June 27, 2017

Blackberry Chocolate Fig Bars

Sweet berries, mission figs, and dark chocolate come together in sweet harmony in these blackberry chocolate fig bars – an indulgent treat that’s gooey in all the right places and bursting with complex flavor.

Blackberry Chocolate Fig Bars via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

While I typically think of fresh figs as an end of summer/early fall treat, I spotted some at Whole Foods this week, and naturally a dainty basket of delicate, deeply purple Mission figs made their way into my cart.

While those plump, fresh beauties were destined to be stuffed with soft goat cheese and wrapped in translucent prosciutto before baking to caramelized nirvana, they inspired me to dig through the back of my baking cabinet for some dried figs, which I combined with fresh, juicy Marion blackberries, deep dark chocolate, and a sweet oat cookie crumble to make these indulgent blackberry chocolate fig bars.

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June 23, 2017

Strawberry Basil Sodas

Fizzy and floral strawberry basil sodas combine sweet macerated strawberries with fresh basil leaves for a flavorful and refreshing mocktail you’ll want to sip on all Summer long.

Strawberry Basil Sodas via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

The hubby unexpectedly had the morning off from work yesterday, and as if getting the chance to enjoy a leisurely breakfast together wasn’t enough, he offered to take me on a strawberry picking date.

Mere moments after he uttered the words, shoes were on, keys and camera were in hand, and we were headed to Picha Farms, a third generation u-pick berry (and pumpkin) farm, in the farm-dotted countryside about a half hour east of us.

We picked just a few pints worth (this took extreme restraint) of petite scarlet berries, so ripe that by the time we got back home I knew they needed to make their way into a recipe, stat.

Too hot to turn on the oven, I thought the little red beauties, mixed with some sugar, vanilla, and fresh basil from the garden, would make a perfect addition to the sparkling water I drink all Summer long.

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June 21, 2017

Sweet Cherry Almond Tart (gf)

Sweet dark cherries combine with crumbly almond shortbread in this cherry almond tart, for a spectacularly simple and crowd-pleasing Summer dessert.

Sweet Cherry Almond Tart (gf) via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

To celebrate the solstice, and kick off the start of Summer, I made you a sweet cherry almond tart, something sweet to eat while you lap up these extra golden hours of daylight. The sun didn’t set until like nine thirty last night (!) – still haven’t gotten used to that.

Not only has this tart become one of my favorite recipes, but it highlights one of our regional, seasonal specialties: sweet cherries.

Sweet Cherry Almond Tart (gf) via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

Washington growers expect a record sweet cherry crop this year, and as if to prove the point, our farmers markets are even more overflowing than usual with big bins of dark ruby beauties.

I’ve been bringing home about a pound a week, most of them just for snacking, but in the last few weeks, the leftovers have made their way into a cherry pie, spooned atop a chocolate amaretto cake, and swirled with sugar and vanilla to fill this simple and rustic cherry almond tart.

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