It’s double recipe day!

Well, technically it was last weekend. We went to a family barbecue and I ambitiously decided to bake something for the kids and something else for everyone older than 12. Here’s what I came up with. With slightly improved photos!

For the kids:
Butterscotch Pudding Cookies

Borrowing from the pudding cookie recipe, I made butterscotch pudding cookies because that was the only flavor pudding I had left. My first batch was plain/no mix-ins to see what I was working with. Each subsequent batch got more and more mix-ins until I ended up with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, honey roasted peanuts, coconut flakes. I do like that combination myself.

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messy batter shot

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posing as chocolate chip cookies

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hooray for baking during daylight!

Butterscotch Pudding Cookies (Adapted from Chef in Training and Inside BruCrew Life)

1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, minus 1 Tbsp
1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant butterscotch pudding

mix-ins (measurements up to your discretion)
semi-sweet chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
coconut flakes
coarsely chopped honey roasted peanuts

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.
2. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and pudding mix. Slowly mix into the butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix. Stir in mix-ins by hand.
3. Drop by small spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Store in a sealed container.

For the adults:
Apricot Summer Cake

The real winner was the apricot summer cake, which is an adaptation from a strawberry summer cake recipe. The pictures of this cake looked so scrumptious I couldn’t let the fact that I had no strawberries stop me. So I used what I had on hand—apricots. I also subbed about half of the milk from the original recipe for sour cream because I had an open carton handy. I liked the tang and the density the sour cream provided.

I really enjoyed this cake. It’s just a little bit different (how many apricot cake recipes are out there?) and has just the right amount of sweetness. It’s simple to make and I loved the tartness of the apricot topping. It’s funny, I spent an inordinate amount of time researching different fruit/summer-appropriate cakes to make. I was debating between this cake or a pound cake. I can’t resist a good pound cake. Maybe next time!

I imagine that peaches, nectarines, or any kind of berry, would all work well for the topping. The next time I make this, I might try adding in some lemon zest with the sugar and maybe sprinkle some on top of the fruit.

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before the oven

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so apricots are less than attractive when baked, but they taste amazing

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It’s okay that the pre-baked picture is prettier, right?

Apricot Summer Cake (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
7-8 apricots, sliced thin

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or a 9″ square cake pan (what I used).
2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
3. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes (or if you’re like me and have no mixer, whisk by hand). Mix in egg, sour cream, milk and vanilla until just combined.
4. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
5. Pour into prepared tin.
6. Arrange sliced apricots (or fruit of your choice) on top of batter. Sprinkle some sugar over the topping.
7. Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes.
8. Let cool in pan on a rack.

The cake can be served with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or even a la mode. Oh yeah, both desserts were well-received by their respective tasters.


If only I’d heard about this a day earlier…

Well, yesterday was an eventful day. I got up early, but still managed to be behind schedule, for the So Cal UX Camp. On the way, I hit a speed trap on the 60E. The kicker about the whole thing is that I shouldn’t even have been on the 60E in the first place, but stayed on the 5S. Google Maps confounded me again with their overly detailed directions. Let’s take a closer look at that fateful step:

From Google Maps: “Keep left to continue on I-5 S, follow signs for Soto St/Santa Ana/State Hwy 60 E/Pomona

What does this mean? Well, in true Google Maps fashion (convoluted), it means stay on the 5. But in my hurry (and poorly-made decision to not carefully study the map), I read it as “Get on the 60E.” As a result, I got seriously waylaid and on top of getting that speeding ticket I was about an hour and a half late.

Anyway, So Cal UX Camp was another good event. I met a designer who told me about a crowd-sourced mapping and traffic app that she swears by. I checked it out this morning and boy, am I sold. I almost want a smartphone right now so I can start using it right away. Yes, I’m one of the few people left who does not yet own a smartphone (!)

The day gradually picked up after that stressful morning. After the event, I headed to Newport Beach to meet with a flower wholesaler and ended up booking my wedding flowers. And on the way home, I stopped by here at the Outlets in Orange for some retail therapy. I think that might be the only store where shoe shopping is not chaotic, pointless, or all-around dreadful.

Well, at least I have a pretty tuberose bouquet here on the dining table that the florist made for me to take home yesterday.