August can be a bit hot and sticky in London. I’m a bit disappointed that for a variety of reasons (primarily that we’re saving our vacation time for a family wedding in October and a long trip back to the US at Thanksgiving), we’re not going to be able to take a week’s beach vacation with my family the way we normally do.
I love those weeks – all of us cooking together, relaxing by the water (although I will inevitably resemble a lobster, with my overcooked red flesh!), but since I love baking, I will almost inevitably force my family to include baking pans and an ice cream maker in our massive carload of luggage. It’s just not a relaxing beach vacation without a fresh plate of chocolate chip cookies for relaxing by the pool or some juicy blueberry muffins to start my day.
In her new cookbook, Lei Shishak of the Sugar Blossom Bakery in San Clemente, California, was inspired by the laid back beach atmosphere of her hometown and draws inspirations from the tastes and ingredients of warm, waterfront California to create Beach House Baking. I will note, however, that these are more recipes with a beach feel than a pool of recipes to draw upon with a limited pantry (I know when I visit a beach house, the first thing I do is visit the local supermarket for staples like flour, sugar and baking powder.) Unusually for a baking book, there are quite a few dessert recipes, which would definitely come in handy at the beach with a large group of family and friends. As an ice cream lover, was also excited to see so many ice cream recipes – nothing is more perfect on a hot day when you run inside with sandy hair.
I’d recommend this one for people who feel inspired by surf and breeze and want some recipes with a decidedly summery bent.
Andes Mint Biscotti (from Beach House Baking)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 box of Andes mints