Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings
These homemade apple dumplings are easier than you’d think – Granny Smith apples are peeled and cored, stuffed with butter and cinnamon-sugar, wrapped in a pastry crust, and covered in a buttery brown sugar sauce. Baked un…

Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings

These homemade apple dumplings are easier than you'd think - Granny Smith apples are peeled and cored, stuffed with butter and cinnamon-sugar, wrapped in a pastry crust, and covered in a buttery brown sugar sauce. Baked until golden, they absolutely melt in your mouth!

READ: Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Homemade Croissants Recipe
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make croissants, this step-by-step tutorial loaded with tons of pictures and a video will walk you through exactly how to do it.
READ: Homemade Croissants Recipe

Homemade Croissants Recipe

If you've always wanted to learn how to make croissants, this step-by-step tutorial loaded with tons of pictures and a video will walk you through exactly how to do it.

READ: Homemade Croissants Recipe

March Bake-Along: Danish Pastries

These Danish pastries are made completely from scratch, taste just like a bakery, and are easier than you’d think. Top with all of your favorite fillings!

The post March Bake-Along: Danish Pastries appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

These Danish pastries are made completely from scratch (no puff pastry here!), taste like they came straight from the fanciest of bakeries, and are easier than you’d think. The topping possibilities are endless; choose from cream cheese, fruit, chocolate, lemon curd, or a combination of those! A perfect baking project for overnight guests or special breakfast or brunch.

A plate of cheese and fruit Danish pastries.

Welcome to the March Bake-Along! This month we’re diving head-first into pastries and I couldn’t think of anything better to tackle than the iconic Danish pastries. They scream at me from behind the glass case in my favorite bakery and I’m not even ashamed to say I have a soft spot for the boxed Danishes from the grocery store; my grandma always had one or two on hand in case a neighbor stopped by for coffee and a chat.

I know you might be intimidated by homemade pastries, but believe me when I tell you that they are SO doable and you will be absolutely thrilled when you get to sink your teeth into the final product. I’m going to walk you through the process below and there are very detailed directions in the recipe.

Let’s get going on these gorgeous Danish pastries!

The Butter Block

The most important component of the Danish pastry dough is the butter block. You’ll roll out two rectangles of butter and layer them into the dough before it gets rolled out and folded multiple times. This is what allows those gorgeous (and delicious!) flaky layers to develop.

Side by side photos of a butter block being rolled out.

Laminating the Dough

In order to take full advantage of the butter block we made above, we need to make sure there are layers upon layers of that delicious butter throughout the dough. In order to do that, we roll the dough out, place two layers of butter block between the dough, then fold it up and roll it out.

Step-by-step photos of a butter block being folded into dough.

Step by step photos of a butter block in dough, then rolled out.

Then we fold and roll twice more, for a total of three times.

It may initially seem a little over the top, but once you bite into a finished Danish and see those flaky layers, you’ll be reaping the rewards big time!

Danish pastry dough folded and prepped for rolling out.

Assemble the Pastries

After a long chill in the refrigerator, the dough is ready to be divided up and the Danish pastries assembled. I experimented with some different sizes and shaping methods and kept coming back to this simple, delicious, and classic circle. It’s virtually foolproof and has a perfect ratio of flaky pastry to filling.

First, working with one-third of the dough at a time, you’ll portion it out into 12 pieces each, and then roll them into balls…

Danish pastry dough portioned out and rolled into balls.

Next, you’ll flatten them into discs, place on baking sheets and allow to rise for about 1 hour – they will puff up but will not double in size. Then it’s time to fill them!

Filling Ideas

My all-time favorite Danish flavor is cream cheese, so that’s obviously my recommendation, but most of the rest of my family love cherry, so I made some of those, as well ;-)  If you’re looking for ideas beyond those basics, here’s a list to get you started:

  • Cream cheese (recipe is below)
  • Fruit jam, preserves, or canned pie filling
  • Fresh fruit
  • Lemon curd
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Nutella
  • Feta and caramelized onions for a savory Danish!

You can also mix and match many of the combinations above! Cream cheese and berries or chocolate and orange would be fabulous together!

Side by side photos of Danish pastries filled with cheese and fruit before baking.

