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    Fresh Peach Cobbler

    This simple peach cobbler is a summertime favorite. It’s a great way to celebrate peaches at their peak sweetness!There are a couple of peach cobbler recipes that I make regularly, but I’m adding one more to my repertoire. My usual recipe is this Skillet Peach Cobbler with Biscuit Crust. It’s a little involved and makes a big cast iron pan full of cobbler that is wonderful to share with company, but these days it’s just us. Smaller batches of baked goods makes sense for our household of 2.This recipe largely focuses on the flavor of the fruit, which is spiced with cinnamon and cardamom. This gives the filling a cozy home-style flavor (which, apparently I am way into this summer!).
    Many peach cobbler recipes rely on lots of melted butter to add richness, but here there’s just enough in the crust to make it a proper drop biscuit texture. I’m not saying this is diet food, but it’s somewhat lighter than you might expect.
    Fresh, ripe peaches at peak sweetness are best for this recipe. I used a mixture of white and yellow peaches. They are tossed and coated with a cinnamon and cardamom-spiced cornstarch mixture.
    This recipe calls for an 11×7-inch pan, which I don’t have (which was a surprise!). This oval baker is about 12×8, and it worked well.  A 9×9 square pan would also work.
    The drop biscuit topping will feel scant to cover the peaches, but there’s just enough and it puffs in the oven. I use two spoons to effectively pick up and place the biscuit dough on top of the peaches in the dish.
    Golden brown and delicious! The peaches become soft and even sweeter in the oven.

    This is such a classic home-style dessert that everyone loves. There’s absolutely no question that this cobbler should be served warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream on top!

    Fresh Peach Cobbler6-8 servingsFilling6-8 large ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (about 7 cups)1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar3 tablespoons cornstarch1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom1 tablespoon lemon juiceBiscuit crust1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour1/4 cup (50g) sugar3/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt1/4 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon lemon zest3 tablespoons cold butter3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, chilled*Vanilla ice cream, for servingPreheat the oven to 375° F.Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom. Whisk well. Pour in the peaches. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the peaches and then toss together to coat. Pour the peaches in a greased 11×7 baking dish. Set aside. For the biscuit crust, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or the tines of a fork to cut the butter into the flour mixture. When pea-sized pieces are dispersed throughout to flour, add the buttermilk. Stir together using a rubber spatula.Use two spoons to place portions of dough on top of the peaches in the baking dish. Use the back of a spoon to spread the dough evenly across the peaches (it’s okay if some peaches peek through the dough).Bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the peach mixture is bubbling. Serve warm with scoops of ice cream.
    link Fresh Peach Cobbler By Heather Baird Published: Friday, July 10, 2020Friday, July 10, 2020Fresh Peach Cobbler Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Triple Berry Scones

    These buttery pastries are filled with summer’s best berries. Serve them with hot coffee or tea for a wonderful start to the day!Summer usually means at least one trip to our favorite berry farm, where picking a gallon is an easy pleasure and fingers turn purple-red from secretly taste testing the goods. We’re not venturing out much these days, so when I get my hands on fresh berries – even the store bought kind – I want to celebrate them! These scones are a beautiful way to use the season’s best berries.

    As a well-practiced southern biscuit maker, I’ve tried almost every technique for cutting butter into flour. Scones are very biscuit-like, and my favorite way to make them is with grated frozen butter. It takes a bit of work on the large holes of a box grater, but it’s well worth the end result. The frozen pieces of butter evenly disperse throughout the flour, and stay cold throughout mixing and forming. As the dough bakes, the cold butter releases steam which gives the pastry light, fluffy texture.
    I used whole blueberries, blackberries and chopped strawberries. I imagine whole fresh raspberries would work nicely in this recipe also.
    The mixed dough will be ragged and a little crumbly. You could knead it together at this stage, but I prefer to handle the dough as little as possible. Instead of kneading, I squeeze the dough together and pack it under my palms to shape it into a circle. Overworking the dough will lead to scones that are tough with a chewy texture, instead of light and flaky. If kneading feels more intuitive to you, use a light hand and knead just until the dough comes together.
    Cover and refrigerate the dough before cutting it for the neatest slices. It’s very important to use a sharp chef’s knife! You want the berries to slice without resistance. A dull knife will drag the berries through the dough and it will tear and crumble your neatly fashioned circle.
    Ready for the oven!

