This peach crisp recipe is seriously nostalgic, with a crumbly topping and a hint of basil in the tangy peach filling. Delightful!
‘Tis the season for peaches, and my is it glorious! Ripe, juicy peaches are some of Alex and my favorite fruits: perhaps just after the sweet bite of a local strawberry. So this season we’re making all sorts of peach goodness, from peach cobbler to peach sangria. And we already have the best peach pie ever, my mom’s recipe, so it’s hard to compete. But what about a good old fashioned peach crisp? We decided it was high time that we needed a recipe. And this one came out so good, we can’t wait to get more peaches so we can make it again. Scroll down for this stellar peach crisp!
Alex and I have a basic crisp recipe that we’re constantly playing with and tweaking. So far this season, we’ve made a Blueberry Crisp and a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, both delightfully tasty. For our fruit crisps, we love to keep them naturally gluten free. There’s no real structural reason to have all purpose flour in a crisp or crumble — like there is bread or pizza dough — so why not leave it out? This makes for a peach crisp that everyone can enjoy. Instead of all purpose flour, here we’ve used almond flour: finely ground almonds. Using this type of “flour” allows for the crumble topping to be crunchy: without the use of gluten!
This peach crisp so satisfying: the filling perfectly highlights ripe peaches, scented with a hint of peppery basil. And the topping is delightfully crunchy, featuring oats and almond flour. It can also be easily made vegan, plant based or dairy free by using coconut oil instead of butter! We’ve made it both ways and it’s excellent either way.
A note on sweetener
In terms of the sugar used in this peach crisp, Alex and I often use maple syrup in our desserts to have no refined sugar. We have found that in the case of a crumble, it can make the topping softer and more cakey. If you’d like to use maple sugar, you can definitely do so! It also is a bit gentler of a flavor. But for this peach crisp, we decided to use straight up sugar in order to keep the crumble topping on the crispy side. You could also use coconut sugar to achieve the same effect. Feel free to use whatever sweetener you like — and let us know what you try in the comments below!
A peach crisp with basil
For this peach crisp recipe, we wanted to add something a little unexpected to the filling. So we added in a few tablespoons of chopped fresh basil from our garden! Using the basil brings an unexpected aromatic flavor to the filling. In fact, when we served it to some friends, they asked, “Is there cardamom in here? Or black pepper?” It’s a fun way to bring in an extra vibe of summer into this peach crisp recipe.
This peach crisp is best served when it is room temperature. You can eat it warm, but after taste testing Alex and I agreed that room temperature is best: so let it sit about 1 hour after serving.
If you have leftovers, you can leave out your peach crisp on the counter for up to 1 day (covered, at night). This way, the crumbly topping can stay crunchy. After 1 day stored at room temperature, we’d refrigerate any leftovers.
Looking for fruit desserts?
Outside of this peach crisp recipe, here are a few more fruit desserts that we love:
Make the filling: Peel the peaches and dice them. In a medium bowl, mix them with 6 tablespoons sugar, and the basil, lemon juice, cornstarch and vanilla.
Make the topping: In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, almond flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, and the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and then use your hands to mix it into the oats until fully distributed and a crumbly dough forms. (If using coconut oil, it can be room temperature; use the same method to add it.)
Pour the filling into a round 9-inch pie pan (or 9 x 9 inch pan). Pour the crumble on top and smooth it into an even layer with your fingers.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is evenly lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Cool to room temperature before serving (at least 1 hour). You can leave out your crisp on the counter for up to 1 day (covered, at night) so the topping can stay crunchy. After 1 day, refrigerate any leftovers.
*If you’d like, you can substitute the same amount of maple syrup or agave syrup for the sugar: the crumble topping will be softer and cakier.
Ready for the best peach cobbler — ever? Here cinnamon-y sweet peaches are topped with flaky ricotta biscuits: and we dare you to eat just one bite.
It’s peach season! Those elusive days where peaches are ripe and juicy makes them all the more special. Peaches give me major nostalgia, remembering lazy summer days noshing on my mom’s famous peach pie. So today I’m thrilled to unveil another peach recipe that’s about to be famous: this incredible peach cobbler. Imagine: cinnamon-spiced, ripe and tangy peaches, covered in delightfully flaky ricotta biscuits. It’s truly something special, from the new cookbook Dappled, by Nicole Rucker, chef behind LA’s Fiona Bakery. Keep reading for more about the book and the recipe!
If you’re a fruit dessert lover (like we are), the cookbook Dappled is for you. It’s written by LA baker Nicole Rucker, the face behind LA’s restaurant and bakery Fiona. She’s all about the decadence and creativity of fruit desserts: which can be just as indulgent and decadent as chocolate, right? The recipes are classic with creative takes, like Black and Blue Pie with Brown Sugar Crumb and Flourless Chocolate and Pear Spoon Cake.
