joys of jello cake

Jell-O Crown Jewel Dessert Cake | Mad Men Blog Party & Giveaway

The final mini season of Mad Men starts Sunday night and I’m sadder than Lois Sadler sent back to the switchboard. Not only do I think Mad Men is one of the best shows on television, but the emphasis on good dialogue makes it the perfect kitchen companion — looking up isn’t critical unless Pete and Trudy are doing the Charleston or Roger shows a little cheek. The tinkle of Don’s ice cubes, that satisfying SNAP each time Betty Draper closes her purse, Sally’s lisp turning into sullen teen monotone, the never-ending smarm of Harry Crane, the clacking typewriters, and terrific jazzy score…  Mad Men, you’ve been a true pleasure.

But let’s not leave the 1960s behind just yet, hm? I know I wasn’t ready, so when the lovely and talented Carrie Burrill from Bakeaholic Mama asked if I’d like to participate in a Mad Men Blog Party & Giveaway, I couldn’t resist!

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Two-Layer Brownies | Vintage Recipe (1959)

Few things bring me greater culinary recreational pleasure (yes, that’s a thing) than vintage cookbooks. I love hunting for them in antique stores, thrift shops, and yard sales, and then curling up to time travel through generations of menus. Regional and community cookbooks are my favorite (bonus points if they’re from New England), because I love the complex melting pot of American home cooking, but any vintage cookbook with colorful recipes, interesting anecdotal intros, and charming artwork is enough to turn my head — room on the bookshelf be damned.

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Cherry Peach Slumps with Cinnamon Oatmeal Biscuit Topping

Here we are in the tall cotton season of fresh summer fruits, and I have been making the most of the fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries at the farmers’ market and local organic grocery store. While not technically in season yet, I also picked up a few peaches last weekend to add to a bunch of cherries for a batch of individual slumps with cinnamon oatmeal biscuit topping.

Every year I mean to pick up a cherry pitter, but then I don’t. This year I used a chopstick to get the job done. Whatever works…

While I love fruit mixed into muffins and cakes, when they’re this fresh it’s best to just toss them in some flour and brown sugar, then top them with the crumble, crisp, or biscuit topping of your choice.

If you need some clarification on what distinguishes the difference between slumps, grunts, buckles, crisps, and betty’s check out the post I did for Yankee on Funny Names for Old Fashioned Fruit Desserts.

This could have easily made one big slump, but I opted to use my sunny yellow ramekins for single-sized portions. I added a few spoonfuls of fruit to each ramekin, then let it heat up in the oven before topping it with a heaping spoonful of biscuit dough.

After baking the fruit was bubbling and the biscuit was a golden brown. Time to dig in.

But actually, why stop there? A spoonful of homemade whipped cream brought the whole thing home.

I can’t believe I stopped to take this picture before eating the last bite.

Summer Sunday dessert perfection, and you can modify the recipe to suit whatever fresh summer fruit you have on hand.

Cherry Peach Slumps with Cinnamon Oatmeal Biscuit Topping
Adapted from “Yankee’s B&B and Inn Directory”

Fruit Mixture
3 cups of fruit total, peeled if necessary and cut into even-sized pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Butter for greasing

Cinnamon Oatmeal Biscuits (This will make more batter than you’ll need, but I like having extra to make a bunch of stand-alone biscuits)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup oats
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter melted
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a baking dish or individual ramekins.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine fruit with brown sugar, flour, and ginger. Toss to coat, then spoon into the dish or ramekins and bake for about 10 minutes. If using ramekins place on a foil-lined baking sheet before baking.
  3. While fruit is heating up, combine dry ingredients of oatmeal biscuit mix in medium bowl. Add beaten egg, milk, and melted butter, stirring just until moist. Do not over mix!
  4. Place spoonfuls of biscuit dough evenly over the dish, or one each per ramekin. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar and return to the oven.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until biscuits are lightly golden and fruit is bubbling.
  6. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Click to view and print the recipe for Cherry Peach Slumps with Cinnamon Oatmeal Biscuit Topping