Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Let's face it, every manufacturer has a vested interest in going "global" and a lot of time an money is spent on that endeavor. However, there are some global items that exploded onto the market with little effort. Most of the time it is due to an individual that visits another country and brings a unique idea or an item back home that they consider amazing. This is a small step, but the idea or item may spread like wild fire.

After the original is shared, time passes along with little tweaks. It may be developed a little more to "fit" in  according to the countries preference. This is the same when it comes to food. This post is about the "global" chocolate chip cookie. Here in the US, you will find every texture variation as well as "add in" alterations, such as walnuts or peanuts. I have enjoyed many variations through the years, but I know the variations are endless.

So, if you are taking the long (but delicious) journey of sampling all the amazing chocolate chip cookies like me, be sure not to overlook this Middle Eastern variation with tahini (sesame paste). The sesame paste adds a unique hint of nuttiness to the cookie. In addition, this recipe has one of the best contrasts of salty sweet that I can think of...dark chocolate and salt. The texture is a home run as well, since each cookie has crispy edges and a soft,chewy center. The process below makes about 12-18 big and hearty cookies. Also, be sure to plan ahead,the dough requires 12 hrs of chilling time prior to baking.

Now, let's get to the kitchen....

Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies
adapted from Modern Israeli Cooking

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup and 2 tbs flour or matzo cake meal
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup or 4 oz butter, room temp
1/2 cup tahini 
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups bittersweet or semi-sweet choc

Sea salt flakes (optional for topping)

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

Sift together flour (or matzo meal), baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, tahini and sugar. Beat at medium speed for a total of 5 minutes, stopping from time to time to scrap down sides of bowl. Add the eggs and extract, then beat again for another 5 minutes.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and pour in sifted ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Once incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips. The batter will be much softer and lighter than regular cookie dough. Cover bowl and refrigerate for a total of 12 hours.

Once the chill time is completed, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Before you shape the dough, evaluate how large you want them. The recipe states it yields 12-18 cookies. Be aware that the size will have a direct impact on baking time. Shape the dough into balls of desired size and place on the baking sheet. Each ball should be spaced about 3 inches from the other.

Slide baking sheet in oven and bake cookies for about 13-16 minutes. The cookies will be golden on the bottom and outer edges when done. The center will still remain white, or pale. Upon removing the pan from the oven, sprinkle tops of cookies with sea salt if desired.  Let cookies cool on pan on rack for about 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to completely cool.

Tips and Notes:
1. Make sure that the tahini is mixed well prior to adding to batter.
2. The full 10 minutes of beat time is necessary to really incorporate the tahini into the dough, poor mixing results in "pockets" of tahini in your cookie batter which runs on the pan when baked.
3. My cookies took 18-20 minutes to bake.
4. These cookies will be very white in comparision to the standard chocolate chip cookie which includes brown sugar.
5. I did not use the Matzo, mainly because I only found meal instead of flour, so I cannot comment on the results of the recipe using that ingredient. 
                                     **LAST YEAR:Cranberry Black Walnut Coffeecake**

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hazelnut Praline Cakes

While buttercream and fondant are covering most cakes these days, do not forget about the coated cakes, such as petit fours. However, the thought of baking cutting and dipping does seem like a major project. I imagine that is why you rarely see these type of cakes. It is not just the cutting; the dipping and decorating for that special appearance can be tedious as well.

While petit fours are pretty tasty, today's average baker is looking for something more like a snack cake. Snack cakes are small individual cakes, but they are baked in the shape you want. No cutting required. Also, another modification is to change the coating to something more tasty and less fancy.

This version of the snack cake combines hazelnut flavor, chocolate and praline. The cakes is hazelnut flavored and then it is coated in hazelnut milk chocolate with little bits of praline. In making these, 2 major factors had to be considered. The first being the structure of the cakes. Pound cake would be too dense and an airy cake would soak up the chocolate. A happy medium had to be found. Also, the cake paired with the coating had to create a good balance. Chocolate dipped brownies would be way too much sweetness.The idea of a lighter flavor cake with a strong flavored coating would make the best combination.

I have to admit, the Cacao Barry store had my business on this recipe. However, do not let that deter you from this recipe. Hazelnut ganache and toffee bits are an easy and less expensive substitute.

Now, let make some cakes! This recipe makes 1 dz cakes.

Hazelnut Praline Cakes
by flourtrader

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp hazelnut extract
1 egg
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

2-3 cups hazelnut ganache (or Gianduja Plasir Lait/Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Coverture)
1/2-3/4 cup toffee bits (or Cacao Barry Praline Bits).

