided was finally the day to pull those dates out and make use of them. I decided on a cookie. There are about a million options out there for date cookies, so I just picked one and went for it. I made a few alterations along the way, but ended up with a sweet and flavorful cookie filled with wholesome ingredients that I can at least try to convince myself is a little healthier than the norm! 

IMG_1699.jpg

To suit my own preferences I made a few changes which included substituting almonds for pecans, olive oil for walnut oil, and omitted the honey which in my opinion is just added even more sugar to an already sweet cookie. I added a little milk to make up a little extra liquid. All these changes seemed to work out very well. I'm excited for snack time!

 
IMG_1702.jpg
 

Date and Oat Cookies
Adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt
Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) oat flour
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup (180 grams) Medjool dates, pitted- about 10 dates
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) olive oil
  • 1/4 c (55 grams) milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the oat flour, rolled oats, cardamom and salt.

In a food processor grind the almonds, dates, olive oil, milk, egg and vanilla until a smooth ball of dough is formed.

Combine the date mixture with the oat mixture and mix everything together until well combined, adding in the chocolate chunks as things start to come together. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

When ready, remove the dough from the fridge, form dough balls (about 50 grams each) and then lightly flatten the tops with the back of a spoon. The cookies wont spread while baking so you can keep them fairly close to each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the bottoms are lightly brown but the cookies are still soft in the middle, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Yields: 12 cookies (approximately 205 calories each)

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Zucchini Cookies

Two zucchini cookies in a row?? Why not! This round I decided on the chocolate peanut butter combo, and then amped up the chocolate making a double chocolate peanut butter cookie - with zucchini! Trust me, all the zucchini does is add little green flecks to the cookies, and keeps them nice and moist, no zucchini flavor at all! These cookies are dense and hearty and scrumptious! Perfect with my afternoon cup of coffee. Try it with yours!

 
 

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Zucchini Cookies
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) butter
  • 3 tablespoons 45 grams) peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly grated zucchini (anywhere from 125-150 grams seems to work)
  • Chocolate chips or chunks

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and peanut butter and place in the microwave at 20-30 second intervals until completely melted, whisking as needed to completely combined. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine. Stir in the grated zucchini. Stir in the dry ingredients until everything is combined and you have a dark chocolate dough (the dough will be very thick, and you might initially think that there is too much flour, but don't worry, it will come together). Fold in the chocolate chips.

Use a 1/2 to 1-inch scoop and scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart from each other. Press down lightly to flatten. The cookies will not spread very much during baking. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are just set. Let them cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet. 

Lime Cornmeal Cookies

I first made these cornmeal cookies 5 years ago when I was living in Dearborn. So much has happened since that time, but one thing that has not changed is how delicious these cookies are. That first batch was back in the early years of this blog and the photos on that first post were not so hot (if you're interested in taking a look you can see it here). I thoughts it was time to revisit this recipe and give it the photos it deserves. 

It had been a little while since I'd made a batch of these cookies, but I was having some friends over for a Bible study and the food I was making was full of Mexican flavors so I thought these cookies would be the perfect dessert to finish off the night with. They are buttery and tart with a wonderful crunchy texture from the cornmeal. The lime glaze on top really finishes them off nicely. All around a great cookie that's just a little bit different than the usual. Everyone I served them to loved them, so I'm sure anyone you serve them to will love them too! 

I halved the original recipe this time, the full batch makes quite a few cookies and I didn't need that many on this occasion. When shaping them I used my scale and made each cookie 30 grams, this yielded 17 cookies that were the perfect size in my opinion. The recipe calls for 90 grams cookies but that is just massive. I'm sure they'd be awesome, but I didn't feel the need to make mine this big. I ended up chilling the dough overnight before baking which is not called for in the original recipe, but the dough was fairly soft, and I had the time to throw it in the fridge before I needed to bake. The cookies might spread a little more if you don't chill the dough, but I haven't tested this. They did spread a bit regardless of the chilling, so just make sure there is enough space between each ball of dough before putting in the oven. And if you're feeling tempted to skip the lime glaze as I was...don't! It really finishes off the cookies perfectly - the sweet and tart glaze complements the crunchy and buttery cookie and brings them up a notch. Plus, it just looks so cute! 

