A few weeks ago I was called to bake for a wedding, they asked me to make some tarts and chocolate covered strawberries for the dessert table at the reception. The bride stated that her color scheme for the wedding was brown and purple so she thought it would be a great idea to have me make some blueberry tarts to help match her color scheme. I decided to make homemade shortbread tart crusts from scratch, top them with homemade vanilla pudding, and garnish them with blueberries and semisweet chocolate.
The shortbread crusts worked out really well and the recipe was easy to follow. I found that during baking they did puff up a little bit so I had to pierce them with a fork half way through baking them. I made the tart shells in advance and they last for a few days stored in a air tight container. I've made this vanilla pudding recipe before and I find it full proof, it always turns out well and tastes very smooth and creamy. The vanilla pudding is best after it has sat in the refridgerator overnight. The combination of all the ingredients worked out well, they were best eaten right after asembly but they also tasted good after a few hours in the fridge.
I was in the mood for something healthy today, a good snack that I could take on the go. So I decided to make some peach bran muffins since the peaches are perfect season right now at the store. I've made a similar recipe to this one called morning muffins but I just decided to alter it a bit. The addition of the peaches really makes this muffin moist and all the flavors blend really well.
Peach Bran Muffins
1 Large egg
3/4 Cups yogurt (I used a sourmilk mixture instead - add almond milk to 1 Tbsp of vinegar until it reaches 3/4 Cups and let it stand for 5min)
1/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup white granulated sugar
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 Cups wheat bran
2 Cups of peeled and finely chopped peaches (about 2 medium sized peaches)
1 Cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1) Preheat the oven to 375F and line 12 muffin cups with paper cups or lightly grease pan
2) In a medium size bowl whisk together egg, yogurt (or sourmilk), both sugars, oil, vanilla, and almond extract
3) Stir in wheat bran and let mixture stand for 10min
4) Meanwhile, peel and chop the peaches and set aside
5) In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice
6) Add chopped peaches to bran mixture then add that mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated
7) Scoop batter evenly into muffin tins (about 1/4 cup each) and bake for 20-25min (mine took 20min) or until toothpick inserted in the middle of one muffin comes out clean
8) Let cool in pan for 10min then eat warm or store in an air tight container for later and enjoy!
Here is a quick summer treat to try if you craving that sweet tooth in the heat.
Note: I found with this recipe you need to drink it ASAP because 1) it is very good and 2) the crushed cookies in it seem to get a bit soggy after time and then the texture isn't as good as before
Iced Lemonade Milkshake
10 Crushed cookies (I used Iced lemonade cookies)
1 Cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 Cups ice
1/2 Cup milk
1) Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until the mixture is thick and frothy. You may have to alternate blending a stirring until the mixture becomes nice and smooth
2) Pour it into a glass and enjoy!
I don't like to make too many desserts that involving using an oven in the summer because the house just gets too hot, but I did make an exception for this recipe. When I was younger my favorite type of ice cream was cookies and cream and it still is. I will eat anything that has 'cookies and cream' in the title. So I thought I would try my favorite combo in a brownie form (but a chocolate brownie because you can never have enough chocolate). I made a big batch so I could share with my friends, I hope they enjoyed them as much as I did.
Chocolate Cookies and Cream Brownies
6oz semisweet chocolate
2oz white chocolate
2 Cups white sugar
4 Large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup all-purpose flour
30-40 Crushed chocolate wafer cookies
1) Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9*13in pan and line with parchment paper
2) In a small pot over a bowl of simmering water, melt together butter, semisweet chocolate, and white chocolate until smooth then turn off heat but leave the bowl over the water
3) In a seperate large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla until just combined
4) Then whisk your chocolate mixture into your egg mixture
5) Then slowly add your flour into the chocolate egg mixture, folding gently until incorporated
6) Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan, then sprinkle half of your crushed wafer cookies on top, then pour your remaining batter on top of that and sprinkle with the remaining wafer cookies (lightly press down on top of mixture so the cookies stick into the batter more and won't fall off later when your cutting the brownies)
7) Bake for 35-40min or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with a few bits of batter clinging to it
8) Let brownies rest for about 2hours (I let my rest overnight) then cut into them and enjoy!