Summer Dreaming

Peaches

Summer fills the mind with possibility.  It is the ripe, full, juicy peach.  It is the scent of pungent, full berries on the vine.  There are trails to be hiked, beaches to dig in, roads to twist our way through valley and range.

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While it’s not officially summer, it’s already fizzing like soda up my nose.  I’m poring over maps, plotting the summer reading, scoping out new places to picnic.  I’m browsing books to read under the wafts of the ceiling fan on the hottest days.  I’m combing through recipes for grilling, sangrias, cobblers, ice creams, popsicles, tiki drinks, salads…and realizing I’m leaning toward not cooking at all, as my thoughts wander to olives and cheeses and fresh fruits.

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Soon we will hit the road, and we’ll see our wonderful national parks, so do stay tuned for that!

BerryCrisp

For now I’m digging in to the deliciousness of summer dreaming.

This Peach and Raspberry Crumble recipe was made from the recipe by Joy the Baker.

The homemade vanilla ice cream  is from Crowther Cafe.

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Two-Chocolate Coconut Blondies

Well, hello!  What do you do when you don’t have enough flour for a planned Bundt cake, and you’re not due to head to the store for a few days?  I did consider a wild moment of gnashing of teeth and rending of hair, but I’ve too much of a sweet tooth for that drama when I can improvise. 

So…blondies it is!  After a whirlwind pantry tour, I found some shredded coconut and a couple of kinds of chocolate, but not enough of one kind to distribute throughout.  I like to improvise with on-hand ingredients, so I choose some semi-sweet Guittard chocolate chips and I chopped up an 85% cacao PASCHA chocolate bar.  I thought the darker chocolate mixture might offset sweetened, shredded coconut and the buttery richness of the blondie batter itself.


I toasted the coconut on a little foil-covered tray in my toaster oven, keeping watch to make sure it didn’t burn.  I erred on the side of less-toasted rather than burnt, because again, this is not the kind of drama I’m interested in.  (I’m saving that interest for Twin Peaks–Helll-OOO-ooo-OOo! and Better Call Saul.)

Please note the batter will be thick when you spread it in the pan:


But trust me it will all be worth it:


Ah…improvising has delicious rewards!


Two-Chocolate Coconut Blondies

2/3 cup butter (1 ¼ stick)

1 lb. dark brown sugar (2 ¼ cups)

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¾ cups plain (all purpose) flour

2 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard brand)

1 bar very dark chocolate, chopped (I used 85% cacao PASCHA brand)

Grease13 x 9-inch pan, line with parchment paper, and grease the paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toast coconut gently in toaster oven or warm large oven, until part of it turns golden. Remove and let cool; toss with fork to loosen any clumps.

Melt butter and let it cool. In a stand mixer, beat the melted butter and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Scrape down sides of the mixing bowl.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add these dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just combined. Then add coconut and chocolate chips & pieces. Mix but do not over-mix. The batter will be thick.

Spread the batter in greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F, until inserted toothpick comes out relatively clean but not runny. Cool completely, then carefully remove the parchment paper and blondies to a cutting board. Cut into squares.

Makes 24 blondies.