 
 

Lime Cornmeal Cookies
Adapted from The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread by Toy Kim Dupree and Amy Scherber

  • 3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) coarse cornmeal or fine grits
  • Scant 1/2 cup (2 ounces) bread flour
  • 7/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 3/8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, slightly softened
  • 3/4 ime zest, finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablesppons lime juice

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, add the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, bread flour, salt and baking soda and whisk together. Set aside. 

In another bowl, using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar, butter and lime zest together on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing until every thing is well combined.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the dry ingredients in stages. Mix only until everything is well combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. There should not be any pockets of dry flour left in the dough. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough overnight, or move on immediately to the next step. 

Portion the dough into individual balls, rolling them between your hands to make them uniform. Place them on the cookie sheet with an inch or two between each cookie. They will spread during baking. (The original recipe calls for you to make giant cookies, 90 grams/3.2 ounces of dough each, which is huge and wonderful. However, I made my balls of dough a little more reasonably sized at 30 grams, 1-2 tablespoons, each.) This dough will be soft, so don't flatten the dough balls at all before baking. Bake the cookies for 16-18 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through the baking time. The cookies should be lightly browned on the edges and baked all the way into the center. They should be soft, but be careful not to underbake them or the centers will collapse and be doughy.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then move them to a rack and cool completely before glazing.

Whisk together the confectioner's sugar and the lime juice to make a loose glaze. Use a 2 inch pastry brush to frost the top of each cookie, leaving an unfrosted 1/4 inch border around the edge. Let the glaze dry completely before storing the cookies in an airtight container.

Greek Yogurt Tart with Sunflower Seed Crust

Well, June is here and after a chilly start to the week, it finally feels like it has actually arrived here in Michigan. June is a wonderful month, but for all it's greatness I think my favorite thing about June may be strawberries!! We wait so long for such a short season, but I try to enjoy every minute of it. This Greek yogurt tart is the perfect way to showcase this fruit in all of its splendor. I actually made this tart a few weeks back for a Memorial Day brunch I attended, but now that local strawberries are just beginning to arrive at the Farmer's market it's the perfect opportunity to give this recipe a try. Of course, as the summer goes on and other fruits come into season this tart can be adapted to pretty much whatever fruit you have on hand in a given moment. 

I was looking for something fresh, light and delicious to make for my brunch and my mind kept focusing on some kind of fresh tart. I didn't want it to have a traditional crust, but wanted something a little different. While browsing recipes I came across a savory sunflower seed crust over at Natural Girl Modern World and was intrigued. I decided to try adapting it a bit to work for me in a sweet application. With a few tweaks it came out great! More like a giant cookie crust as opposed to a traditional tart crust, exactly what I was looking for. It was perfect topped with some yogurt and fruit, kind of twist on the more traditional fruit and yogurt parfait - delicious. 

For the filling of this tart I wanted to go very simple. I took my homemade yogurt and strained it for several days until very thick and incredibly creamy. Store-bought yogurt would work just fine too, just make sure to buy plain yogurt to strain, not the flavored stuff, you can add sugar and flavorings yourself.  To the very thick yogurt I gently added a little honey, a little brown sugar, and some lemon zest. Not a lot of sugar, but just enough to add a touch of sweetness. Just taste and adjust until the flavors are to your liking. I spooned this sweetened yogurt into the crust and topped with the sliced berries. Done! Fresh and light, exactly what I was hoping for. 

 
 

Sunflower Seed Tart Crust
Adapted from Natural Girl Modern World
Ingredients

  • 1 cup (80 grams) oats 
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) flour
  • 3/4 cup (105 grams) sunflower seeds 
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (63 grams) butter, chilled
  • 3  tablespoons (63 grams) honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom

Directions
In a food processor, blend oats until the texture of coarse sand. Add sunflower seeds and salt and blend until the seeds are also a crumb-like texture. This should only take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Over-blend and you'll start to make nut butter. Add the flour and pulse a few times to combine. Add the chilled butter and pulse a couple of times, until starting to come together. Add the honey and continue to pulse until a ball of dough forms. It will be sticky. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place into the back of your freezer for about 15 minutes, or refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. 

