Crumb cake and more pluots

Hi friends, happy weekend! I wish it was the beginning of it and not the end, but at least there’s a long weekend upcoming.

I have a cake for you today! Cakes feel few and far between around here, but I stumbled on this recipe and had to try it. I had stashed some ricotta in the freezer awhile back (not the best for its texture if you’re going to eat it plain, but if you’re baking with it, it’s fair game!) and wanted to pair it with the stone fruit that is all I want these days.

This cake is a pleasantly dense, nutty little thing – I think of it as a breakfast or brunch cake; something that is perfect alongside coffee. It does well served warm out of the oven, or chilled for a couple of hours in the fridge (my favorite, since the chilled cake texture is amazing).

The whole thing is very lightly sweet – there are only two tablespoons of maple in the entire thing, so the almondy dough and fruit flavors can really shine. It’s whole grain and infinitely adaptable – don’t have pluots? No problem – sub in figs, peaches, nectarines, plums, or any other fruit that catches your fancy. I think any berries would be excellent here, and I’m dying to try it with fresh figs – we’re almost into peak fig season here on the west coast!

We had it for brunch this morning – post workout and pre hiking (me) and cycling (him). Exercise nerds? Yeah, we are.

I got a new wetsuit and I’m SO excited about it – I was swimming without one the last week or so but I really love having one for my morning swims – it’s just so much more pleasant in the bay with one on, ha! This one is sleeveless, which is clutch. Not having anything over my shoulders is amazing.

my favorite swimming conditions – calm and foggy

Not a whole ton going on in other news – just cruising along into September (birthday month!) and crossing my fingers for no excessively hot weather in SF because we just know how much I looooove that, ha NOT.

I hope everyone out there had a good weekend! Sending good thoughts from my kitchen for good weeks all around.

Tuscan Ricotta Crumb Cake with Pluots and Blackberries

A pleasantly dense, lightly sweet breakfast cake – or dessert – but really excellent with coffee. Yield: one 7″ cake, serves several with small wedges. Refined sugar free and whole grain; easily gluten free with a cup for cup flour blend. Recipe gratefully adapted from Jules’ Kitchen, here!

For the dough:
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c shredded coconut
2 oz almond flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2.5 tbsp unsalted butter, cold & diced into small cubes
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg, beaten

For the filling:
1 c whole milk ricotta (drained if especially runny)
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
heaping handful of fresh blackberries
4 small pluots

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease a 7” cake pan with butter (alternatively, a 6 or 8” would also work – just adjust the bake time up or down accordingly) Line the greased pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pastry flour, coconut, almond flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Work the diced butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse sand. Add maple, vanilla, and almond, followed by the beaten egg. Use your fingers or a fork to work the egg into the dough – it doesn’t need to come together into a ball, it just needs to stick together when you press it with your fingers. Press half the dough into the cake pan to form the bottom layer.

In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta, lemon zest, vanilla, and maple. Spread the filling over the bottom crust, and top with blackberries and sliced pluots. Sprinkle the rest of the crumble topping over the fruit and ricotta.

Bake for 35-40 minutes – the topping should be lightly browned. Remove and let cool in the pan for at least ten minutes, then lift it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and serve warm, or chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days.

the first of the stone fruit!

hello hello!

It’s been a minute, though that doesn’t mean I haven’t been baking.

Last weekend was actually pretty productive on the baking front – two batches of cookies, a galette (blueberry-rhubarb with a walnut crumble) and some blueberry walnut bars.

All of which were riffs on things I’ve made and posted here and here, so I didn’t want duplicate posts. Also was enjoying a lazy, tech-free weekend so I thought I’d skip the blog posts.

This weekend though, I’m busting out the first of the stone fruit!! Apricots and cherries are always the first to make an appearance, and I love them together, so that’s a win-win. I considered making a galette but since I’ve been making so many lately, I wanted to do something different.

This is a new drop biscuit recipe – these come together in about five seconds, either in a food processor or by hand. Very easy, very delicious, and would be amazing on top of any seasonal fruit, be it stone fruit or otherwise.

So delicious with ice cream (personal fave) or by itself.

