Browned Butter Peach Bars

Peach Brown Bar 2
I came across this bar cookie in a book titled, Home Baked Comfort, but it actually comes from Deb Perelman (Smitten Kitchen). It’s rich and delicious, and I love baking fruit into desserts, so this recipe is one more great way to bake peaches. These bars keep really well in the fridge for a couple days (they are a little too rich to splurge on in one day) and are the perfect afternoon snack or grown-up treat. Mmm. Can’t wait for the peaches to finish ripening on our tree.

Browned Butter Peach Bars

1 c. (7 ounces or 200 grams) white sugar
1 t.  baking powder
2 3/4 c. plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1 c. cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)

Brown your butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).

[So, I actually did this step, although you don’t need to if you don’t have time, and I’m usually not up to the fussiness, but this day I was, and it did make a difference! I would recommend it.]

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9×13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips, blend the solidified brown butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly. Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.


Dad’s Best Peach Cobbler

I know it’s hard to be discerning about foods you grew up with, but I’ve always loved my dad’s peach cobbler. I’ve never seen anything like it in recipe books until recently in a Cook’s Country they had a similar cobbler that they described as a “pancake-like” batter from Texas. Well, I don’t know how our family came upon this recipe, because we have no ancestral ties to Texas, but  it’s a winner, and it really makes a plethora of peaches much more fun.  Another reason to love September.

Dad’s Best Peach Cobbler

1/2 c. butter
1 c. milk
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 c. sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg
1 quart canned peaches with juice (we always had these growing up)
or 4 c. fresh peaches, with juices, peeled, sliced and macerated in 1/2 c. sugar for 20 minutes
[I actually use frozen peaches with their juices, defrosted a bit)

1. Heat oven to 350. Place butter in a glass 9×13 baking dish, and place in the oven for the butter to melt (this happens quicker if you slice the butter into eight pieces first). Pull the pan out of the oven before the butter has a chance to brown (about 5 minutes).

2. Combine the soda, powder, salt, flour, and sugar in a medium bowl. Then, whisking, add the milk.

3. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven and pour the peaches over the butter. Then, pour the batter over the peaches. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.

4. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream hot from the oven. Or cold the next morning for breakfast.