Life is just peachy

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Hello friends!

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It’s been a few weeks; life has been busy with little time for baking, ugh! Thankfully, I caught a break and a chance to bake this…

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I love making tarts; they’re so effortlessly pretty! This one is almost a quiche – C and I were laughing about that over brunch (of eggs, kale and tart, obviously). I mean, it’s eggs and cheese in a crust, couldn’t we arguably call that a quiche?! Ha. Never mind that it’s studded with chunks of dark chocolate… no matter. Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which are definitely part of a healthy breakfast.

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We both LOVED this one – lightly sweet, sturdy wedges that you can pick up and fly around like a Star Destroyer (what?? I’m a nerd) and which make a great breakfast.

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I believe the ricotta tart idea might be Tuscan in origin, which makes quite a bit of sense… no matter its provenance, it’s delicious! I fed some leftovers to the fam and they loved it too, so rave reviews all around.

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Not only that, but it comes together in no time! Which is doubly excellent when your life has gotten inexplicably crazy busy and the only time to bake is early in the morning. Added bonus of early morning baking is that my apartment is still cool, so running the oven doesn’t seem like quite such an offense.

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Happy August! Stone fruit season is in full swing, I highly recommend a market trip with a dessert in mind :)

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Ricotta Peach Tart on an Almond Coconut Crust

Gluten free, grain free, and refined sugar free. Delicious all around! Very lightly sweet, perfect for breakfast (and also dessert, of course, but I really love it for breakfast & snacks!). Yield: 1 9″ tart. A Wait are Those Cookies Original

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut,, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease your tart pan or pie dish of choice with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the ricotta filling:

1 2/3 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
Scant 1/4 cup maple
2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
4 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
zest of 2 lemons
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into thin slices

Preheat oven to 400°F

Make the filling:

Combine the ricotta with the eggs and maple. Add the zest and chocolate. Pour the filling into the slightly cooled tart shell. Top with sliced peaches. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until the ricotta filling is set; the top will be firm and golden brown.

Allow the tart to cool in the pan, then remove the ring and cool completely before refrigerating. Serve cool or at room temperature; store leftovers covered in the fridge.

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Camp and cherry cobbler

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Hello friends!

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Usually I do a camp post when I get back with a bunch of photos – this post will have to do double duty for that and this cherry chocolate cobbler situation! I came back from camp a week ago and face planted into a squillion work projects, so I am just getting caught up on life.

Camp was so, so amazing as always. It never ceases to amaze me how much impact it’s had on my life over the years (this was year 15! omg) – both in regards to my huge camp family, but also how much it’s helped me grow as a person. I LOVE Two Sentinels: it is truly is my home away from home. I had a great session, with 14 great girls and two amazing co-staff.

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It was a time of some serious belly laughs, friendship, relaxation, grounding, stargazing, singing, rafter climbing, mental resets and a reaffirmation of what is most important in life: love, friends, time in nature, and a break from technology. I’m having wilderness withdrawals!

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Definitely wishing I was still up among the pines in the high sierra, rather than behind a computer, but I know I’ll be back so I guess I can deal for now ;)

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At the very least, it’s nice to not wear shoes 24/7 – I always bake barefoot, and it felt great to get back into the kitchen for some summer baking.

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This cobbler is legit amazing for a summer breakfast – one guess who I ate it with! C and I stepped out for some cool foggy hiking up to Twin Peaks and Glen Canyon (this photo looks like something out of Middle Earth!) and ate it afterwards as part of delicious breakfast spread – usual eggs & kale not pictured but rest assured we ate them anyway.

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C and I have a serious obsession with cream biscuits – you’ve seen them featured in a many of my other desserts, but this time I figured I’d go the chocolate route. Despite looking like they’d be deadly chocolate death, they’re actually very lightly chocolate-y, which sets off the natural cherry sweetness perfectly. The cobbler itself is refined sugar free and whole grain! There is very little added sweetener, which we both love. I suggest making it for breakfast on a lazy summer morning!

Happy Summer!

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Cherry Cobbler with Chocolate Cream Biscuits

Whole wheat and refined sugar free! The natural sweetness of the cherries is complemented nicely by the chocolate biscuits, which despite their appearance are not overly chocolatey. Great for dessert or breakfast! A Wait are Those Cookies original. Serves 2-6, ish. I used my 2 qt dish that is 8 x 8, but you could also do this in a deep 9″ pie dish, or a larger, shallower pan (ie 9×11 or somesuch – it’s very adaptable).

