baking

Simple Blueberry Cobbler

Fine and Feathered - Simple Blueberry Cobbler

Summer desserts, to me, are all about keeping it simple. Using fresh, local ingredients and letting them speak for themselves. I actually went out in hopes of finding some straggling strawberries, but it seems I pretty much missed that season this year. However, it's blueberry season, and since we live only a few towns away from the "blueberry capital of the world" it was easy to get my hands on a big bowl of these beautiful berries, so I called it fate, and made a cobbler.

SIMPLE BLUEBERRY COBBLER          

For the Filling:

2 Pounds of Blueberries

1/4 Cup of Sugar

1/2 Tbsp of Flour

Zest of a lemon

For the Topping:

1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup of Old-fashioned Oats

1/2 Cup of Flour

1/2 tsp of Cinnamon

6 Tbsp of cold Butter, diced

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a pie pan or baking dish. Combine sugar, flour, and lemon zest for the filling, then pour over blueberries, toss to coat, and pour into baking dish.

Whisk together brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon for topping. Add in chilled butter and use fork to cut up pieces further and combine until butter pieces are pea sized or a little smaller (you could also just pulse all ingredients in a food processor, if you have one). Top blueberries with the mixture, and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until crumb topping is browned and blueberries are soft.

Enjoy with some fresh whipped cream

Red Velvet Mini Cake

Red Velvet cake is the best, isn't it? To me there is just nothing better. It's such a unique flavor, and I love the hint of chocolate without the taste overwhelming the cake. Last week I made this "mini" cake for my sister's birthday tea-party and it's probably my favorite homemade cake I've ever made - plus the icing was so incredible. Usually I'm just a little disapointed by my own homemade cakes - they sink or the taste is lacking a little something, but I was super happy with the result of this one. I went with a "mini" cake because I knew it was a small party and I didn't want anyone to get stuck with a huge cake afterwards - cupcakes are easier to send home with people too.

I had a few people recently ask me for the recipe and how I made it "mini" so I thought I'd share!

This is the recipefor both the cake and the icing - I figured it'd be a bit redundant to re-share it here since she has it written out so nicely already. Don't forget the Mascarpone in the icing - it really give it that extra something that it absolutely needs:)

Here's the process for making the "mini" cake...

Start by baking half of the batter in a well greased and lightly floured cookie sheet with high edges (I used the remainder batter for cupcakes). After cooling turn the cake onto a piece of parchment. I used the biggest cookie cutter in this set to cut out three pieces of cake, but you can use any size you want (bigger is easier to work with though).

Put a small layer of icing on a decorative plate or serving dish and lay your first peices down, do another two layers of icing and cake (or more or less - it's up to you, three layers just seems classic to me).

Spread a thin layer of icing over the top and sides, just enough to cover it, and then refrigerate for at least an hour. Once the icing is set you can go back over and icing your cake as you wish! I read the trick of refrigerating the cake with the thin layer of icing somewhere and it's made it so much easier to icing the cake "prettier" now without getting flecks of cake in the finishing icing.

If you like red velvet you really should try this recipe. I think I'll also be doing mini cakes more often since it really was so much nicer to not have to deal with a full size cake!

Winter Shortcakes

I've definitely hit that "winter wall" where I am ready to move on. Ready for tulips to poke their little heads out of the ground, ready to get back to weekly horse riding, ready for local fresh fruits, ready for canning, ready for the chickens to finally get to stretch their legs and explore the whole yard, and just plain ready.

I have been trying to enjoy the winter this year, even though I've never been a big winter person. I could happily go straight from fall right into spring, but I suppose winter helps us appreciate spring more? At least that's what I try to tell myself. But I am definitely feeling that spring thaw craving. I went through all my canned peaches within about 2 weeks (note to self - can a TON this year!) and was borderline drooling when I came aross this recipe on A Better Happierthe other day, so I knew I had to make some.

Lemony Winter Shortcakes

(via A Better Happier)

adapted from Bon Appétit

Scant 1 and a half cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg, well beaten

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2'' cubes

3/4 buttermilk

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons sugar, or raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine first six dry ingredients with chilled butter in a food processor and pulse until mixture is a coarse meal.  Pour into a mixing bowl and set aside.  Add in buttermilk and lemon zest, stirring until just combined.  Transfer to a lightly floured surface and form into a ball.  Knead the dough about 4 to 5 times, dusting with flour as needed.  Roll out a 7" square that's about 3/4" in thickness.  Cut the dough in half, and each half crosswise into 4 rectangles.  Transfer the 8 pieces of dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush each biscuit with the beaten egg, sprinkling with sugar to finish.  Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.  Once cooled, split the biscuits in half and fill with whipped cream and jam.

Fine and Feathered
Fine and Feathered

I decided to do little circles instead of squares, but you can really do whatever shape you want (growing up my mom always baked shortcake in a pie pan - I think I'll try that next time with this recipe!). I think I also added a little too much flour when I kneaded the dough, but they still came out really good. And there's no other way to eat them then with strawberries and a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream (this is my favorite recipe). They now have Florida strawberries at our markets, which are no where near as good as Jersey ones during their peak, but they were great to hold me over a little while longer:)

What are you guys doing to stave off those winter blues?