A Final Drizzle

Last but not least, we drizzle on a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze to make these Danish pastries really look like they just came from the bakery.

If you’d like, you could also sprinkle on some chopped nuts on top of the pastries before drizzling for a little crunch and texture contrast.

Cream cheeses Danish pastries on a baking sheet drizzled with a glaze.

Recipe Success Tips

Some notes to help you make the best Danish pastries ever!

  • When you make the butter block, be sure that your butter is on the cool side or it will be too warm to work into the dough. If it seems too soft when you start working with it, just pop it into the refrigerator to firm up before continuing with the recipe. Or, get it rolled into your rectangle then refrigerate your butter block rectangle until it firms up a bit before laminating the dough.
  • You can tackle this recipe all in one day, or split it up into a more manageable two-day project. Simply leave the laminated dough in the refrigerator overnight and continue with the shaping and baking the next day.
  • Feel free to experiment with different shapes if you’d like, but as I mentioned above, I had the most consistent success with these circular Danishes.
  • These are best enjoyed the same day they are made for optimal flakiness and freshness, however, they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing the Dough: If you’d like to freeze all or part of the Danish pastry dough, you can do so after Step #11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then wrap the portion you want to freeze in two layers of plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator, then proceed with the recipe as written.
  • Freezing Assembled Pastries: To assemble the pastries and freeze before baking, complete the recipe through Step #17 (filling the pastries). Then, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer until they are completely frozen, at least 3 hours. Transfer the pastries to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen (don’t forget the egg wash!), adding an extra 10 to 15 minutes to the bake time.
  • Freezing Baked Pastries: To freeze already-baked Danish pastries, allow them to cool completely to room temperature, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until warmed through.

JOIN THE BEB BAKE-ALONG!

To tackle the Danish pastries and bake along with me this month, simply do the following:

  • Make the Danish pastries! I would love to hear how you plan to fill them, share in the comments below!
  • Snap a picture and either share it on social media (#BEBbakealong on Instagram or Twitter), upload it to the BEB Facebook group, or email it to me.
  • Check-in on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month to see everyone’s Danishes and cheer each other on!

An overhead photo of cheese and fruit danishes.

If you make the Danish pastries and love them, please take a moment to stop back and leave a review below; they help out fellow readers so much! Thank you! xo

Print

Danish Pastries

These Danish pastries are made completely from scratch, taste just like a bakery, and are easier than you'd think. Top with all of your favorite fillings!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, European
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 5 hours 45 minutes
Servings 36 danishes
Calories 230kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 2 cups unsalted butter divided
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cups milk

For the Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Fruit Filling

  • 1 cup fruit jam, preserves, or canned pie filling

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Glaze:

  • cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • Make the Dough: Cut ½ tablespoon off the ends of each of the four sticks of butter (for a total of 2 tablespoons).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the 2 tablespoons cold butter and work it in with a pastry blender or your fingers until no large lumps remain. Add the vanilla, milk, and eggs.
  • Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until a dough begins to form, then switch to the dough hook and knead until a cohesive, but quite sticky dough forms, about 5 to 7 minutes. The dough won't completely clean the bowl and will stick a bit at the bottom. (You can also complete this step in a bread machine on the dough cycle.)
  • Scrape the dough into a ball, and transfer it to a floured work surface. Cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the butter.
  • Make the Butter Block: Cut each stick of butter in half lengthwise, to make 8 long rectangles. On a piece of floured parchment or plastic wrap, line up 4 of the butter pieces side by side, to form a rectangle. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and cover with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap.
  • Gently pound and roll the butter until it's about 6" x 9". The pieces may or may not meld together.
  • Repeat with the remaining 4 pieces of butter. You should now have two butter rectangles, about 6" x 9" each.
  • Laminate the Dough: Roll the dough into a rectangle 12" wide x 24" long. Place one of the butter pieces onto the center third of the dough. Fold one side over the butter to cover it. Place the other butter piece atop the folded-over dough, and fold the remaining dough up over it. Pinch the open ends and side closed.
  • Turn the dough so a 12" side is closest to you. Roll the dough into a 10" x 24" rectangle. Fold each side into the center; then fold one side over the other to make a rectangular packet about 6" x 10".
  • Dust the surface of the dough with flour, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and again roll it into a rectangle about 10" x 24". Fold it into a packet as you did in step #9; it'll be about 7" x 12". Roll one final time, fold into a packet, and flour the dough lightly. Wrap loosely (but completely) in plastic, and chill it for at least 2 hours, or up to 16 hours.
  • Make the Cheese Filling (if using): Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth.
  • Assemble the Pastries: When you're ready to make pastries, remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and cut off one-third. You'll work with this piece first; re-wrap and return the remainder to the refrigerator.
  • Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball, then flatten the balls into 3" to 3 1/2" rounds, making the center thinner than the edges. You want to build up a slight wall of dough all around the circumference; this will help hold the filling. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Working with one-half of the remaining dough at a time, repeat the process; you'll finish with three baking sheets, each with 12 dough rounds.
  • Cover the Danish lightly with greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for about 1 hour; they'll become slightly puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Use your fingers to press the centers of the dough rounds as flat as possible, leaving the "sidewalls" puffed. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of filling into the well of each round.
  • Make the Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water. Brush the exposed edges of the pastries with the egg wash.
  • Bake the Pastries: Bake the pastries, one pan at a time, until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Make the Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and milk to make a "drizzlable" glaze. If the glaze is too thick, add just a splash more milk at a time until the correct consistency is reached.
  • Drizzle the glaze atop the pastries. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Video