The city is is bloom! I pass these on one of my normal walk route and I can’t help but always stop and admire them. So pretty!

We’ve also had some really spectacular sunrises and sunsets lately – this one is from a morning bay swim around 6a and then a sunset from my place.

Happy weekend! I hope yours is relaxing and full of delicious baked things.

Cherry & Apricot Cobbler with Cornmeal Poppyseed Biscuits

Refined sugar free and whole grain. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 cobbler (~9″ or so, depending on pan of choice), serves several.

for the biscuits:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour + more as necessary
⅔ cup medium-grind cornmeal
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1.5 tsp poppyseeds
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
⅔ cup half and half (or heavy cream) + more for brushing
1 tsp coconut sugar for sprinkling over the tops

for the fruit:
1 pound of cherries, pitted and halved
2 c fresh apricots, sliced
juice and zest of one lemon
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp maple
1/4 water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For filling, in a large bowl, toss together cherries, apricots, lemon zest, and juice. In a small bowl, whisk together tapioca starch, extracts, maple, and water, then pour over the fruit. Allow mixture to stand while making the biscuits.

For the biscuits: add flour, cornmeal, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine (or whisk everything together in a bowl). Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal (or cut in the butter by hand). Pour in cream and continue pulsing (or stir) until dough starts to come together, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat it together. Divide it equally into 8 balls, then flatten them slightly into thick rounds. Scrape filling into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish or very deep pie plate (whatever fits!) Arrange biscuits on top of filling, brush with cream and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until filling is bubbling and biscuits are golden.

the unbaked version!

Fog & Fennel

It’s a foggy, mellow weekend in the city today – I LOVE days like this, where I wake up to the fog curling up against my windows, and then by noon it starts to clear but only kind of, so if you look up, you see it moving fast overhead, and obscuring bits and pieces of the city.

Then by midafternoon it starts coming in again, and by evening things are covered again. Arguably, I think one of my favorite things about living in the city is the fog – I find it magical and beautiful.

It’s also insanely windy today – I took a long, rambly walk down to Fort Mason & along the water, and the bay is verrrryyy whitecappy today.

fog!
for reference, this is where I swim! it’s protected by a pier but even so, there were some major swells in there today

In other news, made a crumble! I had some fresh fennel in my produce drawer that I’d been ignoring, and I really couldn’t figure out how I was going to get around to slotting it into meals. Instead, I used it here!

Fennel + apple + walnut is a match made in heaven, and I love the addition of ginger to anything. This crumble is also very dietary-choice friendly; it’s gluten, dairy & refined sugar free with an easy grain-free alternative. Yay! It also comes together in a snap and requires minimal effort, a yay for those lazy weekends.

I felt like I spent most of today doing house tasks… I kind of love days like this though, since they make me feel accomplished. Spent a ton of time troubleshooting & descaling my moka pot today too… I love good coffee and it’s so sad that my bialetti has suddenly decided to not work properly. I THINK it needed a good descaling, so ran it through two cycles of that… let’s see how this goes. Fingers crossed it starts behaving. It’s been giving me trouble for at least a week, and I’m over it.

Happy weekend! I hope yours is equal parts fun and relaxing.

Fennel, Apple & Blueberry Crumble

Gluten, dairy & refined sugar free + vegan. Easily grain free if needed/wanted – just omit the oats (it’s just as good that way, promise!). Earthy fennel, fresh apples + blueberries & a nutty crumble topping. Yield: 1 8 or 9″ crumble, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

For the crumble

1 c almond flour, packed
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c melted coconut oil
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/3 c oats* (Omit for grain free)
1/4 c unsweetened coconut
1/4 c crystalized ginger
2 tsp fennel seeds, very finely chopped (or ground in a mortar)

1 bulb of fresh fennel, finely diced
2 granny smith apples, peeled & chopped into small cubes
~1 c wild blueberries (mine were frozen)
1 tbsp tapioca starch + 1/4 c water
1 tbsp maple
zest and juice of two lemons

Preheat the oven to 350 and grab some kind of 8″ or 9” baking dish – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used a deep 9″ pie dish. In your baking dish of choice, toss together fennel, apples, blueberries, lemon juice and zest. In a smaller bowl, whisk together tapioca starch & water, add maple, then pour over the prepared fruit. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the fruit is baking, make the crumble. In a large bowl, stir everything together: almond flour, vanilla, salt, oats (if using), maple, chopped walnuts and coconut, fennel seeds, and coconut oil together, then stir in crystallized ginger.