For our preview recipe from the book, we chose this Peach Cobbler with Ricotta Biscuits…and man, was it a showstopper! Because my mom has such a stunning peach pie recipe, I’m a little picky about peach cobbler. No canned peaches or Bisquick topping here! Luckily, Nicole’s peach cobbler absolutely held up and will be a new family favorite.
Now, there are all sorts of ways to make a peach cobbler. And there are lots of ways to shortcut the work and make a decent peach cobbler. But this recipe is about making a stellar peach cobbler. That means making flaky ricotta biscuit dough: like the professionals do it! Nicole notes in the book that the ricotta melts into the biscuit in most places and created “a fluffy crumb that I had been trying to achieve for years but never knew the secret to”.
She also notes that these are dangerously addictive and to proceed with caution. You can’t say we didn’t warn you! To make the biscuits, you’ll whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and then add cold butter, mixing it in with your fingers until you get a pebbly dough. Then add the buttermilk and ricotta cheese and form a shaggy dough. Form it into a rectangle, then fold it into thirds. You’ll do this two more times to form the layers of the biscuits. Then refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes while you assemble the filling.
The filling for this peach cobbler is simple: just peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and a little flour. It forms into a gooey, cinnamon-y mess that truly brings out the peach flavor. We made one tweak to the original recipe and cut the sugar back from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup. It was still incredibly flavorful, so we’d recommend it. Once the filling is ready, you’ll drop the biscuits onto the top of the filling. The original recipe called for cutting biscuits into 2-inch squares: here we did about 1-inch rectangles and the biscuits turned out quite large! Another option is you can drop blobs of dough onto the top of the filling: this would yield a more organic, free-form shape.
Then all you’ve got to do is bake it! It results in what we think is the best peach cobbler on the planet. Not even joking.
How to peel peaches
Most peach dessert recipes call for removing the skin of the peaches. We used a vegetable peeler to skin our peaches, but that can sometimes be difficult depending on the ripeness of the peaches. It can also be time consuming.
Instead, there’s a simple way to peel the peaches: without a knife or vegetable peeler! Here’s how to peel peaches:
Prepare a large pot of boiling water.
Drop one peach into the pot so that the water fully covers it, and boil for 2 minutes.
Remove the peach from the water with a fork, and drop in the next peach.
As the second peach boils, use a sharp knife to remove the thin skin of the peach (it should peel off in large sheets with your fingers). Repeat until all peaches are peeled.
And that’s it: how to make peach cobbler!
We hope you enjoy this recipe: it’s absolutely perfect for summer occasions that require a showstopper dessert! Like cookouts, potlucks, barbecues, baby showers, bridal showers: really all the things! Let us know if you try it in the comments below.
Looking for fruit desserts?
Outside of this best peach cobbler recipe, here are a few more fruit desserts that we love:
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Place the bowl in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Pinch and smear the pieces of butter between your fingers. Processing the butter like this creates small leaves of butter that layer in the dough, resulting in flakes later. Once all the butter chunks have been pinched, grab small handfuls of flour and butter and rub the two together between the palms of your hands until the mixture resembles uneven pebbles on a sandy beach.
Create a well in the center of the mixture and add 1 cup of the buttermilk. Using a fork, toss the flour and butter from around the edge of the well into the center. Fluff the buttermilk and flour mixture with the fork five or six times, until shaggy looking.
Crumble the ricotta cheese into tablespoon-size chunks over the dough, making sure not to break up the cheese too much. Using your hands with your fingers spread wide open, loosely incorporate the cheese into the dough with a lift-and-gently-squeeze motion. Drizzle the remaining 1 cup of buttermilk over the dough while using the fork to bring the mixture together into a loose and shaggy mass.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to shape the dough into a 10 x 7-inch rectangle. Fold the rectangle in thirds like a letter and then rotate 90 degrees. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough back into a 10 x 7-inch rectangle. Repeat the folding, rotating, and rolling process two more times, ending with the dough shaped into a 10 x 7-inch rectangle of about 1-inch thickness. Wrap the dough with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the dough sits, peel the peaches and cut them into 3/4-inch pieces.
Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a parchment-lined baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven to catch any drips.
Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a 2-quart baking dish.
Place 1-inch blobs or cut small squares of the dough on top of the filling (here the instructions called for 2-inch squares — we did about 1-inch squares and they were still rather large! Next time we’ll try the blog method). Brush the surface with the heavy cream.
Bake the cobbler until the biscuits are browned and baked through and the juices bubble vigorously around the edges of the dish, about 45 minutes. Serve the cobbler warm. Any leftovers will keep well at room temperature overnight, but it’s really best eaten the same day.
