First of all, when the thermometer hits the upper 90s, it is best to keep the oven off, right? Well, I mostly complied during the two heatwaves we had this summer. However, since the temperatures have been on the milder side for most the season and only in the 70s the past few days, my helpers and I have taken it as an excuse to bake. Truthfully, I hardly need an excuse to bake any day or month of the year.
It's handy that with plenty of this on the counter...
...we also have plenty of this to balance it out.
We sampled some old-fashioned peanut butter cookies. I've been making peanut butter cookies for over 20 years. Back in the day, I even won a blue ribbon at the county fair for my cookies, but these were the best I've ever eaten. They were the perfect combination crispy edges with chewy centers. I adore a chewy cookie!
Spare bananas are a rarity, but one week we had 3 extras that turned brown before anyone gobbled them up so we made banana bread and thew in a handful of chocolate chips for good measure. I took it over the top by spreading my slice with cream cheese.
The pièce de résistance of all my summer baking was a little chocolate cake with only five ingredients. That is if you let the 5 eggs in a one-layer cake count as 1 ingredient!
It was called Kate's Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake and it was the kind of cake with flavor so rich and deep that it required each small bite to be savored quietly.
To be fair, Brian said, "It's good. It's not my favorite, but it is good," and Owen said, "I don't like this cake," and nibbled away at bits of his small slice before putting the rest in the trash. ~Horrors!~
But the females of the family-- those of who us who love our chocolate enough to nibble on unsweetened chocolate if none else is available-- deemed this cake perfection.
We made cake pops to give as favors at a birthday party. We cheated and used a box mix. Alaine helped make the cake. Maddie and I assembled, coated, and wrapped the pops.
By the way, it's no accident that 3 of these 5 recipe used chocolate!
Do you bake in the summer? Do you have a chocolate addiction like I do?