Prepare a muffin tin or square cake tin by buttering the interior and dusting with flour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make sure your eggs and butter have come to room temperature.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder and flour. Set aside. Cut the butter into 1/4 inch chunks and place in bowl. Beat on high speed (stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl) for about 30 seconds until butter is smooth. Pour in sugar and beat again on high speed for about 1 minute, stopping again at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mixture should be fluffy.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, egg yolks, egg and hazelnut extract. Pour into butter mixture and beat until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Using a wooden spoon, mix 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the batter. Then follow with 1/4 cup of whipping cream, mixing again. Follow the same steps, this time using with 1/2 of the remaining sifted ingredients. End with folding in the last of the dry ingredients.

Scoop the batter into the prepared cavities of the pans, make sure the amount of batter is about the same for all filled cavities.

Place pan in oven and bake from 18-24 minutes, or until done. Mine took about 20 minutes, but use a cake tester to determine when done. Cakes should have a golden edge.

Place pan on rack for about 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto cooling rack. Flip cakes over and let completely cool on rack.

While the cakes are cooling, if you purchased toffee bits, evaluate their size. Should you want them smaller, reduce their size by using a blender or coffee/spice grinder. With the Cacao Barry praline bits, no grinding is needed. Set aside.

Prepare the hazelnut ganache according to recipe or microwave the purchased coverture until melted (microwave in 20 second sessions, stiring after each until totally melted). Stir in toffee bits or praline pieces.

Place a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Then put a rack over the paper. Dip your cooled cakes into the coating and then sit on rack to dry. If using store bought coverture, place cakes in refrigerator to have chocolate set up. Homemade ganache should set up at room temperature.

Once the coating has set up, transfer cakes to parchment or wax paper.

Tips and Notes:
1. Batter will be real thick, like cookie dough. Also and your cavities will only be about 1/2- 1/3 full.
2. You can use this recipe for mini cakes, the end result will be yield 2 dz cakes and the bake time will be around 12-15 minutes.
3. Flavor combos are limitless, so feel free to experiment. Chocolate cakes with coated with vanilla ganache with chunks of peppermint candy mixed in would be great for the holidays.
                                  **LAST YEAR:Pumpkin Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake**

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Vanilla Bean Scones

It seems that the market for vanilla has really expanded. I guess when it comes to food, the new and/or improved status is guaranteed to rage on. Outside of the brown hued vanilla extract that has been on the market for years, we have: clear vanilla extract, ground vanilla bean seeds and vanilla bean paste. I am sure that at this moment someone is working on vanilla bean flour.

Anyhow, this particular recipe can be found all over the web in some variation. I figured there must be something delicious about these scones, so I decided to give them a try. I was not disappointed. They have a wonderful cake-like texture that is kept moist by the sweet vanilla coating. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

I actually ate these in the late afternoon just to taste. The next morning, I decided to have some store bought cake donuts for breakfast. After having the scones, I really thought the donuts were awful. They had some kind of a grease after-taste. Funny how these scones had such an impact on my taste buds, I had always liked the donuts before.

So be aware that these scones may make your palate pickier than it was before. Eating them is purely an act of sharpening your skills in detecting what good really tastes like! This recipe makes 24 mini or 12 regular size scones.

Vanilla Bean Scones
adapted from various website recipes

1 egg
1-2 vanilla bean scrapings of seeds
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup or 1 stick cold butter (cubed)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
2 cups flour

1 vanilla bean scraping of seeds
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs half and half
3 cups sifted powdered sugar

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Start by sifting together the salt, flour and baking powder into a medium size bowl. Then whisk in the sugar. Empty the contents into a food processor and add cubed butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The other method is using a pastry blender by hand. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg with a fork by hand. Then add the half and half and vanilla bean seeds, stirring together so the beans are distributed throughout the liquid. Pour into the food processor and pulse until mixture becomes like cookie dough. An alternative method is to mix together by using a wooden spoon.

Prepare a flat surface by dusting lightly with flour. Empty the dough onto the surface. With floured hands, knead the dough about 4 or 5 times. Then roll out into a rectangle 3/8-1/2 an inch thick. Once rolled out, you can cut into triangles, circles or squares. I used a square biscuit cutter.

Place the pieces on a baking sheet, spacing about 3/4 an inch apart. Bake for about 6-7 minutes if making mini size and 8-9 minutes for regular size scones. Scones should be golden brown on bottom and edges when done. Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Take wax paper and place on flat surface and place cooling rack of the top of the paper. Then transfer scones to the cooling rack. Do not glaze until completely cool.