This mushroom pizza is a white pizza, so no red sauce here! It’s covered with mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, and fresh herbs. Perfection!
Please tell us you are a mushroom lover? When Alex and I went to Big Sur, California last year, we had one incredible mushroom pizza with a breathtaking mountain view. And it tasted so good, we knew we needed to recreate a version for our blog! Our rendition of the mushroom pizza is pretty different from the original, but it tastes fantastic: and looks just like the one we had there! It’s a white pizza — meaning no tomato sauce — and of course we couldn’t resisting adding tangy goat cheese dollops. Keep reading for the recipe and all our secrets to the best mushroom pizza!
What kind of mushrooms on pizza?
Now, let’s start by talking about mushrooms. I will admit, I used to be a passionate mushroom hater. As in, I didn’t give them a chance until well into my 20’s (it was a texture thing). But I started with portobellos, and after a while, I started to warm up to mushrooms. As someone who eats a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes, I’ve learned mushrooms are key in bringing in a savory, meaty umami flavor to foods! Now I’m a passionate mushroom fan: and I’d imagine if you’ve ended up here that you are too.
What kind of mushrooms go on pizza? Literally any kind of fresh mushroom will work here. We’ve called for mixed mushrooms, so we typically use whatever our local grocery has in stock. When in season, we’ve found that our local farmers market also has some interesting local mushrooms! Here, we used a mix of portobello and shiitake mushrooms, but you could use anything you can find: including oyster, cremini, and button mushrooms.
What kind of mushroom should not go on pizza? Canned mushrooms. Those slimy mushrooms in a can are what caused my 20 plus years of irrational dislike of mushrooms. And they’re absolutely not recommended on pizza!
Can you use raw mushrooms on pizza? Definitely not. Raw mushrooms when put into a hot oven dry out and become shriveled in the high heat. In order to eat mushrooms on mushroom pizza, you’ll have to saute them first. This recipe calls for sauteing the mushrooms with fresh herbs and adding a spritz of lemon juice at the end. It’s pretty heavenly!
How to make mushroom pizza
This mushroom pizza is a white pizza, meaning there is no tomato sauce! Of course, you could use tomato sauce if you’d like: because who’s going to argue with that! Our Easy Pizza Sauce is our tried and true method for an Italian-style pizza sauce that will literally blow your mind. (Promise!)
But if you’re into the white pizza idea, it’s even easier! Do you need a white sauce for white pizza? Not necessarily. Traditionally, an Italian white pizza is truly anything without tomato sauce: so we start ours by brushing the crust with olive oil. Then just add the cheese and toppings!
As noted above, you always always cook mushrooms before topping a pizza! This makes sure they’re perfectly juicy and don’t get dried out. These mushrooms are sliced and sauteed with some chopped fresh herbs, and then sprinkled with a little lemon juice. Top that dough with mozzarella cheese and mushrooms, dollops of tangy goat cheese (a must), and some more fresh herbs, and you’ve got an incredibly tasty pizza that will wow your friends and family.
How to grow fresh herbs
This mushroom pizza recipe uses a handful of fresh herbs: and it’s so much more fun to grow them yourself! We grow herbs all summer long, and it’s one of the most satisfying things to run out to the garden and harvest a few herbs. You don’t even need garden space: you can just grow herbs in pots as long as you have a sunny ledge! And adding herbs to your cooking is a healthy flavor addition, without adding calories.
For this recipe, we used a mixture of thyme, oregano, and chives: but you could use any that you like. Of course basil would be a natural option: even a small amount of chopped rosemary! Just be sure to use rosemary in moderation: it has a very strong flavor!
Prepare the toppings: In a saute pan or skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, chopped herbs, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When mushrooms are tender, reduce the heat to low, add lemon juice. Remove from the heat.
Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see this video for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto the crust. Then top with the mozzarella cheese in an even layer, then the cooked mushrooms, and crumbles of goat cheese. Garnish with the chopped chives and additional thyme sprigs. Sprinkle with 1 pinch kosher salt.
Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.
Category: Main Dish
Keywords: Mushroom Pizza, White Pizza, Pizza with Herbs, Italian style pizza, Artisan pizza, Homemade pizza, What kind of mushrooms on pizza
This refried bean dip is a healthy spin on the traditional cheese dip: it’s plant based using refried beans, spices, and a salsa fresca topping.