Remove the fruit from the oven, and toss a bit to redistribute. Drop the topping over the fruit, and bake for another 25 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. Excellent with ice cream! It’s also fabulous cold after being refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

Spring = Rhubarb

The first of the rhubarb!

I had to work a little to track some down – my usual market didn’t have any, but luckily I found some when I was out and about in a different neighborhood. Which also meant that I was that person walking down the street with a bunch of rhubarb clutched in my fist – but I am definitely okay being that person.

This cake is another variation on the grapefruit one I posted a few weeks ago – it’s a perfect snack or breakfast cake, as it isn’t all that sweet. It’s lightly spicy from the five spice, and the top gets jammy from the softened rhubarb + the actual jam involved. I use a jam that is fruit-sweetened only, which keeps this guy refined sugar free, but use whatever you have!

Almost wishing this had come out with the rhubarb slightly less soft – I may play around with it a little and see if I can make that happen.

Another insanely busy week here – I would like to stop working on the weekends please (insert eyeroll)…. this week should be less crazy though so I’m hoping for some downtime. At least I was able to swim most days this week; it is definitely preserving my sanity. Took today off since I know the humidity is supposed to drop next week which will trigger some autoimmune stuff – which means I’ll also be spending most days in the water, if at all possible.

Today was also a day of a food-photography mishap… I definitely broke the cake when I moved it from cooling rack to plate. Whatever, nothing some well-placed coconut won’t hide, and we’re going to eat it anyway so who cares. Not everything needs to be perfect.

I hope it is springy and nice where you are! I’m still hoping for some spring rains (CA needs it, but also I just love it.) Happy weekend :)

Rhubarb & Five Spice Upside Down Cake

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free. Lightly sweet, slightly spicy, and perfect for spring. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8″ cake, serves several.

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c cornmeal
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp five spice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c maple syrup
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 stalks of rhubarb, thinly sliced
2 tbsp apricot jam (mine is fruit sweetened only)
2 tsp coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease an 8″ cake pan with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper – I flip it over, trace the outline & then cut, to get a perfectly sized circle. Spread the apricot jam evenly over the parchment, then drop the rhubarb slices into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with coconut sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt & five spice. Add in eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla & almond extract, and stir until all ingredients are just incorporated. Drop the batter into the prepared pan – it’s thick! That’s normal – just even out the top with a spatula. Bake for 35-38 minutes, until the top of the cake is lightly browned, firm, and a tester in the center comes out clean. You can cover the cake with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking if the cake is browning too fast – though mine was done at 35 minutes, and I didn’t need the foil trick. Remove and let cool for a few minutes in the pan before flipping it out onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing and serving. Stores well overnight in the fridge, and is arguably even better for breakfast.

I’m just in a crisp-y kind of mood

Hey look, made another crisp!

Slight nod to the weekend’s Hallmark holiday down there in the lower right… couldn’t help it, but also had no inclination to make something overly themed. I had apples, wanted crisp. Easy!

Ever since I made that last one two weeks ago, all I can think about is the way coconut oil is SO GOOD in the crisp topping. I love how solid it gets when refrigerated… but maybe I’m just weird that way; it would seem that like love cold things (bay water, anyone?)

Regardless, this is another variation on a pretty stellar crisp. Excellent for using up a glut of tiny, rather blemished apples – they don’t have to be pretty to be tasty! This version has a bit of dark chocolate – the Manperson requested that I do something with chocolate this weekend, so here it is! Chocolate and ginger are a fave, and pecans just make things that much better.

It’s excellent for breakfast; since there is hardly any added sweetener, it’s basically just fruit / nuts / oats – C and I have compared it to muesli in the past. Not quite, but close! Or granola, either way. Of course it’s also great for dessert with a scoop of ice cream too – no complaints if someone plunks a bowl down in front of me.

