Recipe: Peach Raspberry Bars

I'm currently writing this blog post while D E E P in an Unsolved Mysteries black hole. It's been about 4 days since I've watched anything else and I've binged through a whole season—30 something episodes—which feels pretty embarrassing when I write it here. But I'm learning about Roswell aliens and someone named "Pappy" Henderson and last night I had a dream narrated by Robert Stack so everything is a-ok...

(If you want to go down the Unsolved Mysteries hole, every episode is on Amazon Prime)

Also while I'm writing this, I'm eating the only one of these bars that made it through a tragic kitchen accident. The whole pan was knocked on the kitchen floor, shattering the pyrex pan they were in into tiny pieces that covered the bars. One made it out unscathed, which I'm not sharing with anyone. <3

Peach Raspberry Bars

Makes 12 bars

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 peaches
1/2-3/4 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
sprinkle of salt
3 tablespoon butter, melted

Prepare a 8x8 baking pan by spraying with a light layer of cooking spray and lining with a parchment paper so two sides hang over for easy removal. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make your crust: In a large mixing bowl, mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a wooden spoon. Add in melted butter and mix until combined and clumpy. Spread into an even layer in the prepared baking sheet. 

To make your filling, thinly slice peaches and place on top of crust in a single layer. Fill in between the peach slices with raspberries cut in half. Once you've created one layer, sprinkle with corn starch, juice from the lemon, and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Add another layer of peaches and raspberries and then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.

Topping: In the same mixing bowl you made the crust in, add oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a wooden spoon. Add in melted butter and mix until combined and clumpy. Using your hands, sprinkle lumps of the topping onto the peaches/raspberries. You should be able to see the peaches through the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is cooked through. Cool completely before cutting into squares. These bars are on the softer side, so store them in the refrigerator.

Recipe: Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles

In recent years I've developed an addiction to ice cream and frozen treats. 

This is not something I've had my entire life. As a kid, I remember occasionally getting ice cream for a treat or on vacation or occasionally something from the ice cream man who drove around our neighborhood. But I don't remember craving it the same way I do now. Recently I'm pretty game for ice cream any time, any day, any where. Need a pickmeup? Go get ice cream. Need to celebrate something? Let's get ice cream! Need to kill some time before going to the movies? Ice cream that you get a lid for and end up sneaking into the movies. It's just exactly what I want at any given moment and I've decided to go with it.

These popsicle were created because I tend to come home from work very hangry and need something right away. Because when you are tired and annoyed from work and hungry, you'd be surprised how often you decide to just get ice cream for dinner. Having these not-too-unhealthy alternatives handy means I make it to dinner more often.

Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 10 popsicles

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons honey
Half a lemon
1 1/2–2 cups vanilla greek yogurt

Place raspberries in a medium sized bowl. Add honey and juice from half a lemon. Using a spatula or spoon, cover the berries with the juice and honey and let sit for at least a half an hour in the fridge. Pour your raspberry mixture into a blender, and blend until smooth. If you really hate raspberry seeds, you can pour the mixture through a mesh strainer before filling your popsicle molds, but I didn't bother.

When filling your popsicle molds (I believe I have this one), alternate between the yogurt and raspberry puree until they are 3/4th full. Then using a wooden skewer, swirl the layers together a little bit to get swirls. If you don't have a wooden skewer lying around, you can use anything that's long and fairly skinny. You also don't have to swirl them at all and they will still be great. Add in your popsicle sticks and freeze for 4–6 hours until completely frozen.

Recipe: Raspberry-Dusted Lemon Donuts

Thankfulness is something that's important to me. Maybe that sounds weird and a little obvious but I feel like I may care about it (or at least think about it) more than other people. It's important to let people know that you care about them and value whatever small amount of time they put into making your life better. And when it comes to nice things you can do to show someone that you care about them, my favorite one is creating food for them. Whether it's baking a cake for a birthday, making soup when someone's sick, or whipping together cookies to tell someone thank you, making food for someone has the perfect amount of "above and beyond-ness" to make people feel cared about and loved.

Baking with someone in mind feels personal and sweet. You need to remember that they are a total chocolate addict or maybe that they hate lemon desserts. And though any amount of thankfulness is good, baking takes a little extra time. Time you used to make something for someone important to you.

With the current state of the country, I'm enjoying how much focus is being placed on creating a kinder world to combat recent events. This week, think about throwing some cookies in the oven to thank your coworkers. Make your significant other some donuts for no reason other to say i love you. Invite your friends over for brunch and let them know how much you appreciate them. Every little bit helps in creating a kinder, more thankful (and sweeter) world. <3

Raspberry-Dusted Lemon Donuts

Makes 12 donuts

For Donuts:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter, cold and cubed
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 oz freeze dried raspberries, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare donut pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

Begin by mixing lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl and working the two together with a spoon (or fingers) until mixture is clumpy and fragrant. In a large bowl, mix together flour, lemon sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands) cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is sand-like with bits of butter throughout.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in sour cream and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Before completely combined, add the lemon juice and continue to fold together until mixture is smooth.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the donuts are fully cooled, place wax paper underneath your cooling rack and start making your glaze. Add powdered sugar and water into a medium saucepan and start whisking them together. The mixture will be very stiff and not come together easily. Once it is mostly combined, heat glaze over medium heat, whisking frequently. The glaze will start to come together and thin out. Remove from heat when the mixture is warm but not hot. Dip each donut into the glaze and let cool on the rack. The glaze will harden quickly, so after dipping each donut, sprinkle with crushed raspberries and press them lightly with your fingers.

I find that because of the moisture level in the donuts, it’s best to eat these within 24 hours, or stack on a plate and wrap with plastic wrap. Keeping the donuts in an airtight container may cause them to sweat and the glaze to soften. Enjoy!