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Archive for June, 2010

pass the scones please!

“i’ve just been stuffing it into my face too fast to say anything”

this week it’s scones. i’ve wanted to try making these ever since my sister anna pointed out a recipe to me in a cookbook we both own. she also continues to rave over starbucks and panera scones pretty much every time i see her….so to get them out of my head…it was inevitable…i needed to make them.

even though i had a recipe already, i wanted to check a few of my favorite sources for ideas before moving forward….smitten kitchen boasted “These scones are the height of scone perfection”…how could i not try this version? after a google/blog search i ended up with about five variations on scone recipes but narrowed it down to two. martha stewart’s blueberry scones…and smitten kitchen’s dreamy cream scones (with cinnamon chips instead of cranberries)

well you already know i love cinnamon. i was inspired by the cinnamon chip scone at panera to do some research on some cinnamon options – since all i had found so far were fruit scones. this is how i discovered cinnamon chips! not the sugary chips you get at taco bueno….but cinnamon chips….much like chocolate chips….oooh the possibilities.

lets start with the cinnamon chip scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter – cut into 5 cubes
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
1 cup heavy cream

preheat your oven to 425.

sift your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. cut in cubes of butter with a pastry blender until the flour mixture resembles course meal with butter lumps about the size of peas. stir in cinnamon chips.

make a well in your flour mixture and pour in heavy cream and mix together with a fork or a rubber spatula until dough forms. transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few more times making sure you get in all the crumbs that want to stay behind in the bowl.

i lightly floured a 6×6 pan and patted the dough into the pan. first i cut the dough into 9 squares and then cut the squares diagonally so i would end up with 18 small scones. i then turned the pan over onto an ungreased baking sheet and separated the triangles for baking. the other option would be to roll the dough out and use biscuit cutters to make the scones….but that seemed a little too time intensive.

bake for 10-15 minutes until tops are golden brown. transfer to cooling rack and brush or drizzle on glaze if you feel like a little extra sweet (which i did).

glaze:
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of water

blueberry scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs

preheat to 400

again…sift your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. cut in cubes of butter with a pastry blender until the flour mixture resembles course meal with butter lumps about the size of peas. stir in zest and blueberries. i actually used frozen berries.

mix together cream and lightly beaten eggs. make a well in your flour mixture and pour in egg/cream and mix together with a fork or a rubber spatula until dough forms. transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few more times making sure you get in all the crumbs.

frozen berries may have been a mistake…or maybe fresh berries would have been just as wild….but yeesh…this dough was very messy and i can’t even imagine trying to roll it out and cut it opposed to pressing it in the pan to cut into triangles. i was beginning to think this go was a complete disaster, but popped them in the oven regardless.

these bake a little longer – 20-25 minutes.

once golden, transfer to cooling rack and add glaze if you prefer…(again…i did)

for the blueberry glaze:

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of water

both recipes were a success. cinnamon chips?!….yum! blueberries and lemon zest?! um…yum! lemon zest being the extra plus there!

time wise…the first recipe seemed to be a bit smoother, but that may have been because i wasn’t messing with blueberries.

both recipes were sweet…but not too sweet. keri commented, “it’s the perfect balance between the biscuity ones and the cookie ones.” not too soft, but not too crunchy and dry. let’s be honest, though….did we really think smitten kitchen and martha stewart would steer us the wrong way? no!

i’m gonna have to say, i’m a fan of the scone. it’s easy to make, you don’t need too many ingredients or too much time…and it gives you an excuse to put a little heavy whipping cream in your coffee (since it’s on hand). that being said…i should probably find an excuse to make a few more batches to give away so that won’t be a temptation anymore :)

-L

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coming soon….

to a scone near you…

i didn’t know these existed….did you?! thanks central market

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…sigh…

remember when i moved and forgot to empty out that drawer in the kitchen….you know, the half sized drawer to the left of the oven….that was home to all my baking utensils. sigh. (small tear) and yes, yes….i went back to my old apartment as soon as i realized the mistake i had made…they graciously let me back in to see if perhaps everything was still safe and sound….but alas….that kind of luck doesn’t usually follow me around :) someone made a fortunate find…and i hope they are enjoying some cookies…or a slice of pie this very moment.