Let’s see… in life news, I swam in the bay a bunch more last week because I seemingly can’t get enough, hiked on the beach, saw some pretty blooming trees (the cherry blossoms are out in my neighborhood!) and enjoyed the rain.

It was bath day for the plants today – thinking maybe Kuzco needs a bit of a haircut. It would help him fill out a bit up top so I really should but I love how trailing his vines have gotten and I’m really loath to trim them. Ah well, sometime soon.

I hope your weekend is full of outside time! Happy Saturday :)

Razapple Crisp with Ginger, Dark Chocolate & Pecan

Gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan, dairy free & whole grain. Yay! Fruity, nutty & not too sweet – perfect for breakfast. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ crisp, serves several.

4-5 small granny smith apples, chopped into cubes
1 c fresh raspberries (mine were frozen)
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c water
juice of 1 lemon

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond flour
½ cup chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp maple syrup
heaping ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
1/3 c dried ginger, chopped (mine isn’t crystalized; if yours is, thats fine!)
1/4 c dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss apples and raspberries 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 tapioca starch, maple, water and lemon juice until combined. 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 flour, chopped pecans, shredded coconut, and salt. Mix in the maple, vanilla, and coconut oil, followed by the chopped ginger. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly. Stir in chocolate.

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 2-3 days (yeah right – would take some major feat to make it last more than overnight..)

summer is for stone fruit

Hi internet friends.

It’s been such a week… I don’t even know where to start with everything. I am doing my damndest to show up, learn, educate myself, listen, and give back – though somehow it doesn’t ever quite feel like enough. But I feel that the least I can do is continue to offer a place to inspire baked goods made with love, to send a little peace out into the world from my corner of the internet.

Today’s baked thing is a cobbler I made for the weekend, with perfect summer fruit and easy drop biscuit topping. It’s whole grain, refined sugar free, and very nearly lactose free – not to mention pretty infinitely adaptable: the flours are very flexible, if you only have one or the other OR decide you don’t want to use either (no judgement here, obviously); the fruit can be swapped around depending on what you have and what looks good in the market.

blooming succulent!

I’ve never really baked with white nectarines before but I can definitely recommend them – I left the skin on since I felt they might have a tendency to disintegrate. C looooved them – I caught him searching around in the dish a little to find more of them, ha! To be fair, I was on the lookout for extra ginger so it all worked out. This was great for dessert with ice cream and a Marvel movie, and def excellent for bfast this morning as well. No complaints.

Keeping it short today – there is a lot out there to absorb. I hope everyone is doing well – enjoying whatever weather you have and the gorgeous summer produce season!

Nectarine & Berry Cobbler with Whole Wheat, Oat and Ginger Biscuits

A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8″ or 9″ cobbler, definitely serves several but also makes excellent breakfast leftovers (and/or just make it for breakfast instead). Fruity, summery & easy.

For the biscuits:

1c whole wheat pastry
1/2c oat flour
1 tbsp maple
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled & cut into chunks
3 tbsp ghee (or three more tbsp butter)
3/4 c whole milk plain Kefir (or buttermilk, or thinned out yogurt)
handful of crystallized ginger

For the filling:

~5 smallish white nectarines, sliced (I leave the skin on)
2 pints blackberries
1 pint blueberries
2 tsp tapioca starch
1/4 c water
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine sliced nectarines and berries in a deep 8×8″ pan (mine holds quarts) or a 9×9 dish, or a small casserole dish, OR a pie plate… basically whatever, as long as it’s deep 2 Mix together tapioca starch, water, vanilla and sea salt and pour everything over the fruit. Let sit while you prep the biscuit dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder & soda, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with your fingers until everything resembles coarse sand and there aren’t any big chunks left. Stir in the maple, kefir vanilla, and ginger pieces until just combined – be careful not to overmix, since nobody likes tough biscuits!

Drop evenly sized biscuit dough blobs onto the fruit, sprinkle with a little coconut sugar, and bake for 35-40 min, until the biscuits are lightly browned and the fruit is bubbling.

