The dessert we had originally chosen as the focal point for this month’s birthdays ending up being an epic fail. A tremendous waste of time and money – it was completely devastating! We were trying to make mini Belgian Craquelin Breads. I had previously candied orange peel which I combined with sugar cubes, Grand Marnier, and freshly grated orange peel. This mixture was supposed to be incorporated in rich, buttery brioche dough. The citrus aroma was driving me wild! Everything was going swimmingly until I tried incorporating the butter in the dough with my KitchenAid stand mixer. After it started smoking and giving off a burning smell (I was probably frying the motor), I looked up directions to incorporate the butter by hand. I discovered a technique to do so which made me exceedingly happy. However, in the end, the breads didn’t raise and therefore, didn’t cook through. And, of course, because the process takes multiple days, I didn’t know the breads wouldn’t turn out until the final hour.
So, I desperately pulled out our trusty scone recipe and incorporated peach jam bits and pearl sugar (that was supposed to decorate the mini craquelins) from King Arthur Flour. These scones saved me that night because not only could I count on them being delicious, but they wouldn’t require rising and I knew that I had all the ingredients on hand. Also, it was neat to make something quintessentially Peachie’s Treats!
To help convey the peach theme, I found an awesome Rifle Paper Company sheet at Paper Source with some favorite elements: the asymmetric assortment of modern flowers which are at once feminine but fresh and the combination of delicate, elegant colors like peach and muted teal with a touch of neon. We also found peach pom-pom picks which were adorable and functional.
Here was the modified menu:
- Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Topping, Praline Filling, and Candied Carrot Curls & Pecans
- Peach Scones with Pearl Sugar
- Chocolate Chip Cloud Bars
Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake. While the mini craquelins were a disappointment, this cake was anything but. Dense and moist from all the fruit and veggies, this cake went beautifully with the creamy topping and the salty-sweet filling. I placed candied pecans on the top; the recipe is from Little Spice Jar and is quick, easy, and super tasty. Plus, your house will smell awesome while they’re baking.
The really fun accent I wanted to incorporate with this cake was curling and candying carrots. The Southern Living Fall Baking magazine I was using provided instructions. Essentially, you wash the carrots, remove all the peels and then use the vegetable peeler to make strips. These strips are boiled in simple syrup until translucent and then baked on parchment at a low heat. As soon as you can touch them, you wrap each one around the handle of a wooden spoon and then fairly immediately, gently remove them and place in granulated sugar. The process was straightforward, but time consuming. Overall, I was pleased with how they turned out. I’m always looking for fun, colorful, all-natural, and preferably edible treat decorations. This definitely fit the bill!
Peach Scones. I can’t say enough about these scones! The addition of peach bits was a delicious modification to the original recipe. The fruit pieces or jam bits, as they are called, are processed to melt when baked, providing that sought after gooeyness found in fresh-from-the-oven treats. The pearl sugar lent a nice change in texture with its crunch.
Chocolate Chip Cloud Bars. These bars are probably the best I’ve ever had/made! I found the idea on Pinterest, of course. You start with chocolate chip cookie dough which you layer half of on the bottom of a greased 9”x13” pan. Next, you mix together one 8-ounce package of cream cheese with ½ cup sugar, one egg, and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread this mixture on top of the cookie dough. Sprinkle chunks of cookie dough on top of the cream cheese mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. These treats are the perfect combination of chewy and creamy, salty and sweet – yum!
corrie @ Peachie’s Treats