Summer Slices

This is a nice summery dessert which I created using a batter recipe for a marble cake, minus the cocoa and instead of in a bunt cake form I baked it in large baking pan with addition of some fresh fruit on the top. I call it Summer Slices for every piece has a nice amount of summer fruit and berries and it looks so colorful. This cake is perfect for a family gathering or a party, it’s simple to make and super delicious!

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Summer Slices

[Printable Recipe]

Ingredients

  • 300 g butter (10.5 oz or 65 sticks)- softened
  • 275 g (9.7 oz or 2 ¼ cups + 2 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 375 g (13.2 oz or about 3 cups)all-purpose flour
  • 2 – 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Various fruit (peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • Slivered almonds (toasted)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Baking pan 32 x 44 x 2.5 cm (12 X 17 X 1 inch)
  • Parchment paper (size of the pan)

Preparation

  1. Beat softened butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until nice and foamy 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one by one mixing ½ minute after each addition.
  3. Mix in lemon zest.
  4. Combine flour and baking powder and stir well, then start adding to the butter mixture mixing at a medium speed.
  5. At the end add milk and stir until all well combined.
  6. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly on the pan.
  7. Lightly toast slivered almonds and set aside.
  8. If you use peaches you will need about 4 large. Boil some water and immerse peaches into boiling water for about a minute. Peel them and slice into thin slices (about 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch).
  9. Spread them on the batter, sprinkle with berries and toasted almonds
  10. Bake at 195 C or 385 F until lightly brown on the top.
  11. Let it cool down and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and serve.
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Summer Slices

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Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

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Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Bars -aka- {Friendship Bars}

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while… I promise I didn’t forget about you! 🙂 I find it (just a bit hard) to be a baker and try to be on a weight-loss plan. Finally, I think I am figuring out how to have these two coexist, so I am back to doing what I love!

Idea for these chocolaty bars came at a moment which I like to refer to as “baking inspiration”. This recipe is my own creation and I dedicate it to all my good friends spread all over the world. Some of you I have known since childhood days, some of you are brand new friends, with some of you I have reconnected again and some of you I’ve met in this virtual world. All of you have brought a part of you and your world to share and I feel great deal richer and happier because of it. Here is to FRIENDSHIP!

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 

Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Bars aka {Friendship Bars}

[Printable recipe]

For the crust:

  •          12 TBSP (170 g) butter (softened)
  •          1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  •          1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  •          2 egg yolks
  •          About  1/4 cup (50 ml) Bailey’s Irish Cream   ***Exact conversion: {50 ml = 0.21 cup}
  •          2 ½ cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
  •          1/4 tsp salt

 For the filling:

  •          4 of 8 oz packs (900 g) cream cheese
  •          1 cup (200 g) sugar
  •          2 pack vanilla sugar (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  •          3 TBSP dark cocoa
  •          4 oz (113 g) semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
  •          1/2 cup (100 ml) heavy cream
  •          About ½ cup (100 ml) Bailey’s Irish Cream ***Exact conversion: {100 ml = 0.42 cup}
  •          4 eggs (lightly beaten)

For the topping:

  •          4 oz (113 g) semi-sweet chocolate (refrigerated and cut into chunks)
  •          3.5 oz (100 g) hazelnuts (coarsely chopped)

Also needed:

  •          13 X 8 inch (33 X 20 cm) baking pan (or larger)
  •          Parchment paper

Preparation:

 

  1. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Beat in Bailey’s, egg yolks, flour and salt. Press mixture into the bottom of a 13X8 inch (33X20 cm) baking pan, previously lined with parchment paper. If you desire thinner bars you may want to use a larger pan, but it needs to be at least 2 inches deep. My bars have turned out pretty thick because I’ve used 13X8 inch pan.
  2. For the filling beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cocoa until smooth. Add melted chocolate, cream, Bailey’s and lightly beaten eggs. Pour the mixture over the crust.
  3. For the decoration cut chocolate into chunks and coarsely chop hazelnuts, sprinkle all over the top. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for about 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it set another 10 minutes inside. Cool completely, cut into bars and serve.

Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Bars Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 1

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 2

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Artist Trading Cards Party and Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars

After a disappointing Friday when I headed to Chicago to meet with my best friend and didn’t make it there because my reliable German car broke down on the highway, my Saturday turned out to be quite pleasant. For the first time ever I participated in Artist Trading Cards project. There were 30 artists who participated. We all had to make 1 card a day for 30 days starting September 1st. The purpose of making one card a day is just to stay involved in your art since many of us don’t do art for living and in this busy world of  ours it is hard to find time to paint. So after 30 days we all supposed to have 900 cards all together. Party was taking place last Saturday at St. Joseph, Michigan, a beautiful town at the Lake Michigan shore. Everyone was asked to bring a dish to share, so I decided to go with Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars (see my Christmas edition here) that really have never failed to put ones taste buds in awe. Party went very well, cards were traded, food was great and the company of fellow artists excellent. I came home happy, I made some new friends, I got 30 new trading cards and all the bars were eaten! 🙂

Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars

[printable recipe]

*** I use a 1.5 measure of batter for the 9 X 13 inch baking pan. The quantities below are for the 9 X 9 inch square pan. ***

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) butter or margarine
  • 2 cups (335 g) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Premier White Morsels, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) seedless raspberry jam (I use with seeds and I also add 1 cup of frozen raspberries)
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) sliced almonds

Directions

  1. PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F (162 C). Grease and sugar 9-inch-square baking pan.
  2. MELT butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. Add 1 cup morsels; let stand. Do not stir.
  3. BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl until foamy. Add sugar; beat until light lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Stir in morsel-butter mixture. Add flour, salt and almond extract; mix at low speed until combined. Spread 2/3 of batter into prepared pan.
  4. BAKE for 15 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove from oven to wire rack.
  5. HEAT jam in small, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 30 seconds; stir. Spread jam over warm crust. Stir remaining morsels into remaining batter. Drop spoonfuls of batter over jam. Sprinkle with almonds.
  6. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

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Here are some of my trading cards that I’ve taken to the party.

Watercolor and watercolor pencil:

An apple in pastel…

…and two pencil sketches:

Here are some photos of other artists cards and of the atmosphere in the studio: