Friday, December 30

Review - {Stollen}

The beginning of this year was rough for me; passing with a flood of tears and confusion. After a breakup in February, Mom picked me up from my apartment with chocolates and tissues waiting for me on the passenger seat of her silver SUV. The next day, Dad listened to me cry over breakfast at Shirley's. Every moment preceding, inbetween and following was filled with help from S, R, H and others; all helping bring out the emotions that would force me overcome my blindness and get through it all.

I thought, at that point, that this would be the worst year of my life, but I was wrong. It's been a year of growing confidence and shedding fears. Taking chances and trusting my gut. I didn't know it until I sat down to write this post, but this has really been a very memorable year for me. Sure, it had it's rough moments, but I wouldn't have changed a thing.


My old roommate, S, and I packed up our cozy apartment in May and went our separate ways. She was headed for law school in DC, and I was headed for Sandusky, Ohio.

I spent the summer on "The Fun Coast" living with 5 strangers-turned-crazy-roommates and chasing wayward Go-Karts around the track in Challenge Park for minimum wage and no respect. I went out dancing with friends and went on a few dates with a cutie from Columbia who spoke English about as well as I speak Spanish (which is not so good ;P). I tried to shed my intense fear of looking like an idiot in front of people I do and do not know, which made dancing fun and dating less scary.

In those months I met and befriended people from all over the world, picked strawberries, hung out at the beach, spent hours in coffee shops and went to bonfires at 2 in the morning.

I got flipped in a canoe with one of my best friends, by one of my best friends.

I had an appearance on the news.

I went camping with R, H and their puppy Kona.


When school started again, I got to leave CP housing for my new apartment in East Lansing. I spent all my free time with S and H; partaking in some combination of cooking, watching movies and shopping every single night and weekend.

Profs increased homework and reading requirements to a whole new level of annoying, meaning I spent more and more time on a couch with piles of textbooks as the semester went on.

In early September, H helped me find a dress to wear to a career fair and gave me enough courage to combat my awkwardness and insecurity to actually make me go. The event was a little scary and I wasn't quite sure what to do, but, in the end, I got the internship I wanted. Huzzah!

Just as winter began to show itself, R and H moved to begin their post-college life on sandy beaches in Florida, leaving S (for now!) and I to freeze our butts on in Michigan.

And now, I'm on break; enjoying a little R & R before I get back to school and catching up on all the things that have gotten away from me over the course of the year. I promise I'm done reminiscing. I dunno if these are highlights or just a little look back, but, either way you spin it... This has been a good year.


Thanks a ton for sticking through it with me. You guys are the best!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Stollen adapted from Poires au Chocolat
Printable Recipe

1/8 c (30 ml) lukewarm water
1 tsp honey
About 4 tsp (13 g) active dry yeast
1/2 c (120 ml) milk, room temp
70 g unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 c (355 g) flour, plus extra for rolling
3/8 c (57 g) brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 egg, room temp
1 vanilla bean, seeds only - pod reserved for another use (such as brewing with your coffee)
2 handfuls (57 g) candied orange peel, to taste (I ended up making my own following the recipe here for candied lemon peel, substituting orange peel and halving it)
2 handfuls (57 g) glace cherries, quartered and to taste
2/3 c (80 g) whole almonds, sliced and to taste
1 egg yolk or a few Tbsp of cream

Combine the lukewarm water and honey in a bowl, then sprinkle over the yeast. Let set five minutes, then stir to dissolve. If the yeast is not foamy, start over and try again.

Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Remove from the burner and allow to cool briefly.

In the meantime, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a the bowl of your mixer. Set aside.

In another small bowl, beat together the eggs and vanilla seeds to combine.

Add the egg mixture, the milk mixture and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with the paddle attachment to combine, about two minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest 10 minutes.

Switch the paddle attachment to the dough hook (or put the dough on a floured surface) and knead for six minutes (8 by hand). The dough should be soft, smooth and not terribly sticky. Add the orange peel, cherries and almonds and knead briefly to combine. Transfer dough to a very big oiled bowl, cover well with plastic wrap and move to the fridge. Let rise overnight.

When you are ready to bake, oil a 9" cake pan or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Remove the dough from the fridge and let warm for about two hours before shaping.

