October 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
It was a rainy weekend here in the Bay Area. What better way to spend it than lounging in a comfy chair, drinking tea and watching the rain drip down the window? Sounds lovely, but somewhat sadly, that’s not how I spent my weekend. Even so, I still made some scones that would complete this little daydream of mine, and enjoyed them perfectly well on the go from one place to another. I used a variation of Martha Stewart’s scone recipe as a base, and then spiced it up a bit. Here’s what you need for these comforting fall treats:
- 3/4 cup peeled and diced apples (2 small or 1 large)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 6 tblsp granulated sugar
- 1 tblsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 8 tblsp chilled, unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup half-and half, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, 5 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
4. Cut the chilled butter in to small pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter in to the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form.
5. Stir in 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half until just moistened. Add the apples and mix until they are evenly distributed.
7. Using a dough scraper or sharp knife, cut the round in to 8 sections. Transfer the pieces to the lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining half-and-half. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
8. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
Notes on these scones: I think these turned out quite well, and there are very few changes I would consider making to the recipe. Some things I might tweak for next time would be to add more oats. Or maybe to incorporate a toasted oat topping, instead of the sugar crystals, just to highlight the oat flavor a tiny bit more. It might also be possible to get away with using less butter, but I didn’t want to risk it for this particular batch…maybe next time. Or maybe not.
September 20, 2010 § 2 Comments
Scones are one of my favorite breakfast treats to bake on weekend mornings. They aren’t too challenging to make, even if you still aren’t quite awake, and most of the ingredients will already be in your pantry and fridge. Even better, you can put just about anything in them, satisfying your every whim. This Saturday, I tried some fresh raspberry scones with a hint of lime. I also tried out a new scone recipe, which I adapted from Baking Illustrated, compiled by the trusty authors of Cook’s Illustrated. Here it is:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tblsp baking powder
- 3 tblsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tblsp unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/4 in cubes)
- 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
- lime zest
- 1 cup half-and-half**
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
3. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry blender (my preferred method, but you can also use two knives or a food processor), until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Add the raspberries and zest of one lime and mix gently with a fork.
5. Add the half-and-half and mix with a fork until dough begins to form.
7. Cut in to wedges using a dough scraper or sharp knife.
8. Place on to a baking sheet (with parchment paper or silpat). Brush with half-and-half and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Zest more lime over scones if desired.
9. Bake in middle rack at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until scones are light brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before consuming.
**I normally would have used heavy cream, but we were out. And, honestly, I couldn’t taste the difference. So half-and-half might be a lighter way to go.
Notes on these scones: I really enjoyed the raspberry and lime combination, and the texture of the scones was great– not very dense, but still rich and buttery.
Although not very professional looking, I really liked the craggy, nook-and-cranny look and feel of these scones. I found the dough to be very sticky, so it was quite difficult to mold in to a neat disk, and also to transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, which most-definitely contributed to their mis-shapenness.
My usual scone recipe is essentially the same except it has 6 tblsps of butter, 2/3 cup of cream (or half-and-half), and 5 tablespoons of sugar. Amazingly, I did not miss the extra butter or sugar of my other recipe. I might need to play around with the amount of liquid in the recipe though, as the additional 1/3 cup in the new recipe probably contributed to the dough being more difficult to handle.
September 18, 2010 § 2 Comments
Here’s some of the evidence:
First, I turned this bowl of cherries…
And then I tried my hand at a chocolate raspberry tart with a graham cracker crust.
And, of course, there was the blackberry crisp.
I was also a bit more adventurous, creating some gluten-free, vegan cupcakes.
Note to self: Vegan frosting is delicious! Gluten-free cake is not-so-delicious (at least not this version of gluten-free cake). Therefore, it’s important to make enough frosting to truly smother the cupcake. Seriously, your mouth will thank you.
As you can see, some baked goods have been made. And, I’ve just pulled the next ones out of the oven. So there will be more– for me to enjoy today, and for you to enjoy tomorrow.