Who loves dip? The other night, some friends brought over some delicious refried bean and queso dip from a local Mexican restaurant. It was so, so good: but it made us think: could you make it with just the beans, for a healthy spin? Enter this refried bean dip. It’s seriously delicious but has no cheese. (Right?!) Somehow it’s just as satisfying as a cheesy Mexican dip, without the extra calories. This one uses our Instant Pot refried beans, which we’d highly recommend if you have an Instant Pot. But if you don’t, you can use canned refried beans as well. Keep reading for the recipe — and some tasty ways to serve it!
How to make refried bean dip
This refried bean dip is very easy to make: whether you have an Instant Pot or not! For the very best flavor, we’d recommend making your own refried beans using our Instant Pot refried beans method. It uses dried pinto beans, mixed with onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, cumin and chili powder. And it comes out so much more delicious than refried beans from a can! Now, there are some really great refried bean brands out there, but if you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker: MAKE THESE REFRIED BEANS. You will not be disappointed.
However, if you don’t have an Instant Pot: you can make this refried bean dip without one! Simply use canned refried beans instead. You may need to thin out the consistency using a little broth or water, and you may need to add a bit more seasoning than the recipe calls for. But it will be just as good! If you can, use the best quality refried beans you can find. (You may need to experiment with brands from the grocery: which gives you a reason to make it often!)
This recipe was born out of a challenge to create a delicious Mexican-style dip: without the cheese. Now, we eat cheese: and we love it! But and many times we’re looking for plant based spins on recipes. So this one is a healthy spin on this skillet Mexican cheese dip: instead of the cheese, this one is just refried beans, a few seasonings, and a salsa fresca topping. The topping is not only beautiful, but adds a tangy freshness of the dip that’s incredibly delicious. Of course, you could add cheese to the top of this one if you’d like! But we love that this dip is fully plant based. (Use the olive oil option on the Instant Pot refried beans for a full vegan recipe.)
Stir in the green chilis, lime juice, cumin, smoked paprika, and hot sauce.
Pour into a shallow serving dish and top with salsa fresca topping. Serve with tortilla chips.
How to serve this refried bean dip
Naturally, you can serve this refried bean dip with your favorite tortilla chips. If you have time, we have a Homemade Tortilla Chips recipe that’s a fun DIY. They’re baked and come out perfectly crispy and salty.
A few days ago, we served this dip as part of a fun dinner party menu on the patio. It had the perfect vibe for dinner al fresco. So many people love fall, but for me: eating a dinner like this one on our patio in the summer is pretty darn perfect. Here was our menu:
Make the Instant Pot refried beans, making sure they are warm before serving. If using canned beans, warm them on the stovetop in a saucepan and stir until creamy, adding a little water or broth if they are too thick. (If you make the refried beans in advance, reheat them on the stovetop.)
Stir in the green chilis, lime juice, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and hot sauce. Taste and add additional kosher salt if necessary. (If you’re using canned refried beans, you may want to add additional cumin or lime
For the salsa fresca topping, dice the tomato. Finely chop the red onion. Chop the cilantro. In a small bowl, mix the tomato, red onion and cilantro with the lime juice, cumin, and kosher salt. If using, thinly slice the jalapeno pepper into rounds.
To serve, place the dip into a shallow dish. Top with the salsa topping and thinly sliced jalapeno pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.
Note: Prep time includes only the prep time for the refried bean dip, not the Instant Pot refried beans.
This easy Mexican coleslaw recipe is deliciously fresh and tangy, featuring cabbage, red onion, cilantro, and cumin. Perfect as a side or on tacos!
You can’t have too many coleslaw recipes, right? Alex and I rediscovered our love for the stuff after creating our famous Best Creamy Coleslaw recipe. It’s just the right balance of tangy, savory, and sweet, perfect on our Swiss Melts with Russian dressing. But for a healthy spin that’s little lighter and fresher, here’s another delicious coleslaw recipe for you. This Mexican coleslaw has no mayo, and instead focuses on fresh flavors: crunchy cabbage, red onion, cilantro, and cumin. It’s got both cumin seed and ground cumin for a double hit of flavor. Oh–and it doubles as a taco topping. Keep reading for the recipe!
How to make Mexican coleslaw
This Mexican coleslaw is a fantastic summer side dish, and perfect on tacos too. We created it for our Grilled Shrimp Tacos, but it truly works on any taco (see below!). It’s very simple to whip up, and requires no wait time in the refrigerator either! Many coleslaw recipes require melding in the fridge for an hour or so, but this Mexican coleslaw is perfect right away. A unique feature of this recipe is that it has both cumin seed and ground cumin: to really bring out that cumin-y flavor! It’s very easy to make: the hardest part is the knife skills to chop up all the veggies.
Here’s how to make Mexican coleslaw:
Thinly slice the cabbage.
Shred the carrot, thinly slice the red onion onion, and chop the cilantro.
