Sweet Treats
For Mom

Every mom has a favorite sweet treat, whether it's a warm bowl of peach cobbler with a scoop of melting ice cream or a thick slice of glazed pound cake or a simple chewy chocolate chip cookie with a glass of milk. These decadent dessert recipes, courtesy of Melissa Murphy, author of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, will satisfy a mom's need for sweets as well as treat the whole family.

Peach Cobbler

Bear's Peach Cobbler

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients for the cobbler topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon whole milk or heavy cream, for glazing

Ingredients for the peach filling:
6 cups peeled, sliced, ripe peaches (bout 3 1/2 pounds)
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Little by little stir in the heavy cream until dough starts to hold together (a bit more cream may be used if needed).

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat dough together to form a round about 1/2-inch thick. Using a lightly floured 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut the dough into 7 to 8 biscuits.

3. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil and refrigerate loosely covered with plastic wrap, while you make the filling or until you are ready to use.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and butter a 2-quart ovenproof deep-dish pan. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil.

5. To make the filling, stir together peach slices, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour peach mixture into prepared dish. Place the biscuits evenly on top of the peach mixture and brush with milk. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

6. Place dish on the lined cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until biscuits are cooked through. Remove to a wire rack to cool before serving. This cobbler should be eaten the day it is baked. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Lemon Walnut Sour Cream Pound Cake

Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and butter and flour a 1 1/2 quart loaf pan.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, sugar and zest, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and extracts and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter in two batches, alternating with the sour cream. Do not overmix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the walnuts, saving some to sprinkle on top.

4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a rack for glazing.

5. To make a glaze, combine sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a high simmer and continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced by half.

6. Using a pastry brush, brush the hot glaze on the still-warm unmolded cake. Brush again, if desired, after 10 minutes. Let cool before slicing. Cake can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. You can also wrap in plastic and foil and freeze for up to 1 month.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Almonds

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted, roughly chopped
8 ounces best quality semi-sweet (58%) chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and vanilla until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another minute.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer of low speed, add flour mixture in three batches to the butter mixture, mixing until no flour is visible after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in almonds and chocolate. Refrigerate dough until firm, about 1 hour. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and divide it in half. Roll each half into a log about 12 inches long. Refrigerate logs for 30 minutes (or tightly wrap in plastic and foil and freeze for up to a month).

5. Cut the logs into 1-inch slices and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes or until the centers no longer have a glossy look of raw dough. They should be chewy so don't overbake. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to three days.

For more delectable desserts by Melissa Murphy, check out her cookbook The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.

And for more mom-worthy dessert recipes, try these:

Let lemons sweeten your spring and summer: Lemony dessert recipes

Mad for mangoes: Summery mango recipes

Naturally sweetened dessert recipes

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