Blueberry Scones

April 26, 2010

I think I am going to call these, “oh my gosh they’re so good” blueberry scones because that’s what I said when I tasted one after I baked them today. Seriously the best scone I’ve ever had. I really don’t have much else to say about them except that my mouth is still watering thinking about them and I need to stop typing this and go eat another one! Or maybe I’ll go wrap them up before I lose all control and take them to work tomorrow. These are almost too good to share. So flaky, so buttery…Go make them! I don’t know why I waited so long!

Blueberry Scones
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
makes 8 scones

  • 8 Tablespoons cold butter, plus more for brushing
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, frozen

Grate the butter on the large holes of a box grater, and freeze.

Preheat oven to 425, and combine the dry ingredients.  Stir in frozen butter.  Whisk together the sour cream and whole milk, and stir into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until just combined.  The dough will be crumbly, but that’s okay.

Turn out onto a well-floured surface, and knead a few times.  Roll out into a 12×12 inch square.  Using a bench scraper, fold the dough into thirds, then fold into thirds again in the opposite direction to form a square.  Roll the dough out into a 12×12 inch square again, and refold.  Place on a well-floured plate, and freeze for 5 minutes.

Roll out to a 12×12 inch square for a final time, and press the blueberries into the dough in a single layer.  Carefully roll up, as you would cinnamon rolls.  Press the roll into a 4-inch wide rectangle.  Using the bench scraper, cut into 4 rectangles.  Then cut each rectangle diagonally to make 2 triangles.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  At this point the scones can be baked or refrigerated overnight.  Brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 18-25 minutes, or until golden-brown.

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Lunch is the most difficult meal of the day for me. I always seem to eat the same old things and it tends to get boring. I don’t like to spend a lot of time making lunch so I like to find things that are easy to make. So, as I started to make myself a pb and j for lunch today, I saw some ciabatta rolls that I picked up yesterday sitting on the counter. I thought to myself, “hmm what could I make with those for lunch?” Then I remembered I had bought some tomatoes yesterday, too and I had some basil growing outside. So I toasted up this beautiful sandwich in just a few minutes and it was delicious. I don’t know if there’s anything I love more than crunchy and chewy bread and melted cheese. So much better than a pb and j.

Tomato and Basil Sandwich on Ciabatta

1-2 thin slices tomato
3 leaves of basil, washed and dried
2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella or 1 slice fresh mozzarella
ciabatta rolls or sliced ciabatta bread
extra virgin olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice your ciabatta roll in half and place on a baking sheet. Place 1-2 thin slices of tomato on the bottom half of the sandwich. Top with the basil leaves and then the mozzarella. Drizzle the olive oil over both sides of the sandwich. Add a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper on top of the mozzarella. Bake for 10-12 minutes to toast the bread. Remove from the oven and place the top half of the sandwich on the bottom half. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and place back in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Bread

August 21, 2008

 Mmmmmmmmmmm! That was the sound I made this morning when I took my first bite of this blueberry bread. Ok, so it wasn’t my first bite. I taste tested it last night after I baked it to be sure it was good. But it was even better this morning than I remembered. I guess something about it sitting over night and soaking up that sweet lemony glaze. Normally I don’t eat stuff like this for breakfast. That’s normally the one meal of the day I reserve for being healthy (ha). But well I had some blueberries just sitting there, staring at me, waiting to have something done with them so I thought, what the heck. I had already done muffins and pie so when I saw this recipe, my heart skipped a beat and my mouth watered all day just thinking about it. The recipe went together very quickly and the results were amazing. It’s not an overly sweet bread and sort of has the taste and consistency of pound cake but with little bursts of blueberries mixed in. So I guess it’s not too bad for breakfast and it would be great as a treat with coffee for dessert. But DO make the glaze for it. I considered skipping that part but it only takes about 5 more minutes to do the glaze and it really adds something to the bread.

Lemon Blueberry Bread Recipe:

1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)

1/2 cup (120 ml) milk

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:

1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (use the real stuff, not the bottled kind–you will be able to taste it in this recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inch) (23 x 13 x 8 cm). Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup (66 grams) of sugar and the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with the hot lemon glaze. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf.

Source: Joy of Baking

 

Pancakes

July 29, 2008

In case any of you didn’t know, the other loves in my life other than my husband and cooking, are my two silly Pembroke Corgis, Tag and Riley. I’ve had Tag since he was just a tiny puppy of nine weeks old. Despite being a holy terror the first year of his life, he’s also the sweetest, most inquisitive little dog you’ve ever seen. He’s the reason I fell in love with Corgis. So about a year ago, we got Riley, who was two and a half at the time. She’s also as sweet as can be, but has a totally different personality than Tag.

