Archive for the ‘Desserts’

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

September 02, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Desserts

Peaches, peaches, peaches…I’m drowning in peaches. Perfect, I say! I’ll make a peach streusel coffee cake. I found this recipe on Annie’s Eats and I’m really glad I did. It was very simple to make and I can say that I made the entire thing – from top to bottom – from scratch!

I adjusted the recipe only slightly and only in the streusel topping. I used a dark brown sugar instead of light. And, rather than using a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, I split the difference and and used 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and a 1/4 cup of raw sugar.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
from Annie’s Eats


For the streusel:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2-3 firm, ripe peaches, 1 lb. total, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan.

To make the streusel, in a bowl, stir together the flour, brown and granulated sugars and cinnamon.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Set aside.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

To make the cake, in a bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla and almond extract until creamy, about 1 minute.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Add to the flour mixture and beat just until evenly moistened. There should be no lumps or dry spots. Do not overmix.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Arrange the peach slices in concentric circles from the pan sides to the center. (Note: I used a square pan so I arranged mine in rows.) Gently press the slices into the batter.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Sprinkle evenly with the streusel.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake


What Do You Feed a Vegetarian for Thanksgiving?

November 10, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Desserts, Main Dishes, Salads, Side Dishes, Snacks/Appetizers

Feeding a vegetarian on Thanksgiving does not have to be complicated. It’s all about having a good variety of options. Just keep an open mind, and have fun cooking something new. I’ve compiled some of the recipes that I’ve tested myself that would be suitable for a Thanksgiving spread.

Suitable for Main Course

Side Dishes – Potatoes/Pasta/Grains

Side Dishes – Lentils/Beans

Side Dishes – Vegetables


Peach and Blackberry Tart

August 05, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Desserts

I’m not one to turn down eating a fresh peach as-is, but our household has been overrun with peaches after our u-pick farm visit. It’s time to turn these peaches into, well, something. I sent my in-house taste tester several peach and blackberry recipes, and he chose this one from epicurious.

I do not have a tart pan and used a glass pie pan instead. When I make this again, I’d increase the cookie crumbs to 3 cups rather than 2 cups so I could get more crust coverage.

Peach and Blackberry Tart with Oatmeal-Cookie Crust
Originally published in Bon Appétit | August 2002
Found on

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups oatmeal-cookie crumbs (made from about 32 crispy oatmeal cookies)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup peach or apricot nectar
5 tablespoons sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
2 2/3 cups coarsely chopped peeled peaches (I used both white and yellow peaches.)
1 1/4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups large blackberries

For crust:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 10-inch-diameter fluted tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray. Mix cookie crumbs and melted butter in medium bowl until moist clumps form.

Press dough evenly over bottom and up sides of prepared pan.

Bake until dry, about 10 minutes. Cool crust completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with foil. Let stand at room temperature.)

For filling:
Whisk nectar, sugar, and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan until smooth.

Add half of peaches and lemon juice. Using potato masher, mash to coarse puree. Simmer over medium heat until mixture is thick, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

Cool completely. Fold in remaining peaches.

Spread filling evenly in crust.

Arrange blackberries around top edge of tart. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 6 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

If you’re looking for something that has a nice presentation both in the pan and on the plate, this recipe isn’t for you. This tart is definitely something that you serve to close friends that care more about taste than presentation. It was tricky getting the first piece out and once on the plate the tart sort of fell apart. It’s still very pretty with the fresh peaches and chasing them around the plate is worth it. The oatmeal cookie crust was easy to make and adds a unique flavor. It’s definitely a time-saver.

Fresh Apricot Crisp

July 04, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Desserts

I received a bag of fresh apricots with this week’s CSA delivery. I generally do not like to match sweet with savory, so opted to instead make a quick dessert.

Fresh Apricot Crisp from

  • 4 cups pitted apricots, coarsely chopped (I used 3 cups.)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (I used a little less than 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I used 1 3/4 cups of steel cut oats)
  • 1/4 cup sugar or other sweetener (I used a little less than 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup Spectrum Naturals Spread or margarine (I used a little less than a 1/4 cup of Smart Balance.)
  • 2 Tbsp. water (I used a little less than 2 Tbsp.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the chopped apricots with the lemon juice and set aside.

Combine the rolled oats, sugar, and Spectrum Naturals Spread (Smart Balance or margarine or butter if non-vegan) and mix thoroughly. Remove 1 cup and set aside. Add the water to the remainder and mix until crumbly.

Spray a 9-inch square baking pan lightly with a nonstick spray. Pat the oat mixture into the pan.

Spread the apricots evenly over this and top with the reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top crust is lightly browned.

I think because I used steel cut oats, the crust became a little tough to chew. Probably a little more water when mixing the crust would have helped a bit. Because it does have a chewy texture, I think this would be best served with some vanilla ice cream. Otherwise, this came out nicely. The apricots came out warm and delicate. I thought that the lemon juice complimented the apricots quite well. This recipe was extremely easy to make.


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