    The scones should bake to a light golden exterior, and come out of the oven in slightly less perfect form than they went in. Corners will not be as sharp. Remember, these are rustic beauties! They are supposed to develop crags and crackles on their tops.
    I loved these with a zigzag of confectioners’ glaze, but you could also dust them with powdered sugar. If you’re looking for something less sweet, then just leave ‘em plain!Be well, all of you! xo -h

    Triple Berry SconesYields 8 sconesScones2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar1 tablespoon baking powder3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt6 tablespoons (85g) frozen unsalted butterZest of 1 lemon1/2 cup (3 oz.) fresh blueberries1/2 cup (3 oz.) chopped fresh strawberries1/2 cup (3 oz.) fresh whole blackberries1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream, plus more for brushing scones2 large eggs Glaze1 cup (114g) confectioners’ sugar2 tablespoons heavy cream1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to aerate and combine.Grate the frozen butter on the large hole side of a box grater. Immediately add the butter to the flour mixture and stir until the pieces are well-dispersed. *Alternatively, you can cut cold butter (not frozen butter) into the flour using a pastry blender or the tines of a fork.Stir in the lemon zest. Add the berries and toss in the flour mixture to coat.In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and eggs. Add the cream mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold together gently using a large rubber spatula until a ragged, shaggy dough is formed.Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper or a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, pack and form the shaggy dough into a 6-inch circle (alternatively, knead until the dough just comes together). Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 400°F.Use a large sharp chef’s knife to cut the circle into 8 triangles. Transfer the slices to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream.Bake 20-22 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown. Let cool before glazing.For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the cooled scones. 
    link Triple Berry Scones By Heather Baird Published: Friday, July 03, 2020Friday, July 03, 2020Triple Berry Scones Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Mini Apple Pies

    There’s nothing better than classic apple pie, unless it’s having one all to yourself! These little individual pies are big on flavor, and their sweet, buttery pastry crusts bake to golden perfection.I return to this time-honored classic for every kind of occasion, but I especially enjoy making it on patriotic holidays. It somehow feels reverent and dignified, having an apple pie on our buffet on Memorial Day or July 4th. Its origins lie across the pond, but it has become an American symbol, perfected by the hands of our predecessors and steeped in tradition.Individual desserts have always felt special to me, so I decided this year we’d all have our own little apple pie. The apple filling formula is pretty standard and easy to mix up, but the crust recipe is different from regular pie crust. I learned to make pate sucrée in pastry class, and I’ve found it holds up well to nearly any type of juicy pie filling – and it’s perfect for mini pies!
    A food processor makes quick work of forming the dough and it helps keep it cool, as warm hands will melt the cold butter pieces dispersed throughout the dough. Once processed, it will need to rest 30 minutes before rolling. I used a large pastry cutter to stamp dough rounds from the pastry, but you could also flip over your mini pie pans and trim around them 1″ larger than the pan rims.
    These little pies will need to be vented, and you could do so by cutting a slit in the tops of the pies, but I wanted to make these extra-cute for our holiday.A reinforced vent hole can be made with two small, nesting cookie cutters. To do this, first cut a circle from the rolled pastry for a top crust; set aside. Then, use the larger cutter to stamp a shape from the rolled pastry (here, a star). Lay it on the top center of the circle. Use the smallest cutter to cut a vent hole through the stamped shape and pastry round. Now you’re ready to top a pie!
    After fluting the edges of the pie crusts together, cover the pies with egg wash using a pastry brush and immediately sprinkle with coarse sugar. This makes the top crust golden brown and crunchy!