Mix the vegetables together with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, cumin seed, ground cumin, kosher salt and pepper. Serve immediately!
An important note on this Mexican coleslaw: it does taste best right away. If you want to make it in advance, we’d recommend slicing up the veggies and keeping the olive oil, vinegar and spices separate. Then mix them up directly prior to serving.
If you do have leftovers, you can store them refrigerated. The coleslaw may lose a little flavor over time, you could refresh the flavor with another splash of vinegar, drizzle of olive oil, and pinch of kosher salt.
How to cut cabbage
Since one of the most time-consuming parts of making this Mexican coleslaw is cutting the cabbage, here’s a trick that makes it much easier! I used to cut it in half and then hack at it until I got some “shreds.” Sometimes my knife would slip and they’d be super uneven. (Is this you, too?) This new method changed the game for me. Here I am in our home kitchen demonstrating the best way to cut cabbage: it makes cutting up the cabbage for coleslaw a breeze!
How to Cut Cabbage - YouTube
How to serve Mexican coleslaw
And that’s it: all you need to know about how to make coleslaw! Let us know if you try it out in the comments below.
Now, this Mexican coleslaw is a perfect side dish for summer, and it also works fabulously on tacos. We recently served it for a patio party with our grilled shrimp tacos and it was a huge hit! Tacos are perfect for entertaining, especially accompanied by some frozen alcoholic drinks (am I right?!). Here are a few different ways we’d serve this coleslaw:
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately. (Make ahead: slice the veggies in advance and store refrigerated. Mix together with the vinegar, olive oil, cumin seed, ground cumin, salt and pepper directly before serving. Store leftovers refrigerated; if you find the flavor needs refreshing, add a splash of vinegar, drizzle of olive oil and pinch of kosher salt to taste.)
These quick and easy shrimp tacos are a fast dinner recipe for weeknights or entertaining, and taste stunning drizzled in a creamy cilantro sauce!
Is there anything better than shrimp tacos? And it’s not just the flavor: to me it’s their vibe: carefree and celebratory. They bring back memories of a trip to Mexico with Alex and my family years ago. Combine shrimp tacos with chips, salsa, and frozen margaritas and we can’t think of much better. (Except please also add bean dip. Please and thank you!) What I love about this easy shrimp tacos recipe is that it’s both fast dinner recipe for weeknights and entertaining: making it a double whammy. Keep reading for our favorite shrimp tacos recipe!
Of course, there’s a myriad of ways to make shrimp tacos! For this recipe, we were looking the quickest way to make the most delicious easy shrimp tacos recipe out there. So basically, this recipe is a triple threat: simple, delicious, and healthy too!
Because time is of the essence, the cooking method here is to saute the shrimp on the stove with minced garlic and a few spices. It takes only 2 to 4 minutes to cook! This method of how to cook shrimp is very customizable and works outside of tacos too. Thought the flavors are Mexican-style, they’re not so distinctive they wouldn’t work for serving with rice or couscous, or over a salad.
Another way this shrimp tacos recipe saves time: the taco sauce takes only 5 minutes and doesn’t even dirty a blender! To make it even speedier, we’ve cut out the traditional coleslaw, which can involve lots of chopping and mixing. Instead, thinly slice some cabbage and red onion, and then just spritz it with a lime wedge when serving. It’s a shortcut we use again and again in tacos!
This all results in one seriously delicious shrimp tacos recipe. The shrimp is juicy and savory, spiced with Old Bay and cumin, the cabbage is crunchy and limey. And the creamy cilantro sauce, almost like a ranch dressing with chopped cilantro, brings it all together. Honestly, I might want to change my answer to the question “What’s the last meal you want to eat” to this recipe…!
How to char tortillas
One more taco trick for these easy shrimp tacos! Charring your tortillas warms them and adds a delicious charred flavor. You can do this if you have a gas range. Place a tortilla on the grates above an open gas flame on medium heat for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (If you don’t have a gas stove, here are a few other ways to warm your tortillas.)
How to buy sustainable shrimp
Finally, a little note on how to buy sustainable shrimp. Alex and I try to buy sustainable seafood where possible. In researching how to buy sustainable seafood, Alex and I have learned to look for wild-caught fish if possible. Also if you live in the US, look for US caught if you can. 90% of the seafood we eat in the US is imported. Imported seafood runs the risk of being overfished, caught under unfair labor practices, or farmed in environmentally harmful ways.
Also, how your fish is caught matters. Look for hook and line as one example of a sustainable gear type. Bottom trawling is considered the most destructive and least sustainable method.
And that’s it: how to make shrimp tacos!
This recipe was a huge hit in our house (especially with our 2 year old!) Dress it up with frozen margaritas and it’s simply sublime. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Looking for more healthy seafood recipes?