Punch down the dough into one 28"ish by 9"ish rectangle or divide in half and form into two separate 14"ish by 5"ish rectangles. Roll the rectangle(s) tightly to form a snake. Join the ends together as best as you can, pinching to seal. Place the roll into the oiled pan or place both smaller rolls onto the lined sheet. Use scissors to cut incisions around the edge of the wreath. Cover tightly with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until they have nearly doubled in size (I often place the dough in the oven with the heat off and put in a pan of boiling water to speed the process). When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and brush all over with the yolk or cream. If baking one large loaf, bake for 40-45 minutes. Bake the smaller loaves for 30-35 minutes. Either way, rotate the loaves halfway through. They should be a deep brown and sound fairly hollow when knocked on the bottom.

Remove from the rack and let cool.

Quick Glaze

Splash of milk
Powdered sugar
Almond extract
Vanilla extract

Pour the milk into a bowl and add a little powdered sugar at a time, whisking to combine. Add powdered sugar until the glaze is desired thickness, then whisk in extracts.

If you like the glaze thick, pour it on loaves that are completely cooled. For a thinner glaze, pour it on warm loaves.

Tuesday, December 20

Festive - {Gingerbread Cupcakes with Obnoxiously Tiny Gingerbread House Toppers}

Generally speaking, I'm not the festive type. I've always enjoyed the requisite food and general planning that goes into holidays and events, but it's never gone any further than that.

Especially for Christmas.


I don't want to sound like a total grinch here, but after, like, age 7 or 8, I wasn't into the whole putting up a tree thing. Putting up a tree meant taking it down and, frankly, as a kid, it didn't really seem worth it. The way I saw it, the act of trimming a tree was an evil one; the encouraged creation of a mess that I, after having just a few hours to spend discovering and playing with the year's bounty, would be called upon to help clean up. It was a trap. Sure, the tree and other decorations were pretty, but I wasn't about to sit around staring starry-eyed at them. No way! It was cold outside, so the only thing I wanted to stare starry-eyed at was Sonic and Tails side-scrolling their way across our TV.

Even so, with our without the ungrateful help of her kids, Mom's tree went up every year.

... And down some time later.

All that said, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I didn't take an interest in Christmas when I moved out. Christmas in a dorm room is about as festive as a Christmas in a jail cell, so the Christmas of freshman year roused no jolly good cheer in me come December. I made cookies when I got home, but that's just because it was an excuse for my kitchen-deprived self to bake.


Sophomore year was a little different, however. I spent much of break with H, and the degree to which her holiday spirit rubbed off on me was noticeable. She and R bought and decorated their own tree - which turned out beautifully - and even bought a tiny potted fir tree for their kitchen counter. It was festive, and I was finally diggin' it.

So, naturally, I turned to baking to really get me in the spirit of Christmas. Two weeks later, this beast sat on their dining room table.

It felt nice to consciously be a part of the holidays. And it gave me an idea for this year. Instead of going big, I was going to go small. I still don't have a Christmas tree or decorations, but I appreciate them a lot more now than I used to. Oh - and here's a big one: carols are no longer annoying. They're peaceful now, in the right setting (i.e., not my car. That's not my kind of driving music), and have been lacing my kitchen for the past couple days.

It's nice.

I admit it.

I like it.


Christmas isn't going to be a grand and totally decked-out celebration this year, but someday, perhaps when I've got a house and not an apartment, I look forward to that being the case.

No matter how or what you celebrate this holiday season, I hope it's a good one!

Happy Holidays!
Kaitlin

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Obnoxiously Tiny Gingerbread House Toppers
I was SO excited to finally make these. The gingerbread houses are fiddly and kinda stressful, but hang in there. It's fun in the end if you're genuinely excited about trying it!

Printable recipe

Mini Gingerbread Houses inspired by Not Martha, recipe from Baked: Explorations

These mini gingerbread houses take a lot of time to make. If you don't feel up to it, make cute little cutouts instead like Sweetapolita did earlier this week! You can even skip the cupcake part and eat these alone. They're fabulous!

Makes 12 gingerbread houses or 18-24 2"-3" cookies

Printable template

2 c (284 g) flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp (29 g) butter, room temp.
2 Tbsp (26 g) vegetable shortening
3/8 c (55 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
5/8 c (148 ml) molasses
1/6 c (39 ml) very hot water
1 Tbsp + 1 3/4 tsp dark rum

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and shortening until well combine and no clumps remain. Add the sugars and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the molasses. Continue mixing until the batter is uniformly colored.