For the glaze, whisk together the half and half and vanilla bean seeds. Then pour into the powdered sugar and stir. Once smooth, dip each of the cooled scones into the glaze and place back on rack to set/harden.

Tips and Notes:
1. Feel free to use vanilla bean paste. Also the amount of vanilla is your preference. I have seen a recipe that incorporates vanilla bean seeds with vanilla extract.

2. Do not be afraid to experiment with other spices such as pumpkin, cinnamon or cardamon.
                               **LAST YEAR: Frosted Pineapple Cookies**

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Bali Hai Pie

While we all cannot live in tropical areas where fresh fruit is just a matter of picking it off the plant or limb, that does not mean that we have to miss out. However, the reach is a little more involved. That is mainly why I have stared at this recipe for quite some time before making it.

The recipe has mango in it, which is fairly easy to find around here. It is the passion fruit puree that took some expense and searching. Even though I made two of these pies, I still have frozen puree left over. Overall, I have no regrets. This recipe truly delivered on flavor and texture. Also, it is stunning to the eye.

If you love tropical fruits, then you will enjoy devouring an ice cold slice of this cream and fruit pie. The flaky crust is topped with coconut prior to baking. After cooling, a sweet layer of mango puree is placed in the bottom. The next layer is a silky blend of passion fruit puree, cream cheese and whipped cream. For the decoration, mango is drizzled on top following by a sprinkling of macadamia nuts. This recipe makes one 9 inch pie.

Time to make some pie....

Bali Hai Pie
adapted from State Fair Recipes

Pie crust dough for single layer (your recipe of choosing)
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Ingredients/Layer 1
lime zest (from 1 lime)
2 cups pureed mango chunks
1 tbs lime juice
3 tbs coconut rum
pinch of sea salt
3 tbs corn starch
1/2 cup of sugar

Ingredients/Layer 2
3 tbs butter (room temp)
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tbs coconut rum
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 pkg unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup passion fruit puree
1/3 cup tropical fruit concentrate
1/2 cup rough chopped macadamia nuts

Create the dough as instruction on your recipe of choice up to the point prior to baking. Then sprinkle the interior bottom of the crust with 1/4 cup of shredded coconut. After that, resume the baking instructions as provided with the chosen recipe. Let crust cool completely in pie pan before filling.

For the first layer, fill a saucepan with all the ingredients with the exception of the lime juice. Place over low heat and stir. The end result of the cooking will be a thick mixture, like the consistency of jam or pudding. This may take some time, so be patient. Once it reaches the thick stage, empty contents into a heat proof bowl and stir in the lime juice. Then set aside to cool.

The second layer starts by pouring the passion fruit puree and concentrated juice into a saucepan. Mix together and then place over low heat. Let the liquid warm up, while stirring, for about 5 minutes. Then sprinkle in the gelatin, continuing to stir. As it cooks, the gelatin will melt, disbursing into the fruit/juice blend. Remove from heat and let cool.

At this point, the first layer blend should be cooled. Take 1/4 cup of the mixture and put in a small bowl. Cover and place in refrigerator. Smooth the remaining mango filling over the top of the coconut crust, making sure the layer is even and covers the bottom interior.

Now, you are back to making the second layer of filling. First, take a metal mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator. Next, take out a stand mixer bowl and fill with the cream cheese, butter, rum and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until batter is smooth and all blended together. Add the gelatin mixture and beat on low until evenly disbursed into the cream cheese/sugar blend. Set aside.

Take the metal bowl out of the refrigerator and fill with the heavy whipping cream. Beat on high until stiff. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat again for about 30 seconds. Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in the gelatin batter until mixture becomes a light ivory color. Empty mixture into pie and smooth out evenly.

Pipe the reserved mango puree in a lattice fashion over the top of the pie and then sprinkle on the macadamia nuts. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Tips and Notes:
1. To have a little salty/sweet combo, use salted nuts on top.

2. To save time on the first layer, heat mixture in saucepan until sugar is dissolved in mixture. Then transfer to a heat proof bowl and microwave for about 2-3 minutes, stirring at the 1 minute interval. Keep checking for the right consistency by stirring after each one minute interval. Once it is thick, refrigerate to speed up the cooling process.

3. You are unable to taste the rum in this recipe. However, should you desire a kick of rum, the recipe suggests a stabilized whipped cream mixed with rum on top. You can pipe around the outer edge and then sprinkle a ring of nuts inside the whipped cream piping.

4. For an alcohol free pie, use coconut water in place of rum for the pie and if you desire whipped topping, use coconut extract instead of rum.