Serve with ice cream! Duh. Or eat it for breakfast. Keeps well overnight in the fridge, in its dish covered with foil.

view from above. note the empty coffee cup…

More jammy goodness

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The first of the rhubarb has made its appearance! I loooove the tartness of rhubarb, especially when paired with berries. I think I’ve said this before on here but I don’t love strawberry rhubarb – I find it’s often too cloyingly sweet. I guess it doesn’t have to be, but somehow I’m always disappointed. Raspberries are another story entirely!

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This pandowdy is one of the ultimate low fuss desserts – it’s messy, jammy and unpretentious by nature – no one really cares what it looks like coming out of the oven. It’s kind of a study in artful disarray, no? Besides, I love where the filling bubbles up next to the sliced dough – it almost caramelizes when it cools and it’s DELICIOUS.

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This one is totally suitable for the pandemic kitchen – use whatever you have on hand! No whole wheat? No problem, use all purpose or spelt or a gluten free blend or whatever is in your pantry. No raspberries but you have frozen blueberries? Sure!

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I’m into the second week of being off dairy and eggs (if you know me even a little bit, you know the dairy sitch is DIFFICULT, ugh I’m so attached) but I had to do a little experiment to see if I felt better. Nothing really so far which is actually kind of a relief given the aforementioned statement about dairy but, eh we’ll see. That being said, I’m largely baking vegan these days out of necessity. I’m not usually a huge fan of vegan butter subs, since they’re usually made of soy or oils I don’t want to ingest a ton of, but this one I found is coconut based! It handles just like real butter in pie dough, so I’m a fan.

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I will say that as written, this dough is pretty sturdy. We both found it to be less of a favorite than some of the other crusts, but still good! (I wouldn’t post it if it didn’t pass the test ;) I’m working with whole wheat flour – as opposed to whole wheat pastry flour – because pandemic. It’s been impossible to source any near me and I’m reluctant to order on amazon for just that one thing. But I did find a giant bag of whole wheat flour locally, so I’m working my way through that. Maybe I’ll join the masses & make bread! Ha.

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^ha, couldn’t resist.

C and I ate this pandowdy with paleo vegan gelato (omg yum) and then this morning after a massive 7.5mi hike up Mt. Sutro & surrounding environs with a metric ton of hills. My legs are DEAD.

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I hope you had a lovely Sunday and Mother’s Day!

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Jammy Rhubarb & Raspberry Pandowdy with an Almond Poppyseed Crust

Rhubarb = spring! Tart, earthy & zingy pandowdy with a whole wheat crust. Great with ice cream, if you have it! Whole wheat, dairy free, refined sugar free  & vegan – though as written, you can use butter or whatever you have on hand. I’m egg free/dairy free for two weeks so I used vegan butter, but there’s a pandemic so use whatever you have on hand! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pie, serves several.

For the filling:

~5-6 largeish stalks of rhubarb, chopped into small slices
2 c raspberries (I used one bag of frozen because, cheaper)
zest + juice of one lemon
2 tbsp tapioca starch
3 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine everything in a large bowl, and toss to combine. Drop the filling into a deep pie plate (mine is 9″) and set aside while you make the crust.

for the crust:

1/2 cup unsalted butter diced and chilled*
1.25 cup whole wheat pastry flour**
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons ice water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 c poppy seeds

*I used dairy free butter for this one – either works fine. I used Miyoko’s European Cultured Dairy Free stuff here and I have to say it performed just as well if you’re looking for a dairy free alternative
**sadly, because PANDEMIC, whole wheat pastry is nowhere to be found for me, so I am using straight whole wheat. You can do either, but whole wheat will yield a much more SOLID crust. Still good tho.

Combine flour, salt, and poppyseeds in a food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add butter; process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add vanilla & almond extracts, then ice water a tbsp at a time until the dough forms a ball – you’ll be able to tell when it’s ready! If it still looks dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Turn the dough out a floured surface (ie marble slab, or countertop, etc) OR use two pieces of parchment paper like I do for less mess – no need to flour. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here – pandowdies are pie’s unfussy cousin), and lift the dough onto the fruit. Tuck in the edges, leaving a rim of dough between the edge of the pie dish and the fruit – I crimped mine because I’m an overachiever and I also had extra dough, but no need to do that. Chill the assembled pandowdy for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Make a few slits for steam to vent in the top of the crust, then brush the top with egg white and dust with coconut sugar (or just coconut sugar if vegan/egg free). Pop the whole beautiful thing into the oven for 40 minutes; best if you line the rack beneath with foil or a large baking sheet – the juices runneth over!