For the filling:

enough cherries to fill your dish of choice! I used about 1.5 lbs, pitted (I used a combo of Bing & Ranier)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp port (optional)
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp tapioca starch

For the cobbler:

1 cup whole wheat flour minus 2 tbsp
1/2 c cornmeal
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 c chopped dark chocolate chunks

Heat the oven to 375°F. In your dish of choice, toss pitted cherries with maple, lemon zest and juice, port, and tapioca starch.

Mix the dry ingredients for the cobbler topping. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chopped chocolate together in a large bowl. Add vanilla and pour in the 1 1/2 cups cream. Stir until just combined.

Scoop 2-tablespoon blobs of the cobbler dough onto the fruit. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Brush the cobbler dough with the 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Place the cobbler on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drips, or place aluminum foil beneath it in the oven. Bake until the topping is turning golden brown around the edges (difficult to tell with the chocolate – make sure the centers of the biscuits are firm) and the fruit filling is bubbling, 45 to 55 minutes.

Birthdays are the best excuse for dessert

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Omg. This is GOOD.

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I know in polite society you’re not really supposed to say the stuff you made is really bomb but…. I’m going to break that rule.

Because – this tart. is. so. DELICIOUS!

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We both loved it – I made it for C’s birthday after he requested something with chocolate and berries and cream. Fave human’s birthday = great excuse to bake! Not as if I ever need one…

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Cream and chocolate complement each other so nicely – the filling of this one is light but rich, and the crust is chewy with a slight hint of salt (gotta love salted chocolate!). Add in whatever summer fruit you have on hand – for me, it was raspberries, blueberries and cherries – and you’re set for a perfect summer dessert.

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It makes amazing dessert and of course, breakfast. We did eat it with a bit of vanilla ice cream last night – no complaints there, and it made an awesome addition to breakfast this morning (by now this really shouldn’t surprise you!) post Twin Peaks 4.5 mile hike (1000′ elevation gain, not too shabby)!

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It really comes together quickly too – the crust is an easy press-in; no rolling required! This is a perfect dessert for the hot days we’re having too, since the crust only bakes for about 15 minutes, and the filling just sets up in the refrigerator. I made the crust the night before, while my apartment was cool, and then put the filling together early the next morning so it could chill all day.

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I definitely will make this again. I make a practice of not posting anything we don’t like, so of course I’d make the others on here too…. but… this one…. I want to make it again SOON! I leave for camp on Friday though so I suspect there will be no baking again until after I come back – stay tuned for cherries! I have a bunch frozen after I saw them on sale in the market a few times.

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Happy baking! See ya on the flip side when I get back from my mountainous camp sojourn in mid-July!

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Yogurt Panna Cotta Cream Tart with Summer Fruit on a Chocolate Almond Crust

A Wait are Those Cookies original! I riffed on this one and this one and came up with this. Refined sugar free, gluten free and grain free. Yield: 1 9″ tart.

For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a pie plate with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.

With a pastry brush, coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 cup heavy cream, divided
1 tbsp vanilla
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup plain greek whole-milk yogurt
more melted chocolate, for drizzling (just a few tbsp needed – use more for serving if desired)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cream. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1.25 cups of cream into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple and salt into the cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Decorate with berries and drizzle with melted chocolate (I just melt chips in the microwave) and top with berries for serving! Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Let’s get crisp-y

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Happy Pride! It is hard to believe we are this far into June – I’m excited, since the stone fruit season is starting to really get going, and berries are lovely right now.

This week was eventful – I gave myself a black eye with a 900 page paperback (sci-fi of course) when I accidentally (duh) dropped it on my face… such a raging Friday night! I wasn’t even asleep, it just slipped out of my hand & got me. Rude! Sometimes I impress even myself. Photo evidence, just in case you needed proof:

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Anyway, enough of my raging & back to the fruit at hand: I also love rhubarb – though I typically think of it more as a late spring thing than summer. This will probably be the last rhubarb thing on here – it gets harder to find, and I really want to play with all the stone fruit anyway!

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The California summer is definitely in full swing: the hills have gone that golden shade that is so pretty against the dark oaks and blue sky. I could do without the hot weather but… at least I have access to a very cold pool! You will find me there more than frequently ;)

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Super fun weekend over here – time with fave human, dessert, urban hikes, etc etc – a few pictures below.