No one in our area really has Corgis, let alone knows what they are, so I was surprised when the tech at our vet’s office told me she had Corgis growing up. She asked me if had ever read Corgiville Fair by Tasha Tudor. I had no idea there were any books written about Corgis so I was immediately interested. I found the book online along with Corgiville Christmas and also a cookbook by the same author. I thought the books would be really cute to have to read to my future children (oh who am I kidding…they’re for me!), so I put them all on my Christmas list last year.

I decided yesterday morning that I wanted to make some pancakes for breakfast. Instead of going online to look up a recipe I decided to pull out my cookbooks and find a recipe. I opened up my Tasha Tudor cookbook, which contains many of her family recipes, and is also beautifully illustrated by the way, and found this recipe for pancakes. They turned out really good! The recipe didn’t make quite as many as it stated but that could have been because I like my pancakes big. ; P

Waffles or Pancakes

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 farm-fresh eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Sift into a bowl the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Beat the eggs lightly in a second mixing bowl. Stir in the milk and the melted butter. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and blend.

To make pancakes, spoon the batter onto a hot, greased griddle or skillet. When the tops are bubbly, turn them and cook the other side until nicely brown. Place the pancakes on a warm plate and serve immediately.

To make waffles, spoon the batter into a preheated waffle iron. The waffles will be cooked when steam no longer rises from the waffle iron. Serve immediately on warm plates.

Makes 14 4-inch pancakes or 6 waffles.

The Tasha Tudor Cookbook, page 39

And here’s a picture of my little rascals…just because they’re so darn cute.

Baking with Berries

July 15, 2008

One of my favorite things about summer is fresh berries. Whenever you pick them up at the grocery store or farmer’s market you can almost be sure they will be sweet and juicy. Buy them any other time of the year, and they just aren’t the same. And with all these fresh berries comes the urge to bake something with them. A very nice customer of mine from work brought in bags of blueberries on Saturday. He and his wife grow them, and they decided they had too many to use so were kind enough to share with all of us. I only had a little over a cup so I decided I wanted to make some blueberry muffins. I had heard good things about this recipe on a couple other blogs so decided to give it a try. And the results? Well, I had two for breakfast. I guess that’s enough said. I thought these might be a little too sweet with the crumb topping but turns out, they are perfect!

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Source: All Recipes

Breakfast or Dessert?

June 23, 2008

I’m pretty sure this recipe might be on the list of the seven deadly sins. But in this case if it’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Really, it could be more of a dessert with all it’s brown sugary yumminess, but I decided to make this for breakfast today. From the minute I saw Tyler Florence make this on his show, Tyler’s Ultimate, I knew I wanted to try it. I mean, what could be bad about french toast, apples, and a brown sugary glaze. This recipe is a little time consuming as far as prep goes, but the results are totally worth it. As soon as it started baking, my house filled with the smell of apple pie and caramel apples. I wish I could capture that smell in a candle so I could enjoy it every day without all the calories that come with it. This would be a great recipe for brunch or even breakfast on Christmas morning. The original recipe calls for cranberries, but I left those out because my picky husband doesn’t like them. I think those would be a great addition though.

Upside-Down Apple French Toast with Cranberries and Pecans

(with my alterations in italics)

French toast:
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch-thick slices (I used french bread)

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling, divided
4 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I omitted)
Confectioners’ sugar, garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a flat dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay challah slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.

Set a 10-inch skillet, seasoned cast iron if you have, over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 8 minutes. While the sugar is melting, peel apples, core and cut into halves. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the heavy cream. Sprinkle in the pecans, dried cranberries and gently press in the apple halves so there is a flat surface. Lay soaked slices of challah over the top so it is completely covered – you should be able to arrange the large slices and small slices so there are no gaps. Sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and place into the preheated oven. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and puffy.

When done, allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes then invert onto a large plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve.

Chef’s Note: FYI – if your cast iron skillet is not seasoned, the cranberries will react with the skillet and turn black.

*I don’t have a cast iron skillet so I used a pie dish to bake this in. I melted the butter and sugar in a pot on the stove and then poured it into the pie dish before assembling.

Source: Food Network

Healthy Banana Muffins

June 3, 2008

I’m a planner. Planning is what I do. I’m not always proud to admit it. I wish I could say I’m a crazy, spontaneous person, but that’s just not me. I plan my meals each week before I go to the store. When we go on vacation, I plan my outfits for each day so I don’t over pack. And many times on my days off, I plan my baking. See, I love to bake but I feel like I need a plan for the baked goods that result from my baking. Normally, the plan is to take most of what I bake to work. Or if I know someone is coming over for dinner, I plan my baking around that. Well today I needed a plan for the two very brown bananas just sitting on my counter. You know the ones that are way too ripe to eat but that are still perfect for baking. My husband calls them “rotten” if they even have a spot of brown on the skin, but I always save them for the sole purpose of making banana bread or muffins. So the plan was to make banana muffins to have for breakfast this week. I used a recipe that I’ve used before for healthy apple muffins and just subbed the bananas. I really love this recipe because it’s so versatile and so tasty too. I’m very much looking forward to my planned breakfast for the week.