Outside of these shrimp tacos, here are a few more healthy seafood recipes:
This chewy chocolate chip cookie cake recipe is easy to make and a serious crowd pleaser: the perfect treat for book clubs and pitch ins!
This cookie cake recipe was invented out of necessity. You see, Alex and I are in a book club. (This relates, I promise!) It’s a co-ed group that meets monthly to drink wine and discuss a book: and man, has it become the bright spot of our month! We read everything from graphic novels to thrillers to memoirs to YA, from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Gillian Flynn to John Green. And cookie cake: we also have cookie cake to mark the passing of each year. Keep reading for this cookie cake recipe — AND a list of book club recommendations!
Why a homemade chocolate chip cookie cake?
Celebrating with a cookie cake is the tradition of our book club on our “book club birthday.” It was just our fifth anniversary of meeting together, so of course: a cookie cake was in store! This year, I wanted to try to create one at home instead of buying it at the store.
Why make a homemade cookie cake recipe? While many of Alex and my dessert recipes are on the healthier side, take note: this cookie cake recipe does not have a healthy spin! We can’t really say homemade is healthier in this case. BUT, it is 100% more delicious than a store bought cookie cake. (We think, at least!) The dark chocolate chunks and a hint of orange zest make it seriously irresistible: the flavor is oh so real. And the texture: perfectly soft and chewy, just how we like our cookie cakes.
We sent this out to a recipe tester Erin, who made it with her two girls. She said, “It was SO GOOD. The orange zest was perfect. Why isn’t orange in all chocolate chip cookies?” Why indeed. And when we served it to our book club for the fifth anniversary bash, complete with “Happy birthday book club!” in icing, everyone loved it too. Are you ready to get cooking?
How to make this cookie cake recipe
This cookie cake recipe is pretty similar to a typical baked recipe: but as the name would suggest, it’s a cross between a cake and a cookie! The texture comes out perfectly soft and chewy, like a soft version of a cookie. For our version of a cookie cake, we used a normal 9-inch pie pan, which works perfectly.
For the flavor of this cookie cake, we wanted it to taste nuanced enough to taste grown up, but yummy enough to please kiddos too. Here are our tricks;
Use both granulated and brown sugar. For this cookie cake, we’ve used two types of sugar to bring in a more nuanced sweetness.
Use best quality dark chocolate. The better the chocolate, the tastier the recipe. Here we used over-sized dark chocolate chips for a fun visual.
Use orange zest. Adding a bit of a tang to desserts brings out the flavor even more: just like adding a spritz of lemon to any recipe. Here we’ve played off the natural pairing of chocolate and orange. It brings in an undertone that makes it seriously addicting!
This cookie cake recipe is perfect for all sorts of occasions. Of course, it’s a fantastic treat or snack for a book club! Alex and I just brought it to a family cookout pitch in, which was fabulous. And if you’re celebrating a birthday, it’s also a really fun birthday treat for kids or adults! Whatever way you try it, let us know in the comments below if it’s a hit!
Book club book recommendations
Just for fun, here a few of the books we’ve read in our book club:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Grease a 9-inch pie pan.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with an electric mixer), cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with paddle attachment for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg, milk, and orange zest and beat for 1 minute.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. Use a spatula to press down the dough into the pie pan. Top with the additional 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
Bake 25 to 27 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown and the center has fully firmed up. Cool several hours at room temperature before serving (the cookie cake is much too gooey to cut when it’s first baked, so the longer you can cool it the better!).
Keywords: Cookie Cake recipe, How to make a cookie cake, Chocolate chip cookie cake
This whipped feta dip is a seriously easy appetizer for gatherings: in just 5 minutes crumbly feta cheese transforms into a creamy dip.
Ready to meet your new favorite appetizer? Because it’s ours! Meet whipped feta dip, the quickest and easiest appetizer that seems fancy but only takes 5 minutes to make. Yes, 5 minutes! Alex and I first ate whipped feta at a restaurant here in town (Upland College Ave for all your locals). They served the creamy feta drizzled with honey and with warm flatbread. WHOA! We were instantly hooked, and new we wanted to try our hand at a version. Not sure if this is how they make theirs, but this version tastes just like it. Keep reading for the whipped feta recipe.
What’s whipped feta?
So, what is whipped feta? Feta cheese has a very crumbly texture. Turns out that if you whip it in a food processor, it becomes beautifully creamy. Because feta is much too dry on its own, you also need to add another creamy dairy product. Most whipped feta recipes use cream cheese. However, because Alex and I don’t buy it a lot and we always have yogurt on hand, we decided to give it a try with Greek yogurt. With a bit of neutral oil, it whips up like a charm.
