Tag Archives: baking

Scones

Note:  This is a repost from a few years ago when I blogged about scones.  I recently talked about scones on Facebook & people asked me for the recipe, so I thought it deserved a repost.  Enjoy!

Like scones?
I adore scones. All kinds. Bacon/Cheddar, Apple, Cranberry/Orange, but most of all, I love the plain ol’ regular raisin kind.
Perhaps it has something to do with my love of England. Perhaps it’s related to my baking obsession.
At any rate, I’ve spent the last 10 years or so perfecting my scone recipe & I thought I’d share it with ya’ll.
Ingredients:
2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. or so of raisins (I actually use 3 handfuls)
1 egg
1/2 c.- 2/3c. full whipping cream (plus some more, I’ll explain below)
Directions:
– In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
– Cut in butter with a pastry blender until butter is pea sized. Using a pastry blender is important- if you don’t have one- run out to Target NOW & get one. Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, you just need one. (I’m still using the one I bought in college- which either came from Target or the utensil aisle of the grocery store.) It’s also important here to keep working the pastry blender until the butter is in little bits. You might think you can skimp, but I can tell you from past experience- spend time here! It will be well worth the time!
– Add in raisins or cranberries or any other dried berry. I don’t measure very precisely here- I just throw in a few handfuls until it looks good- not too few, but not so many that it overpowers everything else.
– Mix in the egg. Yes, it will look strange- the yolk covering the raisins, just go with it. I’ve tried switching the raisin/egg order & it doesn’t come out as good. If I enjoyed science more, I could probably explain exactly what’s going on here, but since science is one of my least favorite subjects, you’ll just have to trust me!
– Add cream. Yes, use the full fat stuff. I’ve used everything from cream to skim milk. (Yes, this was my version of experimenting in college.) The “fattier” the liquid, the richer taste. The skim milk scones aren’t bad, they’re just more like biscuits with raisins. (Note, this is as close to being scientific in baking as I get.) Ok, so once you’ve poured the milk in & mixed it in, you might notice that you have a nice scone ball & then there are lots of flour bits at the bottom of the bowl. This is where I add more cream- just about a tablespoon at a time, until all the flour bits stick to the big scone ball, but not so much that the scone ball wants to stick to your spoon.
– Then I plop it on my stoneware, where I knead it there. Not too much- you just want to mold until it’s a nice big circle about 3/4″ thick, being sure to work in any leftover flour bits. Cut the giant scone into 6 pieces & then spread apart for baking. The rationale of kneading on the stoneware is twofold- 1st, it’s one less dish to wash; 2nd, the scone should still be a little “crumbly” so having it already on the pan where it’s going to bake on can prevent potential disasters when one transfers the scone from kneading area to baking pan. (Not that I’ve ever had scones fall apart on me……. :)
– Bake at 425 degrees until tops are golden brown. This takes our oven about 20 minutes or so.

– Serve & drink with beverage of choice, if there are any leftovers, store in a airtight container.

Chocolate Dump Cake

It’s December!  & that means I’ll be baking up a storm over here (as well as quilting my heart out!)  You might think this blog will be turning into the “12 days of Desserts”, but don’t worry- there will still be quilting :)This was a Pinterest recipe I made for the Wednesday night potluck at my church.  I volunteered to make desserts for Advent to experiment with the recipes that have been building up in my “sweet tooth” board over on Pinterest.

This is a dump cake that was originally posted by Kim of This Little Life of Mine.  Aside from looking delightful & chocolaty- she mentioned this was the first dessert to go at one of her church potlucks & the kids couldn’t stop raving about it’s yummyness!

I made it mostly like she said, but here’s my variation:

– 1 box of Devil’s Food cake mix (Duncan Hines is my favorite)
– 1 3/4 cup milk
– 1 small box of chocolate instant pudding
– 1 bag of Toll House semi sweet chocolate chunks

Mix the cake mix & milk together.  Then add in pudding.  Pour into greased 9×13 pan.  It will be thick!  Sprinkle chocolate on top & gently press in.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

It comes out more like a brownie than a cake.  Next time I will use milk chocolate chips for a smoother taste.

Enjoy!

Cookies!