Pour in 1/3 of the flour mixture, and mix just to incorporate, being sure to scrape the bowl. Add half of the hot water and mix again. Repeat until all the flour and water have been added, ending with the flour. Add the rum and mix briefly to combine.

Divide the dough into two halves and pour each half onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Form each into a circle about 1/2" thick, then wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 3 hours before you even think about rolling it.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment and take half of the dough out of the fridge. Dust the aluminum foil/parchment paper liberally with flour, and begin rolling out the dough, using flour to ensure it does not stick to the pin. Move the dough around often to be sure it isn't sticking, and roll the dough to a little thinner than 1/4" thick. Place the rolled dough in the freezer, and repeat the process with the second half of the dough.

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.

When the rolled dough is very cold and firm, use the attached template to cut out rows of the pieces. For 12 houses, you will need 24 sides, 12 of each roof piece, 12 fronts with doors and 12 backs without doors. I baked the pieces without moving anything after cutting, and it worked quite well for me, but they did need trimming. After cutting as many pieces as you can from the first sheet of dough, return it to the freezer and cut the remaining pieces from the second sheet of dough. Once all of the pieces have been cut, bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes (if baking 2"-3" cookies, bake 8-10 minutes), or until set. Remove from the oven and use a knife to go over the cut lines/trim again before the cookies get too hard. Cool to room temp, then separate.

Royal Icing

1 egg white
1 1/2 c (235 g) powdered sugar, more if needed

Put the egg white in the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle over about 1/2 c of powdered sugar. Beat on low speed to combine, then add a little more sugar. Continue this until all of the sugar has been added, then whip on high speed for about five minutes. If the icing seems like it would be hard to pipe nice clean lines with, add a little more sugar. If not, get ready for construction!

Gingerbread House Assembly

To build, lay the front of a house flat on your work surface. Pipe a line on either side, then stack the sides on. Pipe a line on the top of each side, then press on the back of the house. You may let these set for awhile to stiffen up if you like, or simply turn them upright and glue on the roof.

For the roofs, pipe a line of icing across both the front and back peaks of the house. Put the short roof piece on one side of the peak, then pipe a line of frosting on its highest side. Top with the last (longer) piece of the roof. Frost with remaining frosting and dust with crushed candy canes, if desired. Allow to set, uncovered, until hard. About 5 hours.

Gingerbread Cupcakes adapted from Cupcakes by Susanna Tee
This cookbook kinda scares me a bit. The measurements in it are translated from metric and they're kinda loose and odd, and there was no salt or vanilla in the recipe. The last two aren't necessary, but I happen to like them a lot. I'm sharing the recipe here as I did it. The other two recipes I've tried from it weren't too great, but I do like this one. They're not super gingerbread-y though, so don't be expecting something super warm and cozy in terms of tastes. I like to think of it as gingerbread lite ;)

Makes 1 dozen

3/4 c (106g)flour
2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp milk, room temp
3/4 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp (85 g) butter, room temp
1/3 c (50 g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/2" fresh ginger, finely grated
2 Tbsp molasses
2 eggs, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325F/160C and line one cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the milk and baking soda (why? I dunno. This just somehow seemed like something I shouldn't change). Set aside.

Place the butter, brown sugar and grated ginger in the bowl of your mixer and cream together until light, about five minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the molasses. Beat to combine. Scrape the bowl again and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until very well incorporated before adding the next (at this point in time, my batter curdled and I couldn't bring it back together. It baked up just fine, so no worries if it happens to you).

Pour in 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Add half the milk/soda mixture, and mix just to combine. Repeat this process, ending with dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake for 20 minutes without opening the door. After 20 minutes, press gently on the top of a cupcake. If it springs back quickly, they're done. If not, bake 3-5 minutes longer. Remove cupcakes from tins and cool on a rack.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!

2/3 c (131 g) sugar
3 egg whites
10 Tbsp (142 g) butter, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a double boiler, cook the egg whites and sugar over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it's completely smooth, it's done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-low speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. The buttercream may turn into a soupy curdled mess during this process, but if you continue beating it for a few minutes it will become light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

Assembly
Gather up your:

Gingerbread Houses
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Take a cooled cupcake and slather on a healthy layer of buttercream. Top with a gingerbread house and pipe on a little snowman, if desired. Use a skewer or toothpick to scrape on a path too, if you like!

