From the Kitchen: Peach Cobbler Bars
Peaches and nectarines are two of my favorite fruits and I was surprised to still see an abundance of both at the farmer’s market last weekend. Knowing that their time was imminent, I stocked up and proceeded straight to my kitchen for an afternoon of baking and jam making. Peach cobbler (my favorite way to eat a peach) was most pressing on my list but I wanted to create it in a way that would be easy to share and eat– a cobbler you could handle. After a little bit of research and experimentation, the peach cobbler bar emerged victorious and I, full of its goodness.
Peach Cobbler Bar (adapted from Joy the Baker)
Makes about 16 bars
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk, cold
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large ripe peach, sliced thin
1/4 cup buttermilk, for brushing
Cinnamon sugar (4 tablespoons sugar + 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Use your hands to break the butter into the dry ingredients. Some of the fat bits will be the size of peas and some fat bits will be the size of oat flakes.
In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat lightly with a fork. Add the liquid to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times. If the butter has warmed too much in the making of the dough, shape the batter into a dish, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. If the butter is still cool, shape the dough into a disk and, on a well floured surface, roll dough to a little less than 1/2-inch thickness. My dough was about 12-inches long and 10-inches tall. The dough will be rolled just thinner than a biscuit dough that you would cut biscuits from.
Place rolled dough on baking sheet before assembling. Brush half of the dough with buttermilk. Arrange peach slices, in a single layer, across the buttermilk moistened dough. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Carefully fold the empty side of dough over the peach sliced layer. Press gently together. Add a bit of flour to your hands and press the edges of the dough in, creating more of a rectangle shape than a half circle shape.
If dough has warmed, and feels mushy, place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rechill. Remove from the fridge. Brush the top with buttermilk, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Using a floured knife, slice dough into 16 even pieces. If serving warm, a little sweetened creme fraiche really does this recipe good. Otherwise, grab one like a brownie and go at it! Enjoy!