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The Perfect Fall Dessert: French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

This cake is unlike any other I’ve made. Well, except for the apple cake that it’s based on.

But, here, in this rebooted version, pears replace the apples and pecans replace the walnuts. The pears are peeled and thinly sliced and then mixed into a very light batter. During a second trip into the oven, the brown sugar and pecan topping firms up and turns golden brown, with an almost custardy cake beneath. It’s really pretty amazing.

There may seem to be a number of steps, but don’t fear, it all comes together very easily and the only special gadgets you need are a cake pan and a couple of spatulas. So give this fall dessert a try!

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake
About 8 servings; Adapted from the Apple Lady Apple Cake in the Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells

Cake
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup 1% or 2% milk
3 large pears, cored, peeled, and sliced into thin wedges — I used 2 Anjou and 1 Starkrimson

Topping
1/3 packed . . . → Read More: The Perfect Fall Dessert: French Pear Cake

Kerrin’s Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Really, what is better than a fresh gooey chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven? Air conditioning? Well, yes. But…it’s not the chocolate chip cookie’s fault that August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Do not blame the cookie if the weather is too hot to even think about turning on the oven.

That said, and as I write this on the 3rd, we’re about to break records for the hottest day ever on Earth in the Pacific Northwest (108 degrees F in Portland), so let’s think back to a cooler time–gentler time when I opened up my copy of Dorie’s Cookies and found this amazing and alt chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Buckwheat flour! Whole wheat flour! A sprinkle of fleur de sel on top! They are healthy! Kind of…for cookies. In this version, I also added vanilla and I upped the nuts, as one tends to do if the occasion calls for it.

So, if you can safely turn on your oven, you might want to celebrate August 3rd by baking a batch of these wonderful and interesting chocolate chip cookies.

Spoiler: The cookie dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at . . . → Read More: Kerrin’s Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Guess what? This blog has not been abandoned! Hooray!

So, let’s jump right into it. This post is a reverse-engineer sort of thing for the Mushroom Manchego Biscuits that I sometimes get at Albina Press (although, they are sourced from Crema). They are so addictive!

Here, I’ve also added smoked paprika to make them smokey–hence the Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits. Yes, there is a lot of butter, yes, there is also cheese, and yes, they are super delicious. The recipe is also easily halved, so you could just make four instead of eight.

Let’s just get right to the recipe, shall we?

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits
Makes eight biscuits
1 tbsp olive oil
6 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms (button mushrooms will also work)
1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (+ more for sprinkling on top)
8 tbsp very cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup very cold buttermilk
1-1/2 cups grated Manchego cheese, dived in half
optional: one chopped green onion

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F and position a rack in . . . → Read More: Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Late Spring Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Crust

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Getting out of my changing-of-the-seasons slump with a strawberry rhubarb pie! So, delicious. The brown sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon all get together here (with the fresh fruit) to work a kind of pie magic. Every year, this is one of my most favorite pies to make! And not just because I like the challenge of a lattice crust (just kidding, it’s really easy)!

So yeah, take advantage of the remaining rhubarb season and make this pie now. Or, you could even decrease the sugar** just a little bit and try this with strawberries and peaches. Or strawberries and apricots. Or strawberries and strawberries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Crust
Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit magazine; 8 servings
1 recipe of your favorite pie dough (double crust), two discs chilled – mine is Dorie Greenspan’s Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough*
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) brown . . . → Read More: Late Spring Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Crust

Lemon Curd Thumbprint Coconut Macaroons

Lemon Curd Thumbprint Coconut Macaroons

Sometimes, you find yourself with a bag of sweetened, shredded coconut burning a whole in your cabinet and you just need to do something with it — hello, coconut macaroons! This recipe was based on an idea that I saw in Food Network magazine, but I messed around with the original recipe a lot. I decreased the egg white (for a crunchier macaroon) and whisked that in a mixer, decreased the sugar, and added the lemon curd and poppy seeds.

The recipe below will make 8-10 macaroons. The problem I always have with these types of cookies is that they are best the first day, but then the recipe makes so many that you can never eat them all the first day. Solution – half batch! And if you’re making them for a crowd, just use the full 14. oz bag of coconut and double the rest of the ingredients for 16 -20 macaroons. Perfect for an Easter treat!

You could also swap out the vanilla for lemon extract, but I actually think the hint of vanilla with the tart lemon is very nice.

Lemon Curd Thumbprint Coconut <span style= . . . → Read More: Lemon Curd Thumbprint Coconut Macaroons