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This crisp is for those who LOVE rhubarb – it’s very rhubarb-forward! We both love the tart awesomeness of it, but I know it’s not everyone’s jam. Lavender was an interesting addition – I don’t use it all that frequently in baking (I find it can get a little… soapy, sometimes) but it adds a nice floral note here, which pairs especially nicely with ice cream…

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Of course, it’s us – this got eaten for dessert and then alongside the usual breakfast. No regrets! We were both starving anyway after having woken ourselves up by walking up some hills on a nice little shorty hike.

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I hope everyone out there in my corner of the internet is enjoying their weekends! Happy baking, if indeed you do some :)

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Rhubarb, Blackberry and Lavender Almond Crisp

For those who LOVE rhubarb! This one is right in your face. Lightly sweet but seriously tart; lightly floral from the lavender and perfect with ice cream for a summer dessert or on it’s own for breakfast. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Yield: 1 crisp – I use an 8 by 8 dish that holds two quarts; you can also use a 9″ deep pie dish. Just make sure there is ample room for fruit! Serves: 2, or several… you decide!

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For the filling:

3 c rhubarb, chopped*
1 c raspberries*
1 c blackberries*
1 tsp lavender buds
1/4 c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup chopped almonds
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c maple (or coconut) sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss chopped rhubarb, raspberries and lavender into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple and water/port until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, maple sugar and salt. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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Summer is for shortcakes

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Hi! I have cream biscuit shortcakes today.

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I’ve always thought that strawberry shortcake is just about the most June dessert there is.  I love shortcakes in most any form with pretty much any fruit, but C and I both agreed this one in particular is about the most perfect iteration. We might be a little biased since we both are obsessed with these cream biscuits, but whatever – this is pretty perfect.

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Simple, unsweetened cornmeal cream biscuits for the base, unsweetened sliced strawberries (they are just so perfect right now!), and some ice cream or whipped cream to finish it off: such a perfect trifecta.

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I did a bit of baking on Saturday morning, which was a great way to start the day. A batch of cookies for C’s studio recital, and then shortcakes for later! No complaints there – it was a good day.

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We both agree that these biscuits are also the perfect morning biscuit – not sweet, just so satisfying. They’re crumbly and flakey in the best way and go wonderfully alongside anything you might eat toast with (ie eggs and kale!). Of course, we did that – are you shocked? Ha. I didn’t think so.

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I’ll keep it short and sweet today: do yourself a favor and whip these babies out! They come together and bake up quite speedily, which is a boon when it’s hot out and you don’t want to run the oven excessively. Happy baking!

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Cornmeal Cream Biscuit Strawberry Shortcakes

Lightly sweet, perfectly biscuity. Summer dessert at its finest and most simple! Whole grain and refined sugar free. Yield: 8 biscuits. I adapted this one from my previous cream biscuit recipe; a Wait are Those Cookies original.

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For the cream biscuits:

1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 c cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp unsalted cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 pint heavy cream + extra for brushing the tops of the biscuits
coconut sugar for sprinkling

For serving:

Sliced strawberries
Whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter using a fork, your fingers (my preferred method!) or a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas. Stir in the cream and vanilla with a fork until blended.

Lightly knead the dough a few times in the bowl, then turn it out on to a floured board or countertop and roll out to about 3/4″ thick. Cut 6 biscuits out – either circular or square, you do you! Reroll the scraps for 2-3 more. Place the biscuits on the lined baking sheet, brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar if desired, and bake for about 17 minutes until lightly golden.

Remove from baking sheet and let cool before serving.

To serve, split them in half & pile with whipped cream or ice cream & strawberries! Simple, summery.

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Wait, is this actually a cookie recipe?

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Cookies!

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Though this blog is named after them, I find that I rarely post them on here…. which is silly, given that I make this particular recipe at least several times a month – they are perennial favorites of all parties.

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I realized after I made them for C &I this weekend (they happen to be both of our favorite cookies) that I had never actually posted this recipe on the blog so – I am fixing this now! They are so easy, just mix dry, stir in liquidy stuff, mix, bake, BOOM! Cookies. I think my record to make them is 17 minutes start to finish, including bake time (then again, I do sort of bake a lot so perhaps I am not the best metric ;)

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We ate these for dessert with ice cream (of course! can recommend mint and vanilla with high marks) and alongside a late brunch/lunch after a very sweaty hike. Of course, they are also excellent alongside a tall glass of milk (whole, if you please).

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There was some haze in the sky today but we still had a great hike/walk up to Bernal – here are some snaps:

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And a few from when I stopped at the beach on the way back from camp training to say hello to the ocean, always a worthwhile activity:

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So anyway – tomorrow is Monday, ew – do yourself a favor and take 15 minutes to whip up some cookies. The beginning half of your week will thank you!