last night began “project restock.” the danger of this project is finding all the fun tools i didn’t even own before….but want to justify a need for now that i know they exist. my wish list has grown beyond the tools i previously owned…..t-r-o-u-b-l-e. shopping for bakeware utensils is fun and sparks the imagination….but it’s also dangerous. do i need a flour wand?!?….no. but it’s pretty….and how lovely would my mom’s buns be with a light dusting of flour?!?….very. :)

even the salesman at Williams-Sonoma saw an opportunity when i explained my moving woes and his first suggestions was….”so you probably need a scale then, huh?!”  heehee…thanks, but i think i’ll stick with the $10 pastry blender that i actually need instead of the $50 scale….but A for effort on the up-sale sir!

thanks to Williams-Sonoma and Martha Stewart i am now back in business with a pastry blender, a fluted pastry wheel, a rolling-pin, biscuit cutters and a cooling rack….more to come…but on a different paycheck…this should do for now :)

– L

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cream wafers!

“at first I thought that was ham in the middle”

“it looks like spam”

“it looks like a flattened vienna sausage”

“is that silly putty in the middle?”

i bet you are sooo excited to make this recipe. haha well, it’s not a lunchable and it’s definitely not silly putty. but i can see how one might think so. it’s actually a butter cookie with vanilla cream in the middle. however, the cream does look a little ham’ish because i failed at mixing the food coloring. i should have just left it alone or called in stephen to mix it for me. he’s much better at mixing color than i am. so, here’s how to make this sweet little treat.

the wafer

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

sugar (no specific amount, see directions)

the creamy filling

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

food color, if desired

first step. mix your flour, butter and whipping cream with a spoon until well blended. it will begin to feel like dough, then cover it and place it in the fridge for about an hour or until it starts to feel a little firm. in the meantime, go ahead and mix all of your creamy filling ingredients together. then put it into the fridge so that it stiffens up like icing. while you are still waiting for your dough to chill, grab a cookie sheet and some wax paper. cut the paper to fit on top of the cookie sheet and sprinkle sugar all over the paper. now that your dough is chilled, roll it out a little bit at a time, keeping the dough you aren’t currently rolling in the fridge to keep it cold. now start cutting out your rolled dough. i used a round cookie cutter that was about 1.5″ in diameter. once cut out, place the cookies on the top of the sugar you just sprinkled. flip the cookies over so that you cover both sides. once covered in sugar, transfer the cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet. once you’ve gotten all of your cookies on the sheet, take a fork and prick the top of the cookies 3 to 4 times, creating a dimpled effect. place in the oven and bake @ 375 for 7-9 minutes, until they are set and not browned. once these are finished baking let them cool completely. once cool grab your icing. spread maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of icing on the bottom of one cookie, then sandwich with another cookie. tah-dah! you now have cream wafers that hopefully don’t have flesh tone icing!!!!!!! these really are a great little cookie, however don’t forget they are mostly made of butter. so you might not want to pig out on these! – b

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growing season…

i’m pretty excited about the daisies growing away on my porch.

i feel like this is a season of my life that God is growing me as well….and it might take a while to see where this is headed….or see the beginnings of bloom….but all i can do is wait patiently and take in the sun and trust in the ways my life is being watered and tilled – which are really out of my control.

there will be sunlight, water, bugs, and storms. my hope isn’t in the bloom…cause even though it will be beautiful….it will eventually wither away. my job isn’t to live for each and every bloom….but to live from bloom to bloom….in growing and in withering as well. to be content and joyful for each stage that God has brought me to.

i’m excited to see where these daisies will go!

-L

1 timothy 6:6 but godliness with contentment is great gain.

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breakfast puffs

“it’s like a cakey donut made by angels”

there are daisies growing on my porch and breakfast puffs with a side of coffee to start out this monday morning….now that’s the right foot to start a week on.

last week was moving week and i’ve been trying to get to my new kitchen for about a week now…plowing through boxes and getting everything put away in its proper cabinet/drawer. i had unrealistic plans of baking this for bethany to enjoy before she skipped town in my two day window of B time last week…but my apartment moving woes had other ideas. unfortunately B isn’t here to try out this tasty treat…but it won’t be their last appearance…no worries.

in searching for a recipe i fell on two that intrigued me…..both topped with cinnamon….one was less challenging and time consuming…..i’ll let you imagine which recipe i picked :)

ingredients:

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

topping:
6 tablespoons butter/margarine, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pre-heat the oven to 350

cream together shortening, sugar and egg in mixer. combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and sift into sugar mixture – alternate sifting in dry ingredients with pouring in the milk. I used skim milk – cause that’s what I always have on hand….but i think it would be interesting to taste the difference between skim and whole milk.

pour mixture (or more like scoop mixture) into greased muffin cups – filling about two-thirds full. bake at 350…my magic number was 25 minutes. you’re looking for golden brown tops.

while baking – melt the butter/margarine in one bowl and mix together sugar and cinnamon in another.