This past Christmas I decided to make the family cookies.  We have a standing policy that all presents exchanged must either be consumable, or handmade- these met both requirements!

They were so incredibly yummy that I knew I wanted to share the recipes with all of you!

Starting at the top of the pic, they are as follows:
Chocolate Orange Cookies
Peanut-Pecan Butter & Oatmeal Cookies
Robin’s Nests
Hazelnut Shortbread Sticks
Split Second Cookies

Happy Baking!

December Recap

Soooooo, it’s now January!  And I’m back in the land of the living.  I think.

Here’s a little recap of December:
– Made lots of costumes for the church’s Christmas pageant
– Bought lots of fleece for the Youth group to make fleece blankets for a local charity
– Made Christmas cookies for the family’s presents

– Finished some customer quilts in time for Christmas

– Finished J’s quilt for Christmas

– Made a last minute trip to Michigan
– Dealt with the death of 3 grandparents

Yeah, that was a month.  I’m quite amazed when I look at that list now- no wonder I’ve spent the 1st two days of the new year in pajamas sleeping on the couch.

In fact, I think it would be a good idea to get back to that!  Happy New Year!

Spicy Pumpkin Bread

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful.  Just J & I & the cats.  I read a whole book (Goodnight Tweetheart– very cute book!  Fluff, but not as bad as some fluff out there), cooked up some corned beef & baked this amazing bread:

Spicy Pumpkin Bread
2c. sugar
1/2c. vegetable oil
1/2c. unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
1 15oz. solid pack pumpkin
1 1/4tsp. ground cloves
1 1/4tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4tsp. ground ginger
2tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. baking soda
1/2tsp. salt
1/2tsp. baking powder
3c. flour

1. Beat sugar & oil
2. Add eggs, pumpkin, and applesauce- mix
3. Mix in spices
4. Mix in baking soda, salt & baking powder
5. Slowly add in flour
6. Grease 2 bread pans
7. Divide batter between said 2 pans
8. Bake at 350 for about 60-65 minutes.

We did actually manage to stay up to hit the stores at midnight.  Best Buy was a complete bust, but Bed Bath & Beyond and Target had some good deals.  Then after we got home at 3am, I made the big mistake of starting a new book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.  When I realized I was halfway through the book, I finally but it down & went to sleep.  While it’s not the most well written book in the entire world, the subject matter is fascinating (5 sisters who start a business when the Taliban seizes control of Kabul) & it reads quickly.

What’s in store for the rest of this weekend for me?  Some more reading, a little quilting & catching up on my podcasts!

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Scones!

I’ve had some requests for my Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Scones.

Beware though, these are quite addictive :)

4-5 slices bacon, chopped
3 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, cut up
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Cook bacon & drain
3. Mix flour, baking soda, sugar & salt
4. Cut in butter with pastry blender
5. Mix in cheese & onions- mix until small clumps form
6. Add bacon
7. Add cream until sticky- don’t overmix!
8. Turn on floured surface & pat until it comes together
9. Form 2 circles, about 3/4″ deep
10. Cut into wedges
11. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

Enjoy!! :)

Oh!  & here’s a pic of Rizzo for you!