Notes

  • When you make the butter block, be sure that your butter is on the cool side or it will be too warm to work into the dough. If it seems too soft when you start working with it, just pop it into the refrigerator to firm up before continuing with the recipe. Or, get it rolled into your rectangle then refrigerate your butter block rectangle until it firms up a bit before laminating the dough.
  • You can tackle this recipe all in one day, or split it up into a more manageable two-day project. Simply leave the laminated dough in the refrigerator overnight and continue with the shaping and baking the next day.
  • Feel free to experiment with different shapes if you'd like, but as I mentioned above, I had the most consistent success with these circular Danishes.
  • These are best enjoyed the same day they are made for optimal flakiness and freshness, however, they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing the Dough: If you'd like to freeze all or part of the Danish pastry dough, you can do so after Step #11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then wrap the portion you want to freeze in two layers of plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator, then proceed with the recipe as written.
  • Freezing Assembled Pastries: To assemble the pastries and freeze before baking, complete the recipe through Step #17 (filling the pastries). Then, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer until they are completely frozen, at least 3 hours. Transfer the pastries to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen (don't forget the egg wash!), adding an extra 10 to 15 minutes to the bake time.
  • Freezing Baked Pastries: To freeze already-baked Danish pastries, allow them to cool completely to room temperature, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until warmed through.
Nutritional values are based on one cheese Danish. 

Nutrition

Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 423IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour)

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post March Bake-Along: Danish Pastries appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

October Bake-Along: Sticky Buns

These old-fashioned sticky buns are covered in a decadent caramel glaze and chopped pecans; perfect for weekend breakfasts or dessert.

The post October Bake-Along: Sticky Buns appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

This old-fashioned sticky buns recipe comes complete with a decadent caramel glaze and chopped pecans. Made completely from scratch with a make-ahead option, these are a wonderful choice for holiday brunches, weekend breakfasts, or an extra-special dessert.

A pan of sticky buns just turned over.

Welcome to the October bake-along! After a September hiatus, I’m excited to be back in the saddle and baking along with all of you this month! (If you are new to the site, each month I select a featured recipe and invite readers to bake it during the month and share their results in the comments here and on social media. Scroll down for more information on how to participate!)

Now that the chilly weather is right around the corner (hopefully? It’s supposed to be 90 here today, eek!), I wanted a caramel-y, cozy recipe and these sticky buns fit the bill.

For the longest time, I couldn’t go to the mall without being lured into the cinnamon roll shop by that all-too-familiar intoxicating aroma of butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Nearly impossible to walk away, am I right? Luckily, I started making homemade cinnamon rolls and didn’t need to practice self-restraint every time I went to the mall, but there was yet another recipe I wanted to master at home.

Let me introduce you to cinnamon roll’s tawdry cousin – the sticky bun.

Homemade sticky buns turned out onto a pan after baking.

Sticky Buns vs. Cinnamon Rolls

Sticky buns and cinnamon rolls start out as the exact same being – the same master dough recipe is used, and even the cinnamon-sugar filling is identical. Aaaaaand that’s where the similarities stop. Let’s go discuss the differences…

  • Cinnamon rolls can be baked on a baking sheet or nestled together in a pan, and then covered in icing or glaze once they come out of the oven.
  • Sticky buns, on the other hand, are baked on top of a butter, sugar, and corn syrup combination (with pecans!) that turns into an absolute dream caramel situation in the oven. Once they are finished baking, they are flipped upside-down so that all of the caramel they had been sitting in while baking is now drenching the top of them.

I tested caramel glazes that were cooked and went into the pan in a liquid state, and this creamed-together mixture was, HANDS-DOWN, the absolute best at creating a wonderfully thick glaze that was the perfect consistency at both warm and room temperature.

Side by side photos of dough before and after rising in a glass bowl.

Walking Through the Sticky Buns Recipe

Before you get the whole way down to the bottom and start reading the recipe, let’s give it a quick overview so you know what you’ll be doing:

  1. Make the Dough – This is an enriched dough with butter and egg, which means that it’s silky smooth and a dream to work with. It also means that the fat keeps it from rising quickly, which is why the rise times you’ll see below are slightly longer than other recipes you may have made with instant yeast. I also use bread flour in this recipe, as all-purpose flour created way too much “fluff” in the buns; a denser version is what I was after and the bread flour delivered.
  2. Allow the Dough to Rise – The dough needs to double in size and this can take upwards of 2 hours (see above as to why!).
  3. Make the Caramel Glaze – While the dough is rising, get the caramel glaze ready to go by creaming together butter, granulated sugar, white sugar, and corn syrup until light and fluffy. If you’re planning to use pecans, you can get them chopped up now, as well.
  4. Roll and Shape the Dough – Next, we’ll roll out the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle it with an obscene amount of cinnamon-sugar (yes, use it all!), roll it up, and cut it into rolls.
  5. Get Everything in a Pan – Spread the caramel glaze in your pan, sprinkle with pecans, then place the rolls on top, evenly spaced out.
  6. Rise #2! – Time to let those rolls puff up and smash into each other.
  7. Bake – Total bake time takes around 30 to 40 minutes (mine usually clock in right at the 35-minute mark), then let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Flip! – Take that pan and flip it over, either onto a serving platter or another pan (a rimmed half sheet pan is perfect). Scoop up any caramel glaze that runs off and plop it back on the top of the sticky buns. Allow them to cool a bit, then dig in while still warm or let them cool to room temperature.

A bowl of caramel glaze and then it spread onto the bottom of a pan with chopped pecans.

Step by step photos showing sticky bun dough rolled out, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and rolled up.

Side by side photos of sticky buns in the pan before and after rising.

Here in Pittsburgh, there is a popular local diner chain (Eat n’ Park); along with their meals, you receive two rolls – one a regular dinner roll and the other, a sticky bun (at least, that’s what they used to do; I haven’t been to one in years!). It’s always such a nice surprise to get to enjoy a pseudo dessert with dinner. In the event you want to get dessert, too… well, there are sticky buns for that! They are famous for their Grilled Stickies a la Mode – sticky buns topped with vanilla ice cream.

Biting into these sticky buns had me remembering the good ol’ days… Those early days in high school before we were old enough to drive when my friends and I would get dropped off at the movies, and then walk to Eat n’ Park for a bite to eat afterward. Then, we’d take turns using the pay phone (gasp!) to call our parents to tell them we were ready to be picked up.

When my sister took a bite of these, she said, “oh my goodness, these taste JUST like Eat n’ Park, but BETTER!”

Perfection.

A stack of three sticky buns on parchment paper, with others in the background.

JOIN THE BEB BAKE-ALONG!

To tackle sticky buns and bake along with me this month, simply do the following:

  • Make the sticky buns!
  • Snap a picture and either share it on social media (#BEBbakealong on Instagram or Twitter), upload it to the BEB Facebook group, or email it to me.
  • Check in on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month to see everyone’s sticky buns!

