Tuesday, August 18, 2015


After a good amount of trial and error, I've finally arrived at, what is to me, the perfect snickerdoodle cookie. The texture is the right balance of chewy and softness; the flavor is sweet, salty, and spicy. Try these for breakfast with coffee or anytime!
1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
Turbinado sugar

1. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time, until thoroughly blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; beat in to butter mixture until combined. Scoop dough into balls; roll dough balls in turbinado sugar. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
2. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Peach Upside-Down Cake

This is probably my very favorite summer dessert—fresh peaches are a must! I first made it last year and never posted the recipe. Because of the abundance of peaches this summer, it has made a regular appearance in our kitchen. The original recipe is from The New Southern Garden Cookbook, which I’ve tinkered with a bit. If you don’t have fresh peaches, plums and nectarines also work well. The addition of cardamom is very subtle but adds a delicious warmth. Allspice is a good substitute.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, divided
4 peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin slices
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/2 cup milk

1. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar until smooth. Arrange peaches in concentric circles in the butter mixture.
2. Beat 1/4 cup butter and remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add in vanilla. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; slowly beat in to butter mixture, alternating with milk, until combined. Spread batter over top of peaches.
3. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until done. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes; using oven mitts, carefully place a plate over top of skillet, and flip skillet over so the cake is released. Serve warm or at room temperature.