5. Not a fan of coconut? Then replace with chopped salted nuts pressed into the bottom interior of the dough prior to baking.

 5. If you do not want to serve right away, hold off on the topping of lattice piping, nuts and whipped cream until right before serving. Let the pie sit uncovered in the refrigerator until surface is solid and then cover with plastic wrap until you are ready to decorate and serve.
                              *LAST YEAR: Peach Pecan Cheesecake**

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Polish Pound Cake

Let's face it, there are a lot of different types of cakes out there to choose from. As a food blogger, I have found my food cravings are a lot more specific than they were prior to blogging. Recently, I found myself craving a buttery moist, slice of cake with tender crumb.

This particular recipe was spot on when it came to my preferences at the time. It teams both butter and shortening together to create a velvety texture. It also uses a vanilla/ butter/ nut flavoring which makes it unique, yet memorable. Lastly, sprinkled throughout this delicious cake are crunchy walnuts and sweet maraschino cherries.

Now that the craving has hit home, let's move on to the the details of this special recipe. You will need a 10 cup bundt pan in order to make this.

Polish Pound Cake
adapted from All Recipes

2 tbs vanilla butter nut flavoring
5 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1-4 oz jar maraschino cherries (drained/chopped)
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups sugar

Prepare a 10 cup bundt pan by greasing and flouring the interior. Make sure all cracks and curves are well coated.

Toss the cooled walnuts in 1/3 cup of flour. In another bowl, whisk together 2 1/3 cup of the flour and salt. Set both bowls aside.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the butter and shortening. Cream together until completely blended. Add the sugar and the flavoring and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Once the mixture is fluffy with no lumps, add one egg and beat for about 20 seconds to distribute into the batter. Repeat the process with each egg, adding them one by one.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the evaporated milk. Fold in the flour/salt blend in three increments until no dry streaks remain. Mix the floured walnuts into the batter. Lastly, toss in the cherries and distribute throughout the batter by stirring with a wooden spoon.

Pour or scoop the batter into the pan, making sure it is smooth and even. Place pan in cold oven and turn the temperature gauge to 300 degrees. Let bake until toothpick comes out clean. The cake will bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Start checking at the 1 hour 30 minute mark. Mine took about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Let the cake rest in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. It will be crusty on top, so take a small knife and run along the top edge. Then invert cake onto rack to finish cooling.

Tips and Notes:
1. Probably adding more nuts and cherries would be a good idea, be sure to dust all the walnuts prior to mixing in.
2. Do not slice until completely cool.
3. I used LorAnn vanilla butter nut flavoring and just added 1 tbs, since it is strong then regular extract.
4. Prior to serving, you can dust with powdered sugar. You can also glaze the cake, but it really is sweet enough on its own.
4. The batter in the pan was only 1 inch below the top edge. There is no leavening ingredient in the recipe so the cake does not rise very much.
5. I used Luxardo brand maraschino cherries, which you can find at some liquor stores. However, one jar is double the amount called for in the recipe.
                                           **LAST YEAR: Boo Boo Pie**

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sierra Nuggets

Sometimes variety can be a bad thing. We get too much to choose from and then we don't want anything. That situation can also be too overwhelming. For instance, I have always wanted to go to this place that has a selection of 1000 styles of eyeglass frames. It is a nice thought, but in reality I know that I would spend all day there and probably could not make up my mind between several frames. Eventually, I would either leave with nothing or settle on one; thinking I should have got the other.

This particular cookie recipe can be the solution to having too many types of cookies to choose from. One of these gems holds a lot of flavor and texture. As you are eating these cookies, your taste buds will recall a myriad of different cookies.

They have crispy edges and an inner chewiness.You may also come across some crunchiness from the walnuts in the cookies. With oatmeal, cornflakes, spices, coconut, nuts and chocolate, they are bursting with a variety of flavor. The variety is there, but it is nicely balanced. Labeling these as simply oatmeal cookies or spice cookies would be more deceptive instead of descriptive.

In reality, taste is the major concern here, not the label. So, let's move on to the baking.....This recipe makes 6-7 dz cookies.

Sierra Nuggets
adapted from Guittard 

1 cup chopped, toasted nuts
2 cups or 12 oz milk chocolate or semisweet chips
1 cup cornflakes
1 cup sweetened,shredded coconut
3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 tsp mace
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
3 tbs milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together all four spices, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Set both aside.

Place butter and both kinds of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together the butter and sugar by beating at medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg mixture and then beat on low until combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer.