Once you hit the 40 minute mark, take the pandowdy out, and use a sharp knife to break up the crust, thus ‘dowdy-ing’ its looks. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving; it will be gloriously juicy and delicious so might I suggest serving it in bowls? Ice cream is… optional, sort of. You do you!

Store any leftovers (who are you) covered in the fridge, but make sure to save some for breakfast. You’ll thank me later!

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Berry bars for errryybody

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Internet friends!

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How goes it? Things here are pretty bueno – it feels like fall, with the snappy air and all the squash in the markets! I have yet to make any squash this season, but I’m sure it’ll happen SOON; we can just chalk it up to being super busy at work and opting for quick dinners (hello eggs & black beans, you’re the bomb) or meal prep that can turn into a quick dinner.

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Weekends have been productive and lovely, with lots of urban hiking and pretty views of my beautiful city. The sunsets have been off the HOOK – this is the time of year for cotton candy skies in this part of the Bay, and I’m loving every minute.

Looking back down the hill; I never ever get tired of the views on my walk home from work:

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I love that I can get these amazing sunset panos from my roof!

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And of course, there was dessert! A low-key one for this last weekend; C and I may or may not have eaten this all in two sittings. To be fair, there was a hike in there also that was nearly 6 miles and a lot of stairs, sooo…. ahem.

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This is rapidly becoming one of my staple desserts, along with my go-to cookies. It’s SO easy and flexible, and super delicious. It reminds me a bit of a grown up pb&j – only with almond butter and a lack of cloying jammy sweetness. Not to mention that it’s great for so many dietary preferences or allergies! Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free (it’s nearly sweetener free; only 2 tbsp of maple in the whole thing), dairy free, vegan, paleo! Woooohoo for inclusive desserts!

I find that I love it best straight out of the fridge for maximum chewy coldness, but it’s still great at room temp. Of course for science research C and I had to eat it with ice cream – highly recommend. Its nutty base dough/crumble tastes very reminiscent of an almond cookie, and is complemented perfectly by the sweet-tart chia jam in the middle. Suffice it to say, we’re big fans over here, and I hope it brings you as much joy :)

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I can feel myself starting to gravitate towards more involved baking projects as the nights come earlier and the days get shorter… it makes me turn inward and seek out cozy things like blankets, tea, and the oven. Not that I don’t usually seek out the oven, but you get the idea.

Happy October!

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Berry & Almond Butter Crumble Bars

Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, grain free / paleo, vegan! A direct riff off of the blueberry bars that I posted a few weeks ago, here, where were in turn inspired by the Roasted Root, here! Yield: 1 8″ pan of bars, round or square, your choice. Super simple; these come together in about five seconds and bake up in just over 30 min, so they make a perfect last minute snack, dessert, or breakfast ;)

For the berry filling:

1 raspberries (I used frozen)*
1 c blackberries (I used frozen)
splash of yuzu or lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

*can be made with all raspberry (or all blackberry!) – I was just trying to use up what I had

In a small saucepan, heat berries, sea salt, and tapioca until just barely boiling, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble:

2 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 c almond butter
1/3 c chopped almonds
Black sesame seeds
Coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 8” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 8” round cake pan. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple, almond butter and coconut oil together. Reserve half a cup and stir in the almonds, sesame seeds & coconut (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with berry mixture. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

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Seismically unsound tamarind things

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Hi friends!

A new to me ingredient today (at least for baking; I’ve definitely eaten it many times) – tamarind! I learned some new cool things about it this week too, since of course I had to research it.

Behold: my seismically unsound dessert! Let’s get crackin.

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Tamarind is part of the legume family, making it a cousin to peanuts. It’s high in essential nutrients (potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc) and is anti-inflammatory & full of antioxidants! There are a ton of other health benefits, if you feel like looking them up. Pretty rad, for funny looking little fruit pods.