Optional: serve to sweet coworkers and be super stoked about how excited they get :D

Sunday, December 11

Treat - {Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake}

Over the summer, I spent a lot of time in a coffee shop in the historic downtown of Sandusky, Ohio. At the time, I was living Cedar Point's employee housing with five other girls. We had neither air conditioning nor the ability to make the amount of ice necessary for the six of us to function on a day-to-day basis, so going out during the day was simply the way I adapted to survive.


Fortunately for me, my favorite haunt had fair prices. I'd hunker down with an over-sized and iced cup of whatever about three times a week at one of their tables, chatting up strangers while goosebumps appeared over my tired and oft weeping skin. The sound of the ice sloshing around in my plastic cup alone was well-worth the $3.50ish they charged for a drink. Calculated out, it would only take 28 minutes on the clock in the blistering sun to earn back the cost of that relief, so I couldn't justify denying myself such a simple treat. It's very American of me, I know, but I friggin' needed that iced whatever, ok? With it came Wi-Fi, peace, companionship if I wanted it and a break from that God-awful Cedar Point housing.

I almost felt like I was robbing the place.

But, fast forward to today, and going out for a drink - a non-alcoholic one - seems so lavish and unnecessary that just the very thought of doing so makes me feel guilty.

That $3.50 could pay for 2.8% of a book for next semester. Or a little over an hour to park on campus. Or laundry. Or food.

Yes, I know that $3.50's not a lot of money, but the thought of "wasting" it on a frou-frou indulgence like a fancy coffee that I am totally capable of making on my own for less is hard to fathom.


So instead of stopping at a local joint on my way home from work or class, I drop my bag at the door and brew my own pot of coffee (or pawn some off S now that dearest H has moved away with her single-serve coffee maker). Maybe I'll heat up some soy milk and whisk it to a foam on the stove. Perhaps I'll tip in an extract or spoil myself with a splash of cream. Whatever the method, my most favorite mug is filled and I'm on my way to the next thing on my list: class, work, homework... Whatever.

Momentarily I'll be pleased with myself; having not yet mastered the art of garnishing my brew with designs, my drinks may be plain, but they're also custom made to suit my tastes. For mere cents, I've created a fancy pants cup of whatever. Huzzah.

But, as I've recently realized, it never comes close to what I get from a coffee shop. Taste, of course, comes close, but the trouble is that I can't enjoy my drinks quite so much at home. Surrounded by books and laundry and occasional disorder, curling up to relax with a latte on my couch (yes, I own one now) just... Can't happen.

And so, with this realization, I've come to accept the fact that going out for coffee is worth the $3ish every once in awhile. It's not quite a need like I was convinced it was over the summer, but it's certainly a want that I'm comfortable allowing myself if the undeniable urge rears its head.


Because sometimes, especially during finals week, it's fair to treat yo'self.

Wouldn't you agree?

P.S. Fear not parents - I'm not gonna blow tons of money on coffee!

P.P.S. Also, I love you guys:)

Sweet and Salty Cake via Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
This cake is definitely a labor of love. But, for me, it was as much of a treat to make as it was to eat! I've made this cake 3 times and it gets better and better with each bite. To make a four layer cake, I halved only the cake recipe and poured it into two 6" pans, then cut each in half before assembling.

Printable Recipe

Salted Caramel

1/4 c (60 ml) water
1/2 c (100 g) sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 c (60 ml) heavy cream
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/8 c (30 ml) sour cream

Combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan with tall sides, stirring to combine. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture reaches 350F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cream and salt. Bring to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the cream from the heat and set aside.

When the caramel has reached 350F, remove it from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add half of the hot cream to the caramel (it will bubble) and whisk quickly to combine. Add the remaining half and whisk to combine. Whisk in sour cream.

Cool the caramel completely and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Whipped Caramel Ganache

1/4 c (60 ml) water
1 c (100 g) sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 lb (454 g) dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 c (180 ml) heavy cream
2 c (473 g) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool

Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan with tall sides, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the mixture reaches 350F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

In another small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the caramel mixture has reached 350F, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add half of the hot cream to the caramel and whisk to combine. Carefully whisk in the remaining caramel and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Place the chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour the slightly cooled caramel sauce over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. Slowly begin stirring the mixture, but hand, from the center out until the chocolate is melted and smoothed.

