raspberry

champagne raspberry scones

Happy new year, friends.

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Nearly two months late, but nothing new there.
We’re still only halfway through the first quarter, so it counts, right?

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I tried to write a proper introspection recapping 2018, but the truth is that even before January 1st, I was extremely done with the year. 2018 alternated between brilliant and terrible, and by the end, I was exhausted. In a nutshell, to 2018, I say:

thank u, next.

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With 2019, enter champagne raspberry scones: a version of these mimosa scones, made with a very cheap bottle of prosecco I found at Trader Joe’s right before New Year’s Eve and raspberries frozen and saved from warmer days.

The dough: fragrant, but very sticky. Simple to pull together, especially if you freeze and grate your butter. (No pastry blender needed, though it would certainly work here.) Easiest dropped onto the pan by the spoonful, misshapen pieces be damned.

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The final product: an almost bready crumb, with a delightfully crisp outer layer from the long baking time. Pierced with small pockets of sweet raspberries, brushed and then drizzled with a strong but not overwhelming champagne glaze. A great side for a morning coffee, or to liven up your weekly team meeting at work.

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Until next time, I raise my glass-in-a-scone: here’s to you, friends, to 2019, and to whatever comes next.

raspberry peach summer cake [smitten kitchen]

(Originally posted: September 12, 2014)

Peaches finally, finally, finally went on sale.

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So did raspberries.

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In-season and vibrant enough that I wish I could bottle the colors, these perfect summer fruits were absolutely irresistible. I bought more than I knew I could reasonably eat before they went bad, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t try my hardest anyway.

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Seriously, does anybody else pop raspberries like candy? They’re so sugar-sweet, yet tart, and melt-in-your-mouth delicate. I’ve been known to polish off whole boxes while still standing at the kitchen counter.

(Can you tell I’m a little obsessed? I’ll stop.)

In any case, fruits like this just beg to be baked, and that’s exactly what I did. I was staying at Sheena‘s house for the long weekend, and I knew I couldn’t show up empty-handed, so I made this quintessentially summer cake from Smitten Kitchen.

Raspberries that burst in your mouth, peaches that gush juices down your chin with every bite, and a fluffy cake with a perfect crumb combine in this ideal summer evening treat.

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The colors.

I want to eat the colors.

Can we figure out a way to make that possible?

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I followed Smitten Kitchen’s recipe with barley, but, inspired by The Baker Upstairs, I swapped the 1/2 cup milk with buttermilk, and topped the whole thing with 1/2 a cup of raspberries and one large peach, thinly sliced.

(Don’t worry; the rest of fruit–whatever didn’t end up in my stomach–found a home in the freezer, for when cooler days beg for a taste of summer sunshine.)

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As you can see, the cake that went into the oven didn’t look quite like the one that came out. That’s because about 30 minutes in, I realized that the batter had swallowed up the majority of the fruit I had so carefully laid on top of the cake. So I pulled the cake out, added another layer of thinly sliced peaches and another sprinkling of sugar, and then popped it back in for the remaining 20 or so minutes.

Also, out of a lack of desire to buy an entire bag of barley flour, I had borrowed some of Sheena’s barley and ground it up in the blender. The result was a mostly powdery flour, with a handful of larger bits that the blades couldn’t quite break down. Those bits sank in the oven, giving the cake a crunchier crust-like layer along the bottom of the pan. I liked the texture, but next time, I’ll definitely opt for a finer flour to have a more even distribution of barley.

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The verdict? 10/10, would bake again in a heartbeat. It’s light and moist, but with an amazingly complex flavor from the barley. With seven of us in Sheena’s house for the weekend, the cake vanished almost instantly after the first slice was cut.

But next time, I’ll be experimenting with different fruits and flour combinations. The Baker Upstairs’ cake is absolutely gorgeous with those peach slices sinking only slightly into the pale, fluffy cake–somehow reminiscent of butterfly wings–and I definitely want to try to recreate that.

Let me know if you try the cake–especially now as the weather is hinting at turning, and the farmer’s market trades its berries and peaches in for crisp apples and pears.

As always, happy baking! 🙂

healthy banana berry crepes [blogilates]

I warned you guys about this health kick.

I’m super psyched about today’s recipe! I love brunch foods because 90% of the time, they can double as desserts. Crepes definitely fall firmly into the brunch/dessert category for me–especially if we’re talking about Nutella-and-fruit-stuffed crepes. Unfortunately, no human body can sustain itself on chocolatey crepes forever, so I turn to a less deadly alternative.

I’ve made these several times already, and they’re just so quick, and easy, and most importantly delicious. Yes, these banana berry crepes courtesy of Blogilates are my current favorite way to switch up breakfast with something fun–and a little bit fancy. 😉

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The ingredients are simple. All you need for the crepes themselves are rolled oats, milk (dairy or non-dairy), one egg, half a ripe banana, and some ground cinnamon.

Yes, I am aware that my cinnamon is not ground despite what the bottle says. My blender works really well at times like this. 😛

Feel free to fill the crepes with whatever you like. The original recipe calls for half a banana and a few strawberries, all sliced up. I decided to grab some Greek yogurt and a few raspberries that I froze earlier last week. (By the way, super handy way to take advantage of the awesome in-season berries: buy in bulk, wash and freeze, enjoy for ages.)

Blend the oats and cinnamon to form a fine flour, add the wet ingredients, blend once again, and heat up your pan!

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I made four medium-sized crepes, simply because they’re easier to flip than the large ones. But y’all do whatever floats your boat. I let my crepes brown far more than a French chef would find acceptable, but I like that slight crisp with the softer underside.

I definitely could’ve eaten these plain, but they taste better with a little extra moisture. If that means a healthy slathering of Nutella to you, by all means, go for it! I stuck with some honey Greek yogurt and the raspberries since I was going for a healthy breakfast. You can also just drizzle plain honey over them, or opt for whipped cream, blueberries, a layer of melted peanut butter inside, perhaps some butterscotch–anything you can think of.

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I felt like I was being so decadent with breakfast, but the whole process honestly takes under 15 minutes. And with minimal cleanup, too!

Which left me with plenty of time to sit down with this lovely plate and many, many reruns of The Office

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Such a pleasant morning. 🙂

Anyway, that’s all for today, folks! See you next week!