Have you ever had Colorado peaches? Ohmigodnomnomnom. Of course, they’re a seasonal thing. Colorado’s farmers can’t grow peaches all year long, but oh man, it isn’t summer until you’ve let a Colorado peach drip down your arm while you bite into its tender flesh. Seriously: food porn.
Well, it’s summertime in Colorado. And I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t eat very much fruit, but here I am with three peaches on my kitchen counter, because, well, they’re Colorado peaches and they’re like honey, but cooler and more refreshing. The same day that I bought the peaches, I also bought a sad, droopy, reduced-for-clearance basil plant. Which, like Charlie Brown’s tree at Christmas, perked right up into a lovely bush of basil as soon as I gave it some love.
So here I am with peaches that I want to treat nicely, and basil that I’d like to do something more exciting than pesto with. Now, I’ve had mojitos made with basil instead of mint, and they were fabulous, but this is more basil than one gal can drink. Ice cream was my next idea, but what I’ve really been craving lately is a cupcake. And so:
Peaches & Herb Cupcakes (groooooan!)
CUPCAKES (recipe adapted from TopTeddy)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced and cut into thirds
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
– In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
– In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, beating well. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of milk, beating until smooth. Fold in peaches.
– Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated over for 23-28 minutes or until golden brown and tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. (ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: I wound up baking them for closer to 40 minutes.) Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Makes 12 very full cupcakes. (You may want to try for 15 instead)
6oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
about 5 fresh basil leaves, shredded into a chiffonade
2 cups powdered sugar
green food coloring
With an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and basil and mix until blended. Add powdered sugar and mix. Add food coloring to desired shade (I used one drop, for just a hint of green) and continue mixing until smooth. Pipe on to cooled cupcakes, then mash into your mouth! Omnomnom!