ALSO while baking…..clean up that kitchen! my mom always told me…clean while you wait! that way once it’s time to enjoy your treat…you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after yourself! (that’s a mama tip for free)

let the puffs cool for a few minutes before removing from pan (so you don’t burn your fingers)….and then roll in butter and then cinnamon-sugar. best served warm.

i actually doubled the recipe…because i assumed the 15 puffs the recipe said i would end up with…wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the hungry “case of the monday’s” coworkers.

when i was mixing the ingredients i noticed the mixture had more fluff to it than a typical muffin mix…hence the name “puff” i’m sure! they did have that cake donut kind of texture – more airy than a muffin….but also not so sweet it makes your jaw cringe a little like a donut does.

one coworker noted that the small size was good since they had that cakey taste but with no icing….that you weren’t getting too much of that cake taste and longing for icing to go with it. i just used a regular muffin pan….but i think that using a mini muffin pan would be even better.

and also….don’t forget to grease your pans….i lost three little puffs cause i guess i was in too much of a rush this morning…and that’s just a shame for them….poor little buddies not getting to live out their glory days and fulfill their tasty treat duties.

this was a success in my book! – L

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sorry for the late posting. i’ve been out of town the past week and a half and have had little access to a computer. my apologies. good thing we are early on in our blog adventure, maybe no one will notice how behind i am. in time i’ll get better, i promise. at least all of laura’s post will be on time. she’s the best and has her s together! anyway, last week i tried a new recipe. lime cheesecake. it’s a pretty easy recipe, which i enjoy very much and i only made one alterations, but first here is what you will need.

preheat @ 35o and bake for 50 minutes

cheesecake;
2lbs of cream cheese (4, eight ounce bars)

1 1/4 cups sugar or no calorie sweetner

2 1/2 T fresh lime juice

2 T grated lime peel

1 pinch of salt

4 eggs

crust;

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar or no calorie sweetener

3 T butter, melted

so, i made the crust first. i melted 3 T butter and added it to my mixture of graham cracker and sugar. i didn’t feel like it was enough. i feared that my crust would crumble too much with such a little amount, so i doubled it. plus you can never have too much butter if you ask me. :D once that’s all mixed up and the crumbs start to stick together, then you pat it down into the bottom of your 10″ spring form pan. set it off to the side. now for the really good stuff. thaw out your cream cheese a few minutes by setting them on the counter. once soft, blend your 4 bricks of cream cheese and sugar together until they’re smooth. (not in a blender of course, that would be awful. use your trusty mixer) did i mention i’m really bad at explaining things, bare with me. :D ok, back to it. so you’ve blended your cream cheese and sugar together.  then i grated my lime rind and added it to the lime juice i measured out. now add that to your cream cheese and sugar, followed by a pinch of salt. just a pinch, so that’s less than an 1/8 teaspoon. don’t get crazy!!! ok, now for the fun part. once that’s all mixed up, add one full egg, mix until blended and so on, adding eggs one at a time blending after each addition. p.s. I always crack my eggs one at a time into a separate bowl to make sure i don’t get any shell in it before i dump it into everything else. ok, so now the cheese cake part is done and you are ready to poor it onto your crust, in your spring form pan.  and it’s ready for baking. cook time is 50 minutes.

while my cheese cake was baking i decided to pack for my trip. unfortunately in being so preoccupied with packing, i never checked on the progress of my little cheesecake. the buzzer went off and the top of my cheese cake was golden brown. a little too golden for my liking so i decided to shave the top part of my cheese cake off. yikes. it wasn’t pretty. but i’m convinced it looked better without the golden layer so whatever. in the end so long as people love it and think  it tastes delicious i’m fine with it being unattractive. stay tuned. i’ll have pics up tomorrow and you can be the one to judge whether this sucker was ugly or not! haha oh and yes, my co-workers enjoyed this cheesecake and loved that it was lime. so in my book, that’s a success. see you next week with a new recipe!

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