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Dessert Me!

| 8/31/2011 9:27:55 AM

 Callie HeadshotOne of my major flaws is a fanatical fondness for anything containing sugar (sweet tooth courtesy of my Gramps). While I am pretty good at avoiding processed sweet things (except frosted animal crackers), quality desserts are a staple dietary contribution at my house, right up there with water and cheese.

An over abundant recipe collection roams my counter tops, getting wet, crinkled and covered in food splatters. Lately I have been trying different seasonal desserts from various recipe sources and have yet to hit a dud. So here is my latest sweet concoction, from Martha Stewart's cute little food publication: 

 Peach with cornmeal shortcakes 

Peaches with cornmeal shortcakes

Cornmeal shortcakes
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

Homemade whipped cream - I had no idea how simple making my own whipped cream is, knowledge can be dangerous!
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Fruity filling
1 1/2 pounds peaches, halved, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch slices (5 cups)
5 ounces blueberries (3/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar. Using the large holes in a cheese grater, grate butter into flour mixture, mixing and breaking it into even smaller pieces with your fingers. With a fork, stir in buttermilk until dough just comes together. Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface (I usually roll dough out between 2 sheets of wax paper, less of a mess) and roll out dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle. Cut into 6 squares (or rectangles).

Place dough squares 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until shortcakes are golden and puffed, 17 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Store shortcakes tightly wrapped in plastic, up to 2 days).

In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and confectioners' sugar on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Cut shortcakes in half horizontally. Divide peaches among bottom halves, top with whipped cream and blueberries and sandwich with top half.

Then put on a pretty plate, take a picture for your blog and chow down!

Callie Murphy
9/1/2011 7:04:11 PM

Hi Nebraska Dave, thanks for being impressed; I think I save the impressive bits of my life for my blog because I am not always that impressive (as I am sure those close to me can tell you). I like your work style, I think being paid in food is a legitimate form of currency; I'd gladly trade work for good food and vice versa. I've made several tasty apple treats with this years harvest, including apple sauce (very easy to cook fruit until it's mushy then eat) and apple pies. If I had a fence I'd gladly trade you some apple pie to fix it :)

Nebraska Dave
8/31/2011 6:44:53 PM

Callie, I'm impressed. You do accounting, herd sheep, and can cook Martha Stewart recipes too? My favorite desert is apple pie. However, I don't cook any apple pies. I just do handy work for other folks and receive payment in apple pie or apple crisp, or apple turn overs, or .... well you get the idea. For those that can't cook apple anything, I say, "it doesn't have to be homemade." Right now I have one pie and two slabs of apple crisp in the refridgerator. My motto is "I work for apple pie." Have a great accounting/herding sheep/martha cooking day.

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