How to make whipped feta
Making whipped feta is one of the easiest appetizer recipes you’ll find. In fact, it’s our new go to for entertaining! Here’s how to make whipped feta:
In a food processor, blend together feta cheese, Greek yogurt, and neutral oil for several minutes until light and fluffy.
Place in a serving dish and drizzle with honey. Serve with warm pita wedges.
And how to serve it?
The way we’ve shown in the photographs of how to serve this whipped feta dip is of course just one way to do it. But I LOVE sweet and savory, and this one is my favorite. Drizzle with honey, local honey if you can get your hands on it. (More on that below). Then garnish with a bit of cracked pepper and dried oregano, if you’d like. You can always mix up the spices too: add paprika or chili powder for a little pizzazz! Pita chips are another great option for dipping.
Instead of a dip, you can use this whipped feta as a spread! It would be perfect on crostini with fruit, like this Cherry & Goat Cheese Crostini. Or spread it on and then top with some ripe tomatoes and basil. You could also try a bruschetta (similar idea) like our Bruschetta with Mushrooms, topped with sauteed mushrooms with herbs and a squeeze of lemon.
A note on local honey
If you serve this whipped feta dip with honey, try to find local honey if you can. Local honey is incredibly flavorful and supports local businesses. Also, since local honey contains a blend of local pollen, it can strengthen your immune system and reduce pollen allergy symptoms. We buy our local honey at our farmers market; often local honey vendors can be found in your local grocery stores as well.
And since we’re talking honey: don’t forget to support your local pollinators! One of the best ways to help bees is to plant flowers. Bees love sunflowers and bolted (flowered) herbs like basil and chives,. Make sure your seeds are non-GMO and not treated with any pesticides or chemicals.
This strawberry daiquiri recipe really is the best ever: it’s got a pure strawberry flavor and a fancy lime daiquiri layer on top.
Ever tried to make a strawberry daiquiri at home? Alex and I are on a kick of frozen alcoholic drinks this summer. First it was our frozen margaritas (so good), and then our frozen sangria (double good!). And now, Alex has created this homemade strawberry daiquiri recipe. It tastes approximately 100 times better than the strawberry daiquiri mix from the store! And he added a fun lime daiquiri layer to the top, which makes it look even more festive. Basically: this is the best strawberry daiquiri recipe and you need to add it to your life: stat.
This strawberry daiquiri is pure strawberry: it’s just sweet enough, with just the right back-end flavor of rum. Then the lime layer adds another level of complexity: it looks beautiful as a garnish, and as it melts it adds extra tangy flavor! One nice thing about this recipe is that it has no refined sugar: it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup. But you’ll never notice the difference!
This strawberry daiquiri recipe we first serve to Alex’s sister while our kids were having a sleepover. It was an epic cousin sleepover: we went for ice cream, made homemade pizza (with our easy pizza sauce and best pizza dough), and had movie night with popcorn. It was so much fun: but by the end of the night, the adults were exhausted! Three boys under the age of 7 can do that to you, I guess.
So once all the littles were in bed, we pulled out the blender to make this strawberry daquiri recipe. And man was it good! It was literally the perfect recipe for some tired parents reclaiming the evening!
Here’s how to make the best strawberry daiquiri recipe:
Make the lime daiquiri: In a blender, blend ice, lime juice, maple syrup, and rum. Place it in the freezer while you make the strawberry daiquiri layer.
Make the strawberry daiquiri: In the same blender, blend frozen strawberries, lime juice, maple syrup, and rum.
Serve: Place the strawberry daiquiri layer in a glass, then top with the lime daiquiri layer. Serve garnished with a lime slice!
A few daiquiri tips
So, just a few things to keep in mind when you’re making this strawberry daiquiri recipe:
Use best quality rum. The better the quality of rum, the tastier the drink.
Use best quality frozen strawberries. We tried this with a few different types of frozen strawberries: the strawberry daiquiri was light years better with the best quality brand.
If you’d like, freeze or chill your rum. When we made this strawberry daiquiri recipe for the photograph, we chilled our rum in a cocktail shaker to get it really cold. You also can throw the rum in the freezer the night before to keep the drink very cold. But, this step is not required!
And that’s it! Let us know if you try out this strawberry daiquiri recipe: and if it helps for exhausted parent evenings like ours! Or a bridal shower. Or a baby shower. Or a girl’s night out. Or a cookout. Or a pool party. Or…really anytime!
Looking for more easy cocktail recipes?
Outside of this strawberry daiquiri recipe, here are a few of our favorite cocktail recipes:
This strawberry daiquiri recipe really is the best ever: it’s got a pure strawberry flavor and a fancy lime daiquiri layer on top.
