(Disclaimer- Mary, the peaches you gave us were gorgeous and NOT the peaches in this post :-))
I’ve been going to Stan’s market in the Strip district a lot lately for the cheap, local (I assume) produce. Sometime in June I got the juiciest, most luscious peaches ever. They had peaches again last week, so I bought a half dozen, cheesed about them the whole way back to work, washed one off and bit into a mealy, bland, fuzzy pile of blah. I believe wasting food is a sin worthy of Dante’s level three; I consider myself blessed to be in an area of the world where clean water is always available and I’m able to find and afford quality food. But these were not even worth freezing and almost went in the trash. And then I thought, “horse food.” Except, when I brought it the barn, she sniffed at it and looked at me like “WHERE THE F ARE MY CARROTS?!” Goats, on the other hand, are not so picky, but they weren’t exactly enthusiastic about my offerings.
Four crappy peaches sitting in my produce drawer + me being up at 6 AM on a Saturday morning because I’m a finely tuned corporate drone = “wacky kitchen experiment time.” From back in my low fat vegetarian days I remember that applesauce can be used as a substitute for oil while baking. (I used to made a pretty mean cake from a box of sugar free, Splenda-sweetened cake mix and a can of diet soda. *Shudder*) So, why not peaches? I was so determined to be successful with this endeavor that I decided to try “mini versions” of different baked goods!
Step 1: Puree peaches. Divide into four parts so as to use approximately 1 peach per mini recipe and can up-scale it later.
Two hours later, I’ve got batter everywhere, a pile of dishes in the sink, and four new recipes. Ratios of flour/salt/leaveners/oils/liquid are loosely based on recipes found online but I tried to “round off” to “even numbers” of ingredients for easy scalability. I’m not the world’s best baker but I know what cookie, muffin, and cake dough should look like.
1. Peach-Pecan Cookies– These were good, maybe my favorite! Not like a “traditional” soft, chewy cookie, more like a soft breakfast bar.
2. Peach Pancakes – The first recipe I made. Delish. Pancakes are easy. In retrospect, I should have greased the pan better, as I ended up with one perfect pancake and two “pancake piles.”
3. Peach-pecan muffins – These were moist, so if you don’t like moist baked goods, don’t try them. The flavor was great and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but the boyfriend was all “ughhh these are mussshhyy.”
4. Peach Cupcakes – Boyfriend’s favorite, and a close runner-up to the cookies, IMHO. I used frozen raspberries for a little zing to complement the subtle peach flavor.