A sticky bun on a plate, with a fork taking out a bite.

One year ago: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Five years ago: Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake
Seven years ago: Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Let’s Make Sticky Buns!

Sticky Buns Recipe

This old-fashioned caramel sticky buns recipe with pecans is perfect for breakfast or dessert.

For the Dough:

  • 6½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5½ tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk (at room temperature)

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 6½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the Caramel Glaze:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Cream together the sugar, butter, and salt on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

  2. Meanwhile, make the Caramel Glaze: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt, and cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract, and continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle 18 inches wide by 9 inches long. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough (use it all!), and roll the dough up with the long side facing you, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 12 even pieces.

  4. Coat the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with the caramel glaze, then sprinkle the pecans evenly over the surface. Lay the pieces of dough cut-side-up on top of the caramel glaze, evenly spaced throughout the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.

  5. Make-Ahead Note: Instead of the second rise, you can place the shaped buns in the refrigerate for up to 2 days, pulling the pan out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof at room temperature.

  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the lowest shelf.
  7. Bake the sticky buns for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove them by flipping them over onto another pan or serving platter. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving. The sticky buns are best eaten the day of baking but can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days (see notes below on reheating).

  • While you may substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour, know it will produce a slightly different texture than what you see here.
  • The corn syrup is a key ingredient in getting the exact right texture for the caramel glaze and I don’t recommend making any substitutions.
  • Make-Ahead Note: You can prepare the sticky buns through placing the rolls into the pan, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking. Bring to room temperature prior to baking as directed in the recipe.
  • Once the sticky buns have cooled to room temperature, I recommend a quick reheat in the microwave for 10 seconds for optimal enjoyment :)

(Recipe adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in May 2012; it was updated in October 2019 with new photos, a video, and extensive better recipe instructions.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post October Bake-Along: Sticky Buns appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Peach Almond Galette

At the beginning of June, my husband and I sat down and made a ‘“summer bucket list.” We checked in with our modest list for the first time last night. With August right around the…

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At the beginning of June, my husband and I sat down and made a '“summer bucket list.” We checked in with our modest list for the first time last night. With August right around the corner, we have crossed off only one of the items.

Time has been getting away from me lately, entire days seemingly disappearing into the void. The daily routine is both a blessing and a curse. It’s wonderful for keeping a 7 month old (and her exclusively pumping mama) on a happy schedule, but it leaves little room for spontaneity.

In many ways, it feels like I’m hitting autopilot and cruising through life without engaging meaningfully.

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I’ve been thinking recently about how to feel more present in my own life. Breaking the cycle and changing habits may be difficult, but it is starting to feel increasingly more essential. While I cannot change the large building blocks of my day, I can change my behavior in the small moments.

In general, I want to move myself away from the culture of detached consumption and into a space of creation. I need to set down my phone, so I don’t have the option of mentally checking out whenever the day begins to feel tedious. The endless scrolling does not bring me happiness, but it is so difficult to avoid.

Instead, I want to go for more walks with Baby N, cook recipes with seasonal vegetables, and bake a great loaf of sourdough bread with my new starter. I want to read more books and watch less television, spend mornings in the garden, and find ways to get out of the house and go on adventures with N (even if it is just to run a few errands). I want to build time into the day for myself and myself alone.

Wish me luck—change may be hard, but it is easier knowing it will make me a happier, more engaged mother in the end.

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To me, it is simply not summer without a galette (as noted here, here, and here). These rustic cousins to pie are by far easier to pull together and feature the best of the ripe, seasonal fruit that summer has to offer.

I made this Peach Almond Galette three times in the last couple weeks for various events. I simply cannot get enough of this dessert. This galette stands out because of the addition of a thin layer of almond paste beneath the fresh peaches. The rich nutty flavor elevates the galette into a true pastry.

This is truly summer on a plate.

This Peach Almond Galette pairs fresh, ripe peaches with the rich, nutty flavor of almond. The galette comes together by layering almond paste between peaches and pie crust in a freeform dessert. With a sprinkling of sliced almonds and raw sugar before baking, the crust takes on the flavor of sweet, toasted almonds. While serving with a topping of whipped cream or side of vanilla ice cream would not be amiss, I prefer my slices unadorned and straight from the refrigerator. Enjoy whichever way your taste buds guide you.