Healthy Banana Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup all purpose flour ( I used 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (you can use a combo of brown & white if you’d like)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans…whatever you prefer)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

dash or two of nutmeg

1 egg

3/4 cup skim milk

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 400*

Using a whisk, combine all your dry ingredients in one bowl: whole wheat and AP flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, salt, nuts, spices).

Beat the egg lightly in a separate bowl. Whisk in milk, applesauce, vanilla to the eggs.

Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold bananas in.

Divide the batter among a greased or paper-lined muffin tin.

Bake for about 18 minutes  or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Source: Elly Says Opa!

French Toast

June 1, 2008

Another yummy weekend breakfast, french toast. To be honest, it hasn’t always been a favorite breakfast food of mine. I think because all I ever had was bland and soggy french toast. But my recipe is a little more flavorful than most of the ones I’ve had before. Pair this with some sweet and juicy strawberries, syrup or powdered sugar and you’ve got a delicious breakfast.

French Toast

3 whole eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

6 slices of french bread, 1/2″ thick

1-2 Tbsp butter

Whisk the first four ingredients together in a shallow bowl until combined. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Melt the butter on the hot griddle or pan. Dip both sides of the bread slices into the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, and place onto the hot griddle. Cook on each side until golden brown.

(Don’t be like me and almost burn them. Keep the heat on medium or medium low : P )

Cream Biscuits

March 22, 2008

I never met a biscuit recipe that I could make…until this one. Honestly, you would think someone raised in the south where homemade biscuits are served with almost every meal, would know how to whip out some biscuits like nobody’s business. But no, there have been many a biscuit casualty in my kitchen. That’s why I was so thankful when I tried this recipe and they actually turned out! Seriously, these are the lightest, fluffiest, melt in your mouth biscuits I’ve ever eaten. And I can’t believe how simple they are. Of course, leave it to Paula Deen to come up with a fabulous biscuit recipe. If you have tried and failed at biscuit making, or have been too afraid to try, give these a shot! The key is to not handle the dough too much or they will become tough. Oh, and make sure your counter and your hands are well floured. This dough is really sticky!

Cream Biscuits (with my alterations)

2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. (I do 450 degrees)In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and cream until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with additional flour. Fold the dough in 1/2 and knead 5 to 7 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Gently roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter coated with flour, cut dough into biscuits. (I skip the rolling out part. I just pinch them off and form them by hand) Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving at least 1-inch between each biscuit. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. (Bake 11-12 min at 450)

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Doughnuts. They could possibly be one of the best foods ever invented. I mean, who doesn’t love fried dough covered in sugary glaze, chocolate, powdered sugar or filled with cream or berry filling? Now I will go ahead and say that these doughnuts are not as good as Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, but for a quick doughnut recipe they were pretty darn good! I had seen this recipe a while back on Everyday Italian and have been waiting on an excuse to make them. I had intended to make them and submit them as an entry for a doughnut blogging event that was hosted recently, but sadly I have been so busy and have barely had time to cook. But I decided to make them as a special treat this weekend while my sister was visiting. We both agreed the cinnamon sugar doughnuts were our favorite followed by the powdered sugar and then the doughnut holes. The glazed ones didn’t turn out so great. They were a bit soggy. I had planned on doing chocolate ones as well, but we had a sudden power outage just as I finished frying up the doughnuts so I couldn’t melt my chocolate. I think the chocolate would have been great, too. If you’re looking for a quick sweet treat, give these a shot. But be warned, you’ll probably eat them all just like we did.

Italian Doughnuts

Vegetable oil, for frying
Olive oil, for frying
1 pound prepared pizza dough
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pour equal parts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a floured 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out doughnut rounds. Using a floured 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out a hole in the center of each doughnut. Gather the dough scraps and re-roll to cut out more doughnuts.

Whisk the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl to blend. Set the cinnamon-sugar aside.

When the oil is hot, working in batches, fry the doughnuts until they puff but are still pale, about 45 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool slightly. While the doughnuts are still warm, add to the bowl with cinnamon-sugar and generously coat each 2 times with the cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm.

*Alternately, cool the fried doughnuts to room temperature. Stir 3 ounces milk chocolate and 1/4 cup whipping cream in a heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts. Set aside until the chocolate sauce comes to room temperature but does not set. Dip 1 side of each doughnut into the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with finely chopped toasted almonds or crushed espresso beans and set aside until the chocolate is set.

Other variations I made…

Powdered Sugar Donuts
Glazed Doughnuts-I used a simple glaze of milk and powdered sugar for these.
Doughnut holes-Couldn’t waste any of that dough!