I made A LOT of desserts this summer; it was grand. I am, however, realizing the name “Summer Bakes” would be more appropriate as they are not all desserts. Oh well, it’s been four years now so I’m sticking with Summer Desserts. We have a lot of ground to cover so I will really try to condense everything as much as possible (not a strength of mine). Here we go!
We started with 5 official entries but I was trying so many new things I just started adding them on the side. I do not bake in the order as it is written, obviously. I’m all over the place but it all gets done in the end. Which is a pretty good metaphor for my life actually.
The first thing was husband’s choice: Blueberry Cobbler. Honestly, he wanted blueberry pie but since that wasn’t allowed (not a new bake) he picked something else blueberry. It was fine but I will never make it again. Blueberry Pie > Blueberry Cobbler… and that is coming from someone who doesn’t like pie.
Next, I made Brioche. Nancy Silverton’s Brioche. My cousin Greg introduced me to Nancy Silverton and I will forever be grateful. This woman knows what she is doing! I made brioche buns for husband’s Fried Chicken Sandwich and it was awesome. I still have brioche dough in the freezer I’m planning to make a dessert with soon, Brioche Tart with White Secret Sauce. Nancy made it for Julia Child and Julia cried when she tasted it. I mean, I love food but I have never cried over a dessert so I have to give this a whirl! One day…
When cherries started showing up at the grocery store I basically had tunnel vision which is how we ended up with Cherry Clafouti and Cherry Frangipane Tart. These were both amazing! I was most surprised to love the cherry frangipane tart. I am not a huge fan of almond and frangipane is kind of like an almond cake. I don’t know if it’s because my tastes are changing or what but I could eat this everyday! I even burned the tart shell a little and it didn’t bother me one bit! Heaven!
Puff Pastry is a beast that I was ready to tackle. Like croissant dough, it is a laminated dough (I’ll get into it another time if your interested) and known for being quite challenging. I used The Cook’s Atelier’s recipe for puff pastry. It makes FIVE POUNDS of puff pastry. It feels like a lifetime supply. I have already made three different things with it and I don’t think I’ve even gone through half. The pastry itself is absolutely delicious! Any lower scores on my bakes are due to my mistakes:
The Mille Feuille was a huge 4th of July hit!
The egg puffs tasted delicious but I need smaller eggs or a bigger puff pastry circle; it was just a ratio thing. These would be great for a brunch! Plenty of steps you can do ahead and then pop them in the oven with the egg right before serving time.
I rolled the pastry out too thin for the Escargot Vol-Au-Vents before baking. No one else cared because they had amazing flavor and were perfectly bite-sized but the perfectionist in me had to knock off a point. If you want an impressive appetizer, this is definitely it!
The Madeleines were E’s choice this summer; they were fantastic! I will admit they really are best the day you bake them. They dry out quickly. This recipe is also from The Cook’s Atelier cookbook and therefore I cannot share it with you for copyright reasons. But really, just get the cookbook, it’s beautiful and inspiring and the food! Ahh… the food!
The Éclair’s were A’s choice. I have made choux pastry before but technically, I’ve never made an éclair. We made tropical éclairs with coconut pastry cream and pineapple curd. My husband was doubting me on this flavor combo until he took a bite. Delightful! I still owe A some chocolate éclairs but I can whip those up soon. I don’t have the éclair picture, I lost it! But to be honest, they didn’t look great so it wouldn’t have done them justice anyway. Moving on…
Although not listed on the official board, I also tried out some new cake decorating techniques this summer. I made a chocolate collar which really was very easy but most impressive. The girls wanted to surprise my husband with a golf cake for Father’s Day, so we did!
Milly’s Oatmeal Blondies were the breakout hit of the summer. So simple and a definite crowd pleaser. Of all the summer desserts I have the option to share with you today, this is the one! If you are more interested in something else on the list, let me know in the comments and I can post the recipe another time. But for now, I bet almost all of you have the ingredients for Oatmeal Blondies in your pantry already. Everyone loved these. They were like a big chewy chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips; right up my alley. The original recipe lists a variety of optional add-ins (including chocolate chips) but we prefer them just as they are, in all their oatmeal glory.
I really didn’t change the recipe except that I halved it. We are only a family of four; we definitely don’t need a 9×13 pan of these amazing blondies lying around. Because even with only half of a pan I justified eating them for breakfast… oatmeal. Anywho, click here for the original recipe or scroll down for half of the recipe.
And that concludes Summer Desserts 2018! Thanks for sticking with me and happy baking everyone!
Milly’s Oatmeal Blondies
¾ c Flour
¼ tsp Salt
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
½ c (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, at room temp
½ c Brown Sugar
¼ c Sugar
1 Egg, at room temp
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 c Oats
Preheat oven to 350
Grease and flour a 8×8″ baking dish
In a small mixing bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar together until thoroughly mixed.
Beat in the egg and mix well.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and beat just until all the flour is moistened.
Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the oats.
Pour/spread batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes.
Let cool then cut into bars.