While the dough chills, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove dough from freezer and press it into prepared greased 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Aim for an even distribution of dough throughout the pan, pressing the dough together firmly to create a solid base. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust thoroughly to allow air to escape when baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it towards the end of baking to ensure the edges don't over-brown. Set aside to cool before filling. 

Pumpkin Oat Cookies

The other week I grabbed a large can of pumpkin while at the grocery store with no specific purpose in mind. It's fall, so I knew I would have no problem finding something to do with it. One of my favorite things to do with canned pumpkin, which I have been doing all week, is to throw it in my morning breakfast smoothie. Add a couple shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg and it's pumpkin pie for breakfast - but healthy! I love added vegetables to my breakfast and not even noticing. 

As soon as I got home with the pumpkin though, the baking bug hit. I just needed to bake something pumpkin-y! After a little browsing I finally decided on this pumpkin oat cookie recipe. The oats with the pumpkin seemed like the perfect combination. I added in some pecans and dried fruit and the whole thing came together to create a soft and buttery treat, the perfect afternoon pick-me-up or after dinner snack. 

The original recipe for these cookies was described as being crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. I actually did not find this to be the case. However, that's is not necessarily a bad thing. My cookies ended up being very soft all the way through. I did like that they didn't spread too much while baking, ending up quite puffy and beautiful. 

Had I had the choice, I would have added chocolate chips to the cookies as the original recipe called for, but since I didn't have any chocolate in the house I had to go a different route. I threw in some chopped pecans and dried fruit which did not disappoint either. I loved how the nuttiness of the pecans mixed with the toasty oats. Dried fruit for sweetness helped finish them off. A comforting fall cookie for any occasion. 

Pumpkin Oat Cookies
Adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron
Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (3.5 ounces) flour
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 cup of add-ins (chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, etc)

Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter with the brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the pumpkin, and vanilla.

In another bowl stir together the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. The mixture should pull away from the edges once all the flour is added. Stir in whatever add-ins you are using. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferable overnight.

On the day of baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until very lightly browned at the bottom/sides.

Remove from the oven and allow to set for another 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire cooling rack.

Yields: about 1 dozen cookies (I got 13)

Funfetti Cucpakes

Last month, one of my good friends threw a golden birthday party for her husband. I offered a helping hand, and so was asked if I could make some cupcakes for the party. Funfetti was the request which got me excited, I had never made a funfetti cupcake before, but have always been a big fan of sprinkles! I used my trusty go-to butter cupcake recipe and threw in a half a cup of sprinkles. Voila, funfetti cupcakes! Super easy and super fun! I frosted them with a basic American buttercream that is always a hit. As far as cupcakes go, it doesn't get much simpler than this. So if you're looking for a fun and easy way to add homemade cakey goodness to your next party, look no further. 

I believe this is the third time I've used this cupcake recipe this fall now, and all three times it has turned out wonderfully! It's a great recipe that turns out 24 perfect cupcakes. And although I love a pure white cake, sometimes I just don't want to deal with separating egg whites and yolks and then whipping the eggs whites. This recipe just used 4 whole eggs that go straight into the batter, no separating, no whipping, nice and easy. 

Funfetti Cupcakes
Ingredients

  • 3 cups (14 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1¾ cups (12.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, cut into small cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup colored sprinkles, plus more for decorating

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add the butter and mix on low speed, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined.

Combine the milk, and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Beat half this mixture into the flour/butter/eggs. Beat on medium speed for 1½ minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture, and beat for another 30 seconds. Add the sprinkles and gently mix into the batter until well combined.

Fill paper liners ⅔ full with batter, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool completely before topping with buttercream frosting (recipe follows) and sprinkles. 

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or 1-2 tablespoons of milk if you don't keep cream on hand, I've done this many time)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in the heavy cream (or milk) and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4-5 minutes.