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This tart is delicious! Definitely for those who like their desserts on the sour/tart side – tamarind itself is very sour-sweet, and of course lemon with it makes it perfect for those who like that sort of thing… obviously, we both do! This barely made it to the leftover stage – I think there is one piece left, and I suspect it may be gone by midnight. It made for a great pre & post climbing snack, and was fabulous with vanilla ice cream for dessert with a board game.

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Because tamarind looks much like molasses, you don’t get as pretty of a color as one would hope for a lemon tart – don’t be fooled if you see tarts that are bright yellow claiming to be lemon-tamarind – they lie! I thought for a minute I might have a nice pale yellow tart, until I opened my jar of tamarind & remembered – nope!

Tamarind makes things a nice custardy mellow dark tan/brown. Undeniably delicious, but also why I buried it under a pile of bright raspberries, hahaa. I will say though, raspberries + tamarind + lemon is a totally winning combination.

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Happy weekend! I hope you’re out enjoying some beautiful weather.

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Lemon, Tamarind & Ginger Tart

Bright & slightly sour, for those who like their desserts on the tart side! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. Gluten free & refined sugar free. Can easily be dairy free – use coconut milk instead of cream! The crust can easily be grain free as well – just omit the cornmeal & add an equal amount of almond flour.

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For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c cornmeal
1 tsp ground ginger
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, ginger, 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 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) 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. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Reduce oven temp to 325.

For the filling:

1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 scant tbsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 c heavy cream

Place lemon juice, tamarind, vanilla, eggs, sugar and cream in a bowl and whisk until combined. Stand for 5 minutes.

Add tamarind filling to the crust. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling has just set. Allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold.

Top with sliced lemons, raspberries, coconut, and whatever else takes your fancy. Keeps well in the fridge overnight; can be made a day ahead as well & stored in the fridge. Excellent with vanilla ice cream!

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All things boats, crisps & hikes

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November already!?

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The extra hour this weekend was pretty swell though, I must say. Fave human and I got in a great 6 mile hike this morning before we ate – crisp makes a great post-hike addition to eggs!

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A few photos of life lately – we took a sunset sail this weekend too, which was awesome. The sky was just spectacular; there is no filter on these photos!

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As usual, I was my weird self… not sure what’s going on here but it just looks typical… was I summoning the water?!

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This is the reigning favorite crisp recipe around here – it keeps its structural integrity overnight even when sitting on super juicy fruit, which is a must. It’s chunky in the best way, like a good granola – and it’s perfect for breakfast! Fruit, nuts, oats, yogurt and butter – what more do you need?

Disregard awkward three fingered claw…

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I had frozen some late season peaches awhile back and wanted to use them before they sat too long in the freezer. It goes against my love of seasonal baking, but waste not, want not! Turns out pomegranate and peach go quite well together anyway, and the rosemary keeps it from feeling too overly summer-y of a dessert. It comes together in a snap too, so what’s not to love.

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I love love love adding rosemary to desserts. It brings just the right amount of savory to whatever dessert it is – and we know I like things on the very much less sweet side. C and I both loved this one – it was disappearing with mildly alarming rapidity, so we’ll see if it makes it though the end of the weekend, ha!

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Rosemary Walnut Crisp with Peaches, Blackberries & Pomegranate

An extremely easily adaptable crisp – use whatever fruit needs to be consumed! I had frozen some late season peaches and wanted to use them before they sat too long – they went excellently with blackberries and pomegranate seeds. This minimally sweet crisp is basically breakfast – fruit, nuts, oats and yogurt! Nearly all of its sweetness comes from the fruit, so make sure whatever you’re using is perfectly ripe. Yet another riff on the crisp I’ve made a million zillion times, here. Yield: 1 8×8, 2qt crisp, serves several.

3 c peaches, sliced*
2 c blackberries*
1/3 c pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
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 coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 c coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss peaches, blackberries, and pomegranate seeds 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, water/port, lemon juice and lemon zest 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 walnuts, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, salt, and rosemary. 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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