Scones for You & I

Like scones?
I adore scones.  All kinds.  Bacon/Cheddar, Apple, Cranberry/Orange, but most of all, I love the plain ol’ regular raisin kind.
Perhaps it has something to do with my love of England.  Perhaps it’s related to my baking obsession.
At any rate, I’ve spent the last 10 years or so perfecting my scone recipe & I thought I’d share it with ya’ll.
Ingredients:
2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
7 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. or so of raisins (I actually use 3 handfuls)
1 egg
1/2 c. full whipping cream (plus some more, I’ll explain below)
Directions:
– In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
– Cut in butter with a pastry blender until butter is pea sized.  Using a pastry blender is important- if you don’t have one- run out to Target NOW & get one.  Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, you just need one.  (I’m still using the one I bought in college- which either came from Target or the utensil aisle of the grocery store.)  It’s also important here to keep working the pastry blender until the butter is in little bits.  You might think you can skimp, but I can tell you from past experience- spend time here!  It will be well worth the time!
– Add in raisins or cranberries or any other dried berry.  I don’t measure very precisely here- I just throw in a few handfuls until it looks good- not too few, but not so many that it overpowers everything else.
– Mix in the egg.  Yes, it will look strange- the yolk covering the raisins, just go with it.  I’ve tried switching the raisin/egg order & it doesn’t come out as good.  If I enjoyed science more, I could probably explain exactly what’s going on here, but since science is one of my least favorite subjects, you’ll just have to trust me!
– Add cream.  Yes, use the full fat stuff.  I’ve used everything from cream to skim milk.  (Yes, this was my version of experimenting in college.)  The “fattier” the liquid, the richer taste.  The skim milk scones aren’t bad, they’re just more like biscuits with raisins.  (Note, this is as close to being scientific in baking as I get.)  Ok, so once you’ve poured the milk in & mixed it in, you might notice that you have a nice scone ball & then there are lots of flour bits at the bottom of the bowl.  This is where I add more cream- just about a tablespoon at a time, until all the flour bits stick to the big scone ball, but not so much that the scone ball wants to stick to your spoon.
– Then I plop it on my stoneware, where I knead it there.  Not too much- you just want to mold until it’s a nice big circle about 3/4″ thick, being sure to work in any leftover flour bits.  Cut the giant scone into 6 pieces & then spread apart for baking.  The rationale of kneading on the stoneware is twofold- 1st, it’s one less dish to wash; 2nd, the scone should still be a little “crumbly” so having it already on the pan where it’s going to bake on can prevent potential disasters when one transfers the scone from kneading area to baking pan.  (Not that I’ve ever had scones fall apart on me……. :)
– Bake at 425 degrees until tops are golden brown.  This takes our oven about 20 minutes or so.

– Serve & drink with beverage of choice, if there are any leftovers, store in a airtight container.

Enjoy!

Random Tuesday

I know it’s been awhile since posting- a lot has been going on & I’ve been really busy.

First there was the trip to Arizona where we visited my Grandmother. I also met my new second cousins & brought them quilts (of course). Here’s Rocco w/ Brayden’s quilt:
Then after battling some snow on the drive home, Omaha was hit with a blizzard. Here’s a bad pic of some of the snowdrifts in our backyard:
So while all of Omaha got 3 days off, I still had to work (this is the downside of working from home).
Then J’s parents came to visit for the weekend. His dad loves to bake & we made an Eggnog Black Bottom Pie! It was great because he taught me how to make a custard- I’ve tried this before I failed miserably, now I think I might be able to attempt this again. The pie was delicious but there’s none left to take a pic of- it was that yummy.
Then I went to take his parents to the airport yesterday morning & we got hit with more snow (do you see a theme here?) Luckily they were able to get home. Luckily I was able to drive home ok- my Civic didn’t fail me, even though it didn’t like going uphill into our garage (side note- how do people with automatics drive in the snow? And the Omaha REALLY needs to consider making studded tires legal- that would have solved several of my problems.)
On the quilting front I’m working on a T-shirt quilt for a friend. Currently still ironing on the interfacing to all the t-shirts.
On the knitting front I’m making a February Lady Sweater for myself. Still on the bodice, so not much progress there.
So that’s about all I’ve been up to recently. However, soon I will be going on a trip where *gasp* there WON’T be snow! And a double plus- the temps there aren’t in the single digits!!!!

Croissants!


Yesterday while I was nervously awaiting call backs from interviews that I had on Friday & Monday, I got it into my head that I wanted to make croissants. I’ve never made them before, nor have I attempted a pastry of this difficulty before. But what the heck- I couldn’t leave the house, so why not try making them! I started at 1 in the afternoon. I heated milk to exactly 120 degrees. I kneaded, rolled, raised, refrigerated, pounded butter, kneaded, folded into thirds, refrigerated over & over again until finally at 9pm Johnathan & I sat down to eating wonderful, fluffy, delicate, light, buttery croissants! It was magnificent! I don’t believe I have EVER made a better yeast bread! Here’s an upclose pic: It was a fantastic experience! I can’t wait to try more pastries now! I think I want to make éclairs next. Or maybe Brioche.