    The thyme in my little herb planter is full of twisty green sprigs, so I added a pinch of chopped fresh thyme to the pie filling. This is optional, but I really love the flavor.I’m serving these pies directly from the little glass pans they were baked in. You can find the pans I used here, if you’re looking for a set of your own.Wishing you a safe and happy holiday weekend!

    Mini Apple PiesYields about eight 5-inch piesFor 8 pies, make two batches of pastry crust, or you can halve the pie filling recipe and make just one batch of pate sucrée to yield just 4 pies.Pate sucrée crust2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flourPinch of salt7/8 cup (14 tablespoons/198g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed1/2 cup (3.5 oz./100g) fine granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1 egg, slightly beatenPlace the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter on top of the flour and pulse repeatedly in short bursts until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the vanilla and egg and pulse until the mixture forms a ball to one side of the bowl. Remove the dough and flatten into a circle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes before use.Apple pie filling1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar1/2 cup (106g) brown sugar, packed3 tablespoons all-purpose flour1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg5 large, tart, firm apples, thinly sliced (tested with Granny Smith)1 tablespoon lemon juiceIn a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour and spices; set aside. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat.Assemble the piesEgg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water)Coarse crystal sugarPreheat the oven to 375°F.Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface using a floured rolling pin. Cut 7-inch rounds from the dough and fit inside the pie pans. Fill each pie with the apple filling until heaping. Gather the dough and re-roll to 1/4-inch thickness.Cut more pastry rounds to fit the top of each pie. Cut a vent in the center of each pie using a small cookie cutter (or cut 3 slits in the top of the pie using a paring knife). Top the pie with the crust and press edges of the crusts together and flute. Brush pies with egg wash then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake the pies for 15-17 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden brown.Allow pies cool before serving, or serve warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream on top.
    link Mini Apple Pies By Heather Baird Published: Monday, May 25, 2020Monday, May 25, 2020Mini Apple Pies Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Three Ingredient Cream Cheese Mini Biscuits

    These tiny biscuits are rich and buttery beyond words! Serve them when you’re short on time, or when you’re looking for a fuss-free bite.This year we’ll be celebrating Easter with a lot less people around our table, but I’m still holding tight to our holiday dinner traditions. I’ll be making a smaller version of Easter dinner with a turkey breast I found in the freezer, some scaled-down sides, and these lemon icebox pies in jars for a sweet ending.Last weekend I was able to replenish my eggs and dairy, but flour is still proving to be elusive. I was planning to make my favorite buttermilk dinner rolls, but ultimately decided 7 cups of flour for one recipe was too much to part with right now. Instead I’ll be whipping up these truly decadent cheesy mini biscuits.
    This is a recipe that’s easy to commit to memory. You’ll need a package of cream cheese, a stick of butter, and a cup of self-rising flour. If you don’t keep self-rising flour on hand, then a cup can easily be made at home with my recipe notes. 

    When measuring flour for this recipe, I recommend the spoon-and-sweep method. Spoon flour into the measuring cup until overflowing, and then sweep the top level with the back of a flat butter knife. This will help you avoid tough biscuits, which can happen with too much flour. You could also weigh 120g of flour on a scale to be absolutely certain you’re getting the amount right.
    These baby biscuits bake in a mini muffin tin (1 3/4-inch cavities), and you won’t even need to grease the pan! These biscuits butter themselves!The dough is lax enough to pipe into the cavities, but if your dough seems too firm to pipe, place batter in the tin using two spoons.
    Fill the cavities all the way to the top! The tops may look a little ragged, but you can smooth them down by dipping fingertips in water and then lightly tamping them down.
    Bake until the edges are puffed and lightly golden brown.

    These little biscuits are so rich and cheesy, they could almost be an appetizer or part of a cheese course! Although they are delectable warm, they are also quite good at room temperature. I might just serve these as an hors d’oeuvre when family and friends are able to celebrate together again.

