Saturday, May 25, 2013
If you've got your Memorial Day menu planned but want to whip up a last-minute dessert, give these Peach Cobbler Bars a try. They're quick and easy and really tasty!
I like them warm with a little vanilla ice cream, but they're equally good served at room temp or chilled.
Since local peaches aren't quite in season, this calls for peach pie filling. The base for the bars is a French vanilla cake mix. The cake mix sizes have changed since I tested the recipe, and I read somewhere that you should add 1/3 cup of flour to make up for the different size...BUT that didn't work for me when I tried it with some strawberry-lemon cupcakes. It made the cupcakes too dense (more like a muffin than a cupcake). So, I think you're good just to go with the recipe as is despite the smaller mix sizes (now 16.5 instead of 18.25 ounces).
While I love the combination of the French vanilla cake mix and peach pie filling, this is a great recipe to personalize. Using a lemon cake mix, omitting the cinnamon from the topping and substituting blueberry pie filling in place of the peach would net you lemon-blueberry bars. A spice cake mix with apple pie filling would be a good combination this fall. For black forest bars, use German chocolate cake mix and cherry pie filling. And, strawberry cake mix and pie filling would bake up into bars with over-the-top strawberry flavor.
Have a happy and safe holiday!
Peach Cobbler Bars
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, divided
1 French vanilla cake mix
1 ¼ cups rolled oats, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 can peach pie filling
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Stir the cake mix, melted butter and rolled oats together in a large bowl until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Stir the beaten egg into the remaining mixture and press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread the pie filling over the crust.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir together with the remaining crumb mixture, pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Crumble evenly over the pie filling and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Makes 12 servings.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I had a happy surprise on the way home from the Augusta Family Magazine office earlier this week. The Gurosik's Strawberry Farm stand near my house is up and running.
Strawberry season is truly one of my favorite times of the year. I call Orlando, Fla., home and nearby Plant City boasts some of the best strawberries anywhere. Here in the CSRA, we've got strawberries that are as delicious and local.
My daughter, C.C., and I have literally eaten half a bucket of Gurosik strawberries while standing over the sink!
In case you're looking for a way to enjoy these local strawberries, here's one of my favorites, a luscious Strawberry Mascarpone Tart.
Mascarpone cheese can be found in the specialty cheese case and it can be pricy. If you're watching your budget, regular or reduced-fat cream cheese can substitute for the mascarpone.
What's your favorite way to enjoy the fruits of strawberry season?
Strawberry Mascarpone Tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup (1/2 pint) whipping cream, whipped
Fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with the puff pastry sheet, trimming to fit. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and deflate by placing a pie plate and can or other heavy item atop the crust. Set aside to cool.
Combine mascarpone, sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Fold in whipped cream and spread over the cooled puff pastry crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just before serving, arrange sliced strawberries on top of mousse in decorative pattern.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.