For the lime daiquiri layer
1/4 cup best quality white or light rum*
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
For the strawberry daiquiri layer
12 ounces (2 cups) frozen strawberries
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup best quality white or light rum
1 cup ice
Lime slices, to serve
Blend lime layer. Set aside.
Blend strawberry layer. Serve.
*If you’d like for the daiquiri to stay frozen as long as possible, you could freeze the rum the night before, or chill it in a drink shaker right before making the drink. However, this step is not required!
How many times have you argued over the best way to load a dishwasher? Every household seems locked into this eternal struggle: am I right? And Alex and I are no different. Over the years, we’ve had countless disagreements about how to load a dishwasher.
Well, thanks to our new Cove dishwasher, we’re finally starting to agree! The good people at Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove suggested that we try one out: and now we’re hooked. And our dishes are, in Alex’s words, “the cleanest they’ve ever been”. As people who use their kitchen A LOT, it’s been a fantastic change for us. Today, we’re sharing a few myths on the best way to load a dishwasher and how the Cove turns them upside down: and actually cleans our dishes.
Tip 1: Just scrape dishes before loading!
Myth: You have to fully rinse every smudge from your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.
Anyone else this way? I was so used to pulling out dishes with leftover grime that I started cleaning the entire plate before putting it into the dishwasher. Basically, I was doing all the work of the dishwasher: before it went in! Did this cause some marital spats? A few, since Alex had to keep reminding me that all my elbow grease was not necessary.
With our new Cove dishwasher, it’s truly not necessary to do any heavy lifting on your own. Plates can go in with quite the amount of grime: and they come out clean every time. Our dishes are literally SHINY—cleaner than they’ve ever been—and we’re saving water.
Tip 2: Load it how you want!
Myth: There’s a best way to load a dishwasher. (And your partner is the only person in the world who knows it.)
So here’s the one that causes all the tensions: am I right? There’s some elusive “best dishwasher loading” strategy, and both people in the relationship know it. Alex and I have gotten up in arms about this for years! I’m the person who just shoves things in willy nilly, and Alex is the one who seems to understand the “best way”, which I’m always in the habit of forgetting.
Luckily with our new Cove dishwasher, there’s really no way to do it wrong. The inside has adjustable racks that you can tilt to accommodate different dish, pan, and glass sizes. And there’s a fancy silverware tray on the third level with slots for all your silverware. Something about loading it is kind of cathartic, actually! Even someone like me can enjoy loading it.
Tip 3: Don’t worry about blocking the sprayer.
Myth: Be paranoid about blocking the sprayer.
OK, maybe this is only a disagreement in our house. But there have been countless times that I’ve gotten in trouble for putting a dish in our dishwasher that blocks the sprayer. The result? Slime caked onto all of the dishes. (Sorry, Alex!) Well, the Cove dishwasher has three spray arms so dishes are sure to get clean. Genius! This is perfect error proofing for someone like me.
Tip 4: Let the dishwasher figure it out.
Myth: There’s one cycle for everything: make sure to fill the dishwasher to the brim every time!
After living with a dishwasher that wasn’t the smartest tool in the shed, I’ve been used to this: load it to the brim, then press Start.
The nice thing about the Cove dishwasher is that it’s actually smart! If you press the “Auto” cycle, Cove will choose the level of cleaning that’s right for you–by itself. The “Light Load” option lets us run a half load: which mainly happens after we’ve already run one full load that day (yes, we have a LOT of dishes over here). And, you can control the settings from a smart phone (iPhone only, for now).
Tip 5: Don’t live with hard water!
Myth: You need a water softener in your house to have really clean dishes.
This one isn’t a dishwasher area of marital conflict, per say, just a cool feature of our Cove dishwasher. Cove is available with or without a water softener inside the dishwasher itself. So you have the option to wash with softened water even if your house doesn’t have a water softener!
It might not seem like a big deal, but soft water optimizes the cleaning ability of the water. We’ve noticed this literally makes our dishes squeaky clean: something we’ve never been used to. Another plus: the inside of the dishwasher stays cleaner too!
A few other bells and whistles
As is pretty obvious, our Cove dishwasher is spoiling us a little! Here are a few more things that we love about it:
It’s nearly silent. True story, our past dishwasher was so loud that when we’d run it at night, I’d think someone was breaking in downstairs.
It’s light and bright! The interior has LED lighting, which makes easy to load after a late night dinner party.
There’s a “dirty” and “clean” light indicator. So you can easily tell whether the load is in progress or clean, there’s a cool light that shines on the floor: green means clean and red means in progress
The magic red dot means cleaning is in progress!
Questions? Does your household get in related arguments about the best way to load the dishwasher? Tell us your stories in the comments below!