    Three Ingredient Cream Cheese Mini BiscuitsYields 14-16 mini biscuitsThis recipe requires the use of a mini muffin pan.1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature1/2 cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 cup (120g) self-rising flour (*see note for substitution)Preheat oven to 400°F.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add flour beating at low speed, just until blended.Pipe or spoon dough into ungreased mini muffin pans (1 3/4 inch cavities), filling them full to the tops. If dough looks ragged, dip fingertips in water and pat down any peaks in the dough. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly puffed and golden around the edges. Serve warm.*Note: For homemade self-rising flour, combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl and whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Use in this recipe as a replacement for self-rising flour.
    link Three Ingredient Cream Cheese Mini Biscuits By Heather Baird Published: Saturday, April 11, 2020Saturday, April 11, 2020Three Ingredient Cream Cheese Mini Biscuits Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Strawberry Jam Muffins with Cinnamon Oat Streusel

    These eggless muffins have a tender crumb and a pocket of strawberry jam baked inside. The cinnamon-oat streusel topping makes them so perfect for breakfast!I’m not sure why, but when I wake up in the morning it takes a while for my appetite to kick in. My husband on the other hand, is ready for breakfast the moment his feet hit the floor. His preference is something sweet – waffles, pancakes, English muffins with jam or cream cheese pastries. Those recipes usually require a good amount of eggs, butter, and milk. Since we’re still carefully conserving those items, I turned to pantry staples once again – and these muffins are the result!
    The vanilla muffin batter is easy enough to whip together using a hand mixer, and it contains no eggs or butter. I used some canned evaporated milk in the recipe, but if you don’t have that on hand you can replace it with water, or even oat or nut milk.
    A dollop of jam is swirled into the centers of the muffins, and then each muffin is topped with a generous amount of streusel. Good streusel usually contains butter, but I used vegetable shortening which was just fine, but a little crumbly. If you have two tablespoons of butter to spare, then use that instead!
    I baked these in cupcake liners, which I prefer because clean-up is much easier. 

    This recipe can be endlessly varied with whatever jam you have on hand. I’m eyeing a jar of fig jam in the fridge that needs to be used for a second batch of muffins. I like these best warm, but not hot. Let them cool a little after you take them out of the oven, because the jam in the center is molten and will burn your tongue (I learned the hard way!).We really loved these, and I hope you will too!

    Strawberry Jam Muffins with Cinnamon Oat StreuselYields 12 muffinsMuffins1 3/4 cup (210g) all-purpose flour3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 cup (120ml)evaporated milk (can substitute water, oat or nut milk, or cow’s milk)1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil1 tablespoon white vinegar or cider vinegar1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 cup (120ml) water6 tablespoons strawberry jam or other jam (tested with Smucker’s Seedless Strawberry Jam)Streusel1/3 cup (40g) all-purpose flour1/3 cup (25g) old-fashioned oats1 tablespoon sugar1 tablespoon ground cinnamonPinch of salt2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (or cold butter or margarine)Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the evaporated milk (or recommended substitution), oil, vinegar, and extract. Mix on low speed until thick. Add the water and mix again until the batter is smooth with a pourable consistency.In a small bowl, stir the jam with a spoon until smooth. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin and place about 1-2 teaspoons of jam in the centers of each cup of batter. Use a skewer to swirl the jam down into the batter (turn the batter over the jam with the skewer instead of swirling it throughout the batter).For the streusel, combine the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the shortening and use a fork to mash the ingredients together until crumbles form.Divide streusel mixture among the tops of each muffin and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops are well puffed and spring back when pressed. Or test with a toothpick – it should come out with only jam clinging to the pick, and no uncooked batter.Let cool before serving. These are wonderful served warm, but hot-from-the-oven muffins will hold a pocket of molten jam, which will cause burns. Let them cool down before serving.Store in an air-tight cupcake keeper, or on a platter covered with plastic wrap.
    link Strawberry Jam Muffins with Cinnamon Oat Streusel By Heather Baird Published: Saturday, April 04, 2020Saturday, April 04, 2020Strawberry Jam Muffins with Cinnamon Oat Streusel Recipe LEGGI TUTTO