Agave Peach Vanilla Bean Syrup

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Agave Peach Vanilla Syrup

I was forced into a love affair with peaches.

You see I’m not a fan.  I’m a nectarine girl and did my best to plant the perfect nectarine tree for my area.  Stone fruit does extremly well where I live and I was so excited to find the perfect pigmy nectarine tree three years ago.  Last year it produced fruit for the first time.  PEACHES!  yes my nectarine tree is  a peach tree.  Since I don’t care for raw peaches I had to get creative.

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds yellow peaches
1 1/2 cups agave ( you could use honey)
1 vanilla bean and 1/2 teaspoon spice of your choice.
Instructions

Peel peaches and dice. Combine them with the agave  in a medium bowl. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape out all the vanilla seeds with the blade of a paring knife. Add both the seeds and the split bean to the peaches and agave. Stir to combine.

Let the peaches and agave sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes, so that the agave can help make the peaches juicy. When you’re ready to cook, scrape the peaches, agave, and vanilla into a slow cooker.

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4 to 6 hours for a mild flavor 10 to 12 hours  if you want it to become deep and dark. Fish out the vanilla bean and use an emersion blender to break down the peaches an hour into the process.

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Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four half pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer for 10 minutes.  Place rim on jar and then funnel your peach agave syrup into the jar.  This is  a wonderful trick I learned recently it keeps bacteria from getting on edge of jar.  

Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (don’t start your timer until the pot returns to a boil).
When the time is up, remove jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.

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When the jars are cool enough to handle (let them rest at last an hour or two), remove rings and test seals. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to a year.

Agave will allow the peach flavor to shine more than honey.  This syrup is nice and thick for vanilla ice cream. Also great on whole grain pancakes.

Arizona Cardinals Cupcakes

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If you haven’t made candy coat images I am hear to tell you it’s one of the easiest things to do.

What you will need:

  • Candy Coat colors
  • Wax paper
  • Wilton plastic bag
  • Scissors
  • Patience

For these Cardinal cupcakes all I did was google their logo off the internet and place some waxed paper over the image.

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From here I heated up the candy coat outline first in the microwave for approx 1 min.  Time will vary so you may want to check it at the 30 and 45 second mark.  Once it is warm enough and has a good flow pour it into your wilton icing bag and cut the corner off with your scissors.

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Now you will trace the outline and allow it to harden.  Once it does you will do the eye and beak leaving the red color for last.  Each layer you will need to let cool completely.

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Heres what the final images look like.  From here you will peel them off the wax paper and place the image onto your cupcakes.

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Sriracha Cashews

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Ingredients
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
1 and ½ cups raw cashews
1 Tablespoon toasted  sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a very small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, Sriracha sauce and ginger. Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar melts, about 5 minutes.

Pour the cashews into a mixing bowl. Drizzle the sugar mixture over the cashews and stir well to evenly coat them. Add toasted  sesame seeds and stir again to combine.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cashews out on the parchment paper and bake until crisp, 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely before transferring to a bowl to serve.

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These are not too hot to eat.  I prefer to cry when I eat spicy food next time I will add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes!

Cardamom Chocolate Pear Cake

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This cake is incredibly moist, and taste even better the 2nd day.

  • 1¾ cups whole grain pastry flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

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Directions
Preheat the oven to 375F or 350F if you have a convection oven . Lightly oil a 2 , 8 inch rounds . Line the pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended.

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The mixture will be runny, don’t worry.

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Line the bottom of the cake pan with the pears in a circular design. Pour the batter on top of the pears. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Place on a rack and let sit for 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen them. Invert the pan onto a plate. Using the handle of a knife, vigorously tap the top of the pan, even shaking it a bit, to loosen the cake. Leave the pan over the cake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and let the cake cool completely.

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Here are the 2 rounds this recipe made.

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jus de citron cookies

 

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I miss crepes with lemon and sugar.  These lemon sugar cookies take me there.

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  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup large crystal sugar for dipping cookies

directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  I use baking stones fee free to use what you have on hand.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

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3. Grate your lemon zest and mix with your sugar.  Please allow it to mingle for 10 minutes or so.  You really want to capture the lemon essence in your cookies.

4.Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.

5. Add egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix until combined. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

6.  Use a cookie scoop to make round balls.  I use a teaspoon size one.  Then I place them in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Once you remove them from the freezer just dip the tops in the sugar and place on baking stones you don’t have to roll the whole cookie.

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8. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around the edges and set.

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9. Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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*To keep cookies soft, store cookies with a slice of bread in an air tight container.

Oh So Moist Brown Sugar Blueberry Muffins

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Please quit buying brown sugar!  It is so easy to make and these muffins stay moist forever…

Brown Sugar Streusel
1/2 cup (100g) dark or light brown sugar (please make your own)
1/2 cup (67g) toasted pecans (always toast your nuts)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Batter
1/2 cup  unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup  light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature preferred
1/2 cup  sour cream or yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 and 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup 1 % milk
1 and 1/2 cups  fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Makes 12 jumbo muffins or 24 regular size.  Feel free to freeze them they keep well.

Make the streusel: In a small bowl, toss together the brown sugar, toasted nuts, and cinnamon. Set aside.

 

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Muffin time: In a medium bowl using a  stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

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Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt or sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly mix with a whisk. Add the milk, gently whisking until combined and little lumps remain.

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Fold in the blueberries with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Don’t worry if the blueberries bleed a little – my batter was purple in some spots; it looks pretty when baked.

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Layer in 1 Tablespoon of batter, then top with a little streusel, then more batter until the muffin tins or liners are full all the way up to the top.

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You want them overflowing, as shown in the photo above. Top with more streusel. Bake in batches for 5 minutes at 425F degrees, then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and bake for 18-21 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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They will look dark, they aren’t burnt its the homemade brown sugar that makes them so dark and moist.  Feel free to double this batch and freeze them.

*To make homemade brown sugar just use a 1 cup sugar to 2 tablespoons molasses ratio. Just throw in a processor or mix with a fork.