Attach bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and run on low until the bottom of the bowl is room temperature when touched from the outside. Add butter and increase speed to medium-high, beating until mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

3/4 c (67 g) cocoa powder
1 1/4 c (296 ml) water, hot
2/3 c (156 ml) sour cream
2 2/3 (378 g) c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c (177 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c (104 g) vegetable shortening
1 1/2 c (300 g) granulated sugar
1 c dark (142 g) brown sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 Tbsp pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F. Oil and line three 8" x 2" round cake pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, water and sour cream. Set them aside to cool, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

In another large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Fit your electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat the butter and shortening together until very smooth, about 7 minutes. Add both the brown sugar and white sugar, then continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 additional minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat each until very well incorporated before adding the next, scraping the bowl often. Add the vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Divide the batter evenly (using a scale, if you like!) among the three prepared pans. Bake until the cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan on a rack, then de-pan and cool to room temp. For the sake of trimming the cakes, I like to refrigerate the layers, well wrapped in plastic wrap, immediately after removing them from the pan. If you're not too worried about crumbs, feel free to skip that step.

Assembly

Salted Caramel
Whipped Caramel Ganache
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of cakes to make them level. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using half of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake. Top the caramel with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Add the second layer of cake on top and repeat the process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer with the bottom side on top. Frost the entire cake with the remaining ganache and garnish with fleur de sel.

Sunday, December 4

Too - {Peach Crumble}

I've been treating my feet like garbage lately, a fact which is evident by the blistered skin on my heels and the cuts on their tops.

Hours in various shoes that are various degrees of too loose, too tight, too something have taken their toll, and I've been paying for it dearly.


As such, I'm barefoot, this evening, with a paring knife in one hand and a peach in the other. Relieved of its skin, the juicy orb slices easily - half-awakened from a deep sleep in the freezer. It's one of many harvested earlier this year, and was delicately plucked just prior to becoming too soft to handle. And it - along with many siblings - had been taking up far too much space in the chill chest for far too long.

And so it was time to fall - gently tossed with a hint of brown sugar, a sprinkling of salt, some vanilla seeds and some flour - into a too small cast iron pan. Thereafter to be - naturally - topped with what could - perhaps - be considered too much buttery crumb topping.

Somehow, even after a day that had felt too long since the moment I woke up, it felt relaxing to be there, on my too worn feet, in the kitchen over that pan. To be slicing, wearing thing crosshatches into the pad of my thumb with that paring knife.

And why?

Because I was creating, loosely and without a guide, for me, after too long.


This is abrupt, dear readers, but my best friend moved away last week. The day before I made this too simple dessert to bring to dinner with them because it was all I had the time and means to conjure up.

I didn't make a fuss over it then and I don't mean to now, but I wanted to make sure she and her boyfriend had something sweet as a sort of send off.

Sometimes I feel that I give food too much meaning, but it was comforting to dish this completely ordinary crumble out to my friends because I knew it'd make them happy even if it wasn't extravagant or close to my best work. Our four tiny bowls made their way into the living room and our four tiny bowls left; completely emptied of their contents but garnished now with sweet thanks and kind compliments.

The crumble: too ordinary, too simple and too common; was a perfect symbol for the too relaxed, too unstructured and too enjoyable hours we'd all spent together since we met.


It was simple and comforting, just like - as mushy as it sounds - our friendship will always be.

Peach Crumble
Printable Recipe

Crumble Topping via Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented

I requested crumble recipes via Twitter last week because I've been unhappy with results from recipes I've used in the past. After a little while spent studying the recipes I received, I realized I was actually after a recipe for the top of a cake with a crumb topping! So, yes, this topping is technically for a crumb cake, but it's lovely here. Feel free to sub with your favorite crumble recipe! I'll be doing some experimenting of my own on the front soon, I hope!

1/2 c (71 g) brown sugar
1/4 c (50 g) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c (118 g) butter, melted
1 1/4 c (177 g) flour

Combine the sugars, salt, nutmeg and butter. Mix well, then fold in the flour just until no white streaks remain. Set aside while you prepare the filling.

Peach Filling
I took a bunch of notes while I made the filling so I could post accurate measurements here, but you don't need to adhere strictly to them. Use what you've got in the ratios you like!

2 lbs 9 oz peaches; peeled, pitted and sliced
5 Tbsp (43 g) flour
3 Tbsp (25 g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds only - save the pod for another use
Crumb Topping (recipe above)

Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.

Mix all ingredients together and mound in a 6" cast iron pan (or other vessel). Break off small chunks of the crumb topping and place all over the top of the peach filling. Place your chosen baking vessel on top of the foil-lined pan (to catch drips) and bake the crumble for about an hour, until the top is golden. Serve warm or cooled.