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Oaty Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My favorite cookies – I make these more than anything else, at least a few times a month! C & I love them, fam loves them, etc etc. Whole grain, refined sugar free, dairy free & a gluten free option (just use 1/2 c brown rice flour instead of 1 c of whole wheat). Cakey, dense, chewy cookies that are great for hiking or snacks or whatever else. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield – somewhere 12-16.

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1 c almond flour
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c shredded coconut
1 c whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 c brown rice flour for gf)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Flax egg or regular egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/4 c maple
Chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips, your call)

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix dry, toss in melted coconut oil, flax/egg, vanilla, maple, chopped chocolate; mix – these are not finicky cookies! Roll into balls and place on lined baking sheet, flattening them slightly. Bake for 10-12 on parchment at 350 if using whole wheat flour; bake for 12-16 if using brown rice flour.

Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. I like to store mine in the fridge – they get extra dense and chewy that way. They do best wrapped in foil on the counter or in a slightly less than airtight container on the counter (I prefer plastic over glass since glass can make them go soft).

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Holiday weekends require dessert!

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Happy Memorial Day weekend!

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This dessert could not be more well timed – of course, holiday weekends call for dessert but more obviously – I inadvertently made a patriotic dessert on Memorial weekend! I love when things like that happen.

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Mostly I got lucky – blueberries and strawberries are amazing (and on sale! woohoo!!) right now, so of course I have those sitting in my fridge in spades. I always feel that tarts like this need some embellishment, and BOOM! Helloooo, berries.

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This is light and fresh – just what you want for a summer dessert.

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We ate it with softly whipped cream for dessert (I haven’t had whipped cream in far too long, I’m glad we fixed that particular travesty) and then again – of course – for our brunch/lunch thing around 1p. Is that lunch? Or could it be brunch since we didn’t eat anything except a bit of chocolate and a banana after sleeping in, before hiking?? Hmm. I think it can still be brunch. Anyway… it tasted especially good the second time around; we’d just finished a great hike up to Twin Peaks – somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 miles and over 1000′ elevation gain in less than two hours. Booyaaah! No wonder we were hungry.

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Hike stats! I am a nerd and as such I find these things fascinating. And pictures, of course.

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The weather was beautiful, with a really nice breeze off the fog (since my body is still having major issues these days, especially with regulating its temperature, cool breezes are a MUST).

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We both loved this tart – it’s delicious on its own, or with whipped cream. Highly recommended – we blew through this thing in two sittings (well, the hike definitely helped the second go-round, ha!) and I think there are about two servings left… although that could have changed since I last assessed the situation.

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Happy holiday weekend! Enjoy the extra day and do some baking :)

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Lemon Ricotta Berry Tart on a Walnut Coconut Crust

Light, lemony and a perfect for a summer dessert: the lemon ricotta filling is tart and creamy, balanced nicely by the walnut-oat-coconut crust. Fresh berries are a must! Gluten free, refined sugar free and whole grain. For those who like their desserts a little on the tart side ;) Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves… several, or else two really hungry people who just took a long hike! A Wait are those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1 c rolled oats
1 c walnuts
1/4 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c almond flour
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350.

Add oats into a food processor and pulse until finely ground (you’re making oat flour). Dump that out into a bowl, and add the walnuts into the processor – pulse these until very finely ground, but be careful you don’t end up with walnut butter! Add walnuts to the bowl, followed by the coconut, almond flour, maple, sea salt, melted butter and vanilla. Stir until everything is incorporated, then press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie or tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

For the filling:

1.25 c (9 oz) full fat ricotta
1/2 c heavy cream
scant 1/4 c maple syrup
2 egg yolks
1 egg
zest of 3 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice

This is as easy as it gets: toss ricotta into a large bowl, and stir in the rest of the ingredients: cream, maple, egg yolks + egg, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mixing well to prevent any lumps (heaven forbid).

Tart Assembly:
Pour the ricotta filling into the baked and cooled tart shell. Place in the oven at 350 and bake for 35-45 minutes – the center of the tart should be set when done. Let cool completely before serving. Slide the tart pan ring off before serving if you used a pan with a removable bottom like I did.

Top with berries and shredded coconut if desired! Serve with softly whipped cream – I highly recommend it. Keep refrigerated until serving. Keeps well overnight in the fridge, covered loosely in plastic wrap – arguably it’s almost better the next day, of course for breakfast!

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