Today was one of those days when everything just clicked together like magic.
First, my local grocery had Challenge butter (my favorite) for only $1.75. I obviously had a baker spasm and grabbed 3 whole pounds of butter right off the shelf. I’m considering going back for more. You might want to stop me.
Then my pug and our neighbors’ dog finally managed to stop growling at each other without human interference. Instead, they touched noses through a little hole under our fence. I gave my dog a hug for being a good sport.
Oh and I turned a fabulous shortbread recipe into, possibly, my favorite crumb bar recipe of all time by adding less butter. (You would think that after buying 3 pounds of butter, I would hardly have reason to add less butter. But impulse is often fruitful in baking.)
Some things are just meant to click together, like baking and cinnamon. I can never tolerate how timid some recipes are when they ask for cinnamon and only let me put in 1/4 teaspoon. I sprinkle cinnamon on as lavishly as I sprinkle it into my Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
And some nasty little things like the People magazine and Seventeen magazine are also meant to be together…on the way to my recycling bin. Because, frankly, I don’t need to go “Inside Sandra Bullock’s Heartbreak” and Seventeen‘s “Guy-Approved Kissing Tips” make me want to puke. I really don’t want to let all those good crumb bars go to waste.
And I, my friends, am meant to be with summer fruit. I should live in a world where blueberries, peaches, and mangoes can grow year-round in my backyard. And, everyday, I can wake up and run outside barefoot to pluck the ripe peaches, buxom blueberries, and blushing mangoes from my yard into my kitchen (and into my tummy).
That is the world I should live in. Not the world where I stuff my face with apples and oranges during the winter because that’s all there is.
Peach Crumb Bars (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1 cup (7 ounces or 200 grams) white sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
2 3/4 cups cups all-purpose flour (or you can measure 3 cups and remove 2 tablespoons flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 large egg
1 large white peach, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9×13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Using an electric mixer, blend the butter chunks and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly. Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.
These crumb bars are good stuff.
They’re good for breakfast and eating with coffee.
They’re good for your dog because you’re going to drop a lot of crumbs and he/she will love it.
They’re good for stuffing yourself with if you feel like you can’t get enough of sweet, juicy peaches.
They’re also good for a schoolkid who comes home stomach growling and eats this stuff, saying with his/her mouthful, “MMMM..zish ish good!”