Fresh Peach Cake

One of the most delicious things I’ve eaten so far this year are the juicy, sweet peaches from my tree.  And if that weren’t enough, my peach tree pumped out peaches at such a plentiful rate that I had to find other creative ways to eat peaches.  Enter the Fresh Peach Cake.  This thick, tender, fluffy, vanilla cake is layered and topped with fresh, ripe peaches, and the cinnamon sugar sprinkle adds a sweet crunch to the crust on top.

I was rich is peaches this year.
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Peaches abound on top of the cake, but they’re also layered within the cake too.
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Even people who claimed not to like peaches liked this Peach Cake.
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Fresh Peach Cake

Makes one 9-inch square cake
(from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?)

Ingredients

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 large or extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced (if you don’t fully peel the peaches, the skill will create an unappetizing greyish hue after baking.  Also if the slices are too thick, they’ll sink too far into the cake batter.)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add the sour cream and mix well.
  6. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  7. In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  8. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined,
  9. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon.
  10. Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan.  Use a small offset spatula to spread the batter all the way to the edge of the pan.
  11. Top with half of the peaches, laying in single layer, evenly distributed.
  12. Sprinkle 2/3 of the sugar mixture on top.
  13. Spread the remaining batter on top.
  14. Arrange the remaining peaches on top.
  15. Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture.
  16. Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  17. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are “fancy” sugar cookies, but they’re quick and easy to make.  I whipped these up on a weeknight and still had time to catch up on several episodes Impractical Jokers.  These cinnamon-sugar light and chewy cookies are the perfect TV-viewing snack.


Snickerdoodles

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook)
Makes 7 dozen cookies

Ingredients

Dough
1/2 cup (3.25 ounces) vegetable shortening (shortening helps keep the cookies from spreading too much and getting too thin while baking; if you substitute butter for shortening, the texture won’t be quite as chewy, and part of what makes these cookies so good is the texture)
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups (11.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

Coating
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line (or lightly grease) two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and butter.
  3. Add the sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth, and stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  6. To make the coating, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl.
  7. Using a cookie scoop (a teaspoon cookie scoop) or spoon, scoop out 1 tablespoon of dough, and roll it into a ball.
  8. Place the dough ball into the bowl of cinnamon sugar.  Gently coat the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  9. Put dough balls on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about and 1 1/2 inches apart.  Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch thick.
  10. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, or until they’re golden brown around the edges (Be careful not to overbake the cookies as the bottoms will darken a bit due to the cinnamon sugar coating.). Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.