Now, it is time for the add-ins to the batter. Using a wooden spoon, mix in one add-in at a time until evenly distributed. Blend in the order as listed: corn flakes, oats, sifted ingredients, coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.

Using a scoop or spoon, drop by heaping teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. They mounds should be placed about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes and rotate and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Check cookies to see if they are a golden hue and spring back when lightly touched, if not, bake for an additional few minutes.

Remove pan and let rest on rack for 2 minutes. Then transfer cookies to rack to completely cool.

Tips and Notes:
1. Walnuts, pine nuts and peanuts were the suggested type of nut in the recipe, but you can choose whichever you prefer.

2. For a thicker cookie, add more flour to absorb the butter and refrigerate dough prior to baking so it does not spread as much. Test your dough to see how it bakes up.

3. The recipe does suggest making a bar cookie if you are short on time. Use a 10x15 pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Be sure to use plain corn flakes, not frosted. The cookie is sweet enough without this added sugar.

5. A note on ounces when it comes to brands of chocolate chips. Nestle still carries the 12 oz bag, however the more gourmet chocolate brands have been reduced to 11.5 oz. Keep this in mind when buying ingredients.
                                    **LAST YEAR:Honey Glazed Berry Scones**                      

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Peach Upside Down Rum Cake

Well summer is at an end. School is right around the corner as well as cooler weather. In order to say goodbye to summer, I decided to make this peach upside down cake. The addition of rum makes it a delicious adult dessert.

Teaming juicy carmelized fruit with fluffy tender cake is nothing short of an amazing combination. These days, upside down cakes are not just limited to pineapple. I have seen cranberry and pear- the list goes on. The only thing to take into consideration would be the juiciness of the fruit. For instance, an orange upside down cake would be quite different from apple. Peaches put out quite an amount of juice, so please review tips and notes on this issue in particular if you plan to make this.

In this recipe, the caramel is made in a skillet and then the fruit goes in. After that, the batter is put on top and it then goes in to bake. You can use a cast iron skillet or a springform pan. It comes together quite quickly once all the prep work of peeling and slicing the peaches is completed.

Peach Upside Down Rum Cake
adapted from the LA Times

1 tsp almond extract
3 tbs lemon juice
3/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
6 tbs and 3 tbs butter at room temperature
2 lbs peaches peeled
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Start by preparing the peaches by slicing into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are not baking this in a cast iron skillet, you will use a 9 inch springform pan. This pan should be lined on the bottom and 1 inch up the sides with parchment paper.

Fill a 10-12 cast iron skillet (if you intend to bake the cake in it) or saucepan with the 3 tbs of butter. Place pan over medium heat and melt. Once melted, stir in the brown sugar. Continue to stir until brown sugar is no longer grainy, it will become smoother as it cooks. Then, mix in the honey and lower the heat.

As that is cooking, drain the peaches in a sieve. Slowly add the peach slices to the brown sugar mixture, stirring to insure that all sides are coated. Stir gently until all slices are glossy. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. If you are baking in a cast iron skillet, make sure all the peaches are spread evenly along the bottom of the pan and let the pan cool. Otherwise, empty the saucepan into the springform pan and spread peach mixture evenly along the bottom. Set aide.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium size bowl. Then take out a larger bowl and add the 6 tbs of the butter and white sugar. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add one egg and almond extract, then beat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining egg and beat.

Once all is blended, fold in 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the egg batter. Pour in 1/2 cup of rum and stir until blended. Add 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients and fold in. Stir in the remaining amount of rum and lastly, fold in the rest of the sifted ingredients.

Using a large spoon, drop spoonfuls of batter on top of the peach mixture. Once all is on top of the peaches, smooth the batter to the edges. Place pan or skillet in oven to bake until tester comes out clean. This should take about 45 minutes if baking in a cast iron skillet or longer with a springform. pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before flipping over and removing parchment. The cake is best served at room temperature.

Tips and Notes:
1. I baked my cake in a 12 inch springform pan. There was still enough of a peach layer to cover the bottom completely, so there was no change there. I believe a 9 inch pan would have a much thicker coating of peaches at the bottom. Regarding the batter, it was 1 1/2 times the ratio of the above recipe.
2. My caramel mixture turned quite watery after adding the peaches. In order to compensate, I added another 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup more of honey.  I let it cook down a bit more to let some of the juices evaporate, so it became more like caramel again.
3. The rum flavoring of the cake was quite prevalent. As you know, the flavor gets stronger with time. Should you not want to use rum, feel free to use peach nectar or some peach liqueur.
                                                **LAST YEAR: Citrus Snap Cookies**