Peach Almond Galette

Yields 6-8 servings, depending on size

6-7 medium sized peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar*
4 ounces (113 grams) almond paste
Recipe for single crust pie dough, chilled 
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked)
1/4 cup (22 grams) sliced almonds
2 tablespoons demerara or raw sugar, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, fold together the sliced peaches, flour, and granulated sugar. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a circle roughly 1/8-inch thick and approximately 14 inches in diameter. Next, roll or flatten out the almond paste into a layer approximately 1/8-inch thick. Place the thin layer of almond paste in the center of the pie dough, leaving a 3-inch border around the outside.

Layer the peaches over the almond paste in a decorative fashion. Fold up the pie dough over the filling, pleating the dough every few inches. Brush the visible pie dough with egg wash and sprinkle the sliced almonds and demerara sugar evenly over the dough. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up the pie dough.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the peaches have released their juices. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with a topping of whipped cream or side of vanilla ice cream.

*Add more or less to taste, depending on the sweetness of the peaches.

Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust

I’m thrilled to be officially married to my best friend! At the moment, married life does not feel very different, but I suppose when you have been together over eight years you ar…

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I'm thrilled to be officially married to my best friend! At the moment, married life does not feel very different, but I suppose when you have been together over eight years you are comfortable in your relationship. Although this day was a long time coming, it still feels strange to call Chris my husband.

Our wedding day was a hot, humid ninety-degree day with no wind to provide relief, but the rain blessedly stayed away. The sun was covered by a hazy sky from wildfire smoke which made the dappled, diffuse light perfect for photography. Although the groom was recovering from the flu, the illness was quickly forgotten in the emotion of the day. In front of our immediate family, we said our handwritten vows and became husband and wife.

Our wedding day may have had its share of imperfections, but to us these imperfections are what made it a perfect day.

With no honeymoon planned, we are trying to enjoy the last few slow days of summer as a married couple before the school year begins again. To add a special touch to our evenings, I made us a dessert to share as newlyweds. This blueberry galette made with a cornmeal thyme crust is perfect for both of us—Chris loves desserts with a chewy texture and I adore the flavor of late summer blueberries.

For this galette, the added cornmeal in the pie crust lends a chewy, flaky texture, while the fresh thyme adds a subtle herbed flavor. However, the real star of the galette is the blueberries. While the galette works beautifullywith frozen blueberries, I recommend you find the ripest berries of the season to take it over the top. The wild blueberries I found at the local farmer's market made this galette disappear quickly.

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This Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust allows late summer's seasonal offerings to shine. A galette is similar in many ways to a pie, but I find it easier to throw together, which makes it perfect for the lazy days of summer. The cornmeal thyme crust gives the galette additional flavor and texture, which makes this dessert stand out from others. Serve the galette warm or cold with a scoop of ice cream or coconut whipped cream.

One Year Ago: Fresh Herb Bread
Two Years Ago:  Fig Oatmeal Bars 
Three Years Ago: Iced Matcha Coconut Latte 
Four Years Ago: Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies & Citrus Zucchini Muffins
Five Years Ago: Blueberry Braided Bread, Date Flapjacks, & Nordic Pancake Cake
Six Years Ago: Summer Berry Pavlova, Mango Coconut Popsicles, French Silk Pie, & Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Seven Years Ago: Coconut Pancakes, Chocolate Beet CakeZucchini Bread, & Lemon Blueberry Scones
Eight Years Ago: Chocolate Pear Cake & Brown Sugar Coconut Bubble Tea

Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust

Yields 8-10 servings

Cornmeal Thyme Pie Crust
1 3/4 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (108 grams) yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped and lightly packed
1 cup (225 grams) butter, cold and cubed
4-8 tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and fresh thyme. Add half of the cold cubed butter and rub the butter and flour between your fingers until it resembles coarse sand. Add the second half the cubed butter and rub in into the flour, but leave it in larger pieces (approximately the size of your thumbnail). Add four tablespoons of ice water and mix the dough together until uniform. Gradually add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together when squeezed in your hand. 

Place the dough on parchment paper and use the paper to press the dough into a uniform disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least a half hour (or up to 2-3 days). For a step-by-step tutorial in making pie dough, follow the instructions here.

Blueberry Filling
2 pints (24 oz or 680 grams) blueberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons granulated sugar*
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked)
2 tablespoons demerara or raw sugar, for sprinkling

In a mixing bowl, fold together blueberries, cornstarch, and sugar until uniform. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a circle roughly 1/8-inch thick. Place the blueberry mixture into the center of the circle and spread out until it is a uniform thickness, leaving a two-inch border on all edges. Fold the border of the pie dough over the filling, pleating the dough every two or so inches. Brush the visible pie dough with egg wash and sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the dough and the filling. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up the crust.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the blueberries have released their juices. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with a topping of whipped cream or side of vanilla ice cream.

*Add more or less to taste, depending on the sweetness of the berries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Summer is moving quickly. It feels like only a moment has passed since school ended and summer vacation began. I’ve been working on a project of sorts, which has made free time fee…

Summer is moving quickly. It feels like only a moment has passed since school ended and summer vacation began. I've been working on a project of sorts, which has made free time feel scarce. While I'm going to keep it under wraps a little while longer, I'm excited to share the details with you soon!

In the quiet, everyday moments, I remember to enjoy these summer days. I savor time on the deck watching the vegetable and herb garden grow (perhaps too much , as they have quickly escaped the confines of their planters). I remind myself to turn off the background noise in my life (television and cell phone) to bring my thoughts back down to earth.

And, of course, I bake.

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I made this pie a couple of weeks ago, and am finally getting a chance to share it with you. With strawberries and rhubarb in full season, and a holiday around the corner, the timing still feels right. This pie takes full advantage of late spring and early summer's offerings.

I prefer a pie with a bit more bite, so the recipe below results in a pie with a tarter flavor. However, if your tooth is a bit sweeter, add another 1/4 cup of sugar to bring the sweetness to your liking. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, this pie will be sure to please.

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This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie celebrates the seasonal produce of June. Two pints of strawberries and a handful of rhubarb stalks come together in this brightly flavored pastry. With cornstarch to thicken, the pie and its juices set up nicely. Serve with a large spoonful of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream to share.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Two Years Ago: Dulce de Leche Cake
Three Years Ago: Strawberry Layer Cake & Blueberry Oat Crumble Muffins
Four Years Ago: Mango MargaritaChocolate Cacao Nib Banana Bread, & Chocolate Espresso Custard
Five Years Ago: Vanilla Chia Pudding, Rhubarb Vanilla Pound Cake, Boozy Margarita Lime Cake, & Double Chocolate Muffins
Six Years Ago: Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies, Coconut Nutmeg Pudding, Lavender Lemonade, & Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Seven Years Ago: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread, & Chocolate Almond Oat Bars
Eight Years Ago: Chocolate Coconut Granola, Bittersweet Chocolate Sherbet, & Tapioca Pudding

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Yields one 9-inch pie

1 double crust pie dough recipe
2 pints (24 ounces or 680 grams) strawberries, hulled and sliced
10 ounces (280 grams) fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked), for brushing
Raw or demerara sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the sliced strawberries, rhubarb, sugars, vanilla, and cornstarch until evenly coated. Set aside.

Form the pie dough into a disk and divide it into a 60/40 ratio (if using a store-bought crust, do not worry about this step). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger section of dough into a 14-inch round circle. Carefully transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the excess pie dough to create a 1-inch overhang. Fill the pie crust with the strawberry-rhubarb mixture.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the smaller section of pie dough. Using a pizza cutter and a ruler, cut out wide strips of dough. Layer the strips over the top of the pie in a decorative fashion and trim so they are even with the edge of the pie pan. Using your fingers, pinch the bottom and top layers together in a pattern of your choice.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie crust with egg wash and sprinkle raw sugar over the pie. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Then, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). If necessary, cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent further browning. Bake an additional 50-65 minutes, or until the lattice and crust are evenly browned. 

For perfect slices, cool for at least 3-5 hours (or overnight). Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.