PB&J Scones

Another scone recipe! Are you ready? If you are like the rest of my family and not as excited about scones as I am that’s okay, I have enough excitement for all of us. This scone had the perfect balance of peanut butter to jam, although I would recommend using a thicker jam, a la Bonne Marie, so it doesn’t get lost in the center.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, salted butter, preferably frozen
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup jam of choice

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside. Grate the frozen butter on a box cheese grater, then mix into your dry ingredients. Add in the peanut butter chips. In a medium bowl whisk together 1/2 cup heavy cream and peanut butter. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix the dough together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It should have a slightly dry texture and hold together, but not be crumbly. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream if the dough seems too dry. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and make two balls. Flatten each ball into a circle about 2/3 of an inch thick. Spread a layer of jam onto the bottom disk, making sure to leave about 1/2 an inch border around the outside edge of the circle. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 wedges. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Chocolate Peppermint Scones

Last Christmas I bought some Ghirardelli peppermint baking chips but hadn’t even opened the bag all year. As we have gotten into fall I’ve been craving those holiday-esque flavors, and with my current scone obsession I wanted to try a scone using them. I’m really pleased with how this scone turned out, it was my first foray into cobbling together my own recipe based on what end result I was hoping to achieve and it turned out tasty!

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup peppermint baking chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (you may need 1-2 tablespoons more depending on how the dough comes together)
  • additional white sugar for sprinkling on top of the scones

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with a baking mat or parchment paper. Place flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Grate the cold butter on a box grater and mix into the dry ingredients. Add the peppermint chips and stir very briefly to evenly distribute. Place the eggs and 1/2 cup heavy cream into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the egg mixture into your flour mix and stir gently, until a soft, crumbly dough forms. You want it to hold if you press the dough together, but not be sticky and wet. If the mixture is still too crumbly, add in the extra cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. (I live at altitude and added 2 tablespoons and probably could’ve added one more.)  Tip the dough onto your prepared baking tray and press into a large disc, around half an inch thick. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the disc of dough into 6-8 wedges. At this stage you can leave the scones cut but together, or use a spatula to spread the scones around the baking tray with a 2 inch gap in between each one. Sprinkle some white sugar onto the top of each scones and then place in the oven for 13-17 minutes. (I left mine in a round for about 14 minutes because my mixture was pretty crumbly, then I separated them and baked for about 5 more minutes. You’ll know they are done when they are risen, golden around the edges and sound light when you tap on the top.

Blueberry Lemon White Chocolate Scones

One of my best friends in the world loves blueberry lemon desserts. When I started making batches and batches of scones, she requested one with that flavor combination and I knew exactly which recipe I would use as a base. This recipe is based on the cranberry white chocolate scones on my site and with the addition of lemon extract they turned out really well. Because I don’t put a glaze on my scones, it is very hard to get a prominent lemon flavor from juice alone, so I added lemon extract and it did the trick.

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips/chunks
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries; frozen won’t leak as much into the batter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (you may need 1-2 tablespoons more depending on how the dough comes together)
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • additional white sugar for sprinkling on top of the scones

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with a baking mat or parchment paper. Place flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cubes of butter into a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until you have a coarse breadcrumb texture. Some pea sized lumps of butter is fine. (I was using frozen butter so I grated mine with a cheese grater.) Add the white chocolate chips and blueberries and stir very briefly to evenly distribute. Place the eggs, heavy cream and extract into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the egg mixture into your flour mix and stir gently, until a soft, crumbly dough forms. You want it to hold if you press the dough together, but not be sticky and wet. If the mixture is still too crumble, add in the extra cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. (I live at altitude and added 2 tablespoons and probably could’ve added one more.)  Tip the dough onto your prepared baking tray and press into a large disc, around half an inch thick. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the disc of dough into 6-8 wedges. At this stage you can leave the scones in a circle, or use a spatula to spread the scones around the baking tray with a 2 inch gap in between each one. Sprinkle some white sugar onto the top of each scones and then place in the oven for 13-17 minutes. (I left mine in a round for about 14 minutes because my mixture was pretty crumbly, then I separated them and baked for about 5 more minutes. You’ll know they are done when they are risen, golden around the edges and sound light when you tap on the top.

Easy-Peasy Homemade Biscuits

The other night I was making dinner and since it was pot roast, it really needed some bread to go with it. I knew I wouldn’t have time for rolls, so after a quick internet search I found this recipe. Start to finish it took 20 minutes and they tasted amazing. I cut the recipe in half because I didn’t want leftovers, but if you are feeding a crowd definitely make the full recipe. Recipe and photo courtesy of momontimeout.com.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup COLD butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. The secret to excellent biscuits is super cold butter. I like to grate my butter on a box grater to get uniform size pieces of butter, then just toss it into the flour. Add in the milk and egg and mix just until the ingredients are combined. The dough will be sticky but don’t keep working it. You should be able to see the butter pieces in the dough. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Sprinkle some flour on to the top of dough so it won’t stick to your fingers and knead 10-15 times. If the dough is super sticky just sprinkle on some additional flour. Pat the dough out to 3/4 – 1 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter or glass. I ended up with nine this time but depending on who is snacking on biscuit dough, I can get up to 12 biscuits.  Place the biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. For extra yumminess, brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.

Apple Pecan Scones

PANA9600.I think I might have a problem.  A scone problem. Currently there are 7 different types of scones in my freezer, and I have variety to satisfy any particular craving on any particular day. The thing I like about them is how well they reheat. It takes away all of the worry about trying to finish them before they go bad because you can just individually wrap them and store them in the freezer. This latest recipe filled a niche I didn’t have yet, and that is the pecans. It adds an earthiness that I enjoy and it pairs really nicely with the apple. I toasted my pecans before mixing them into the batch but that is an entirely optional step.

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, preferably frozen
  • 1/2 large apple, pealed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped, toasted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Grate your frozen butter with a box cheese grater, then mix into the dry ingredients. Add the chopped apples and pecans, stir. Pour in the heavy cream, and stir until incorporated. Once the dough comes together, form into a circle, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then cut into 8 pieces and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until browned. If you want,  you can mix together half a cup of powdered sugar with two tablespoons of milk to form a glaze and drizzle over the cooked scones.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones

IMG_20200812_095234_01With fall right around the corner I knew I would need to find a pumpkin scone recipe to indulge in. The first place I checked was my go-to site, cookiesandcups.com.  Of course she had a fabulous scone recipe, but I took mine down a slightly different path and added cinnamon chips to it; as well as left off the icing. I have explained on previous recipes that I like to store my scones in the freezer and that doesn’t lend itself to icing. I judge every recipe on here as if it didn’t have the frosting and it absolutely has to taste yummy without it. The cinnamon chips in this scone just reinforce the fall flavors and add that little bit of sweetness without being too much.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, salted butter, preferably frozen
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips, (I found mine at Walmart)
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (like Sugar in the Raw) for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside. Grate the frozen butter on a box cheese grater, then mix into your dry ingredients. Add in the cinnamon chips. In a medium bowl whisk together 1/2 cup heavy cream, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix the dough together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It should have a slightly dry texture and hold together, but not be crumbly. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream if the dough seems too dry. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ball. Flatten the ball into a circle about 1 1/2- inches thick. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 wedges. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Banana Toffee Chocolate Chip Scones

IMG_20200513_174044 (1)This scone recipe is another winner if you want a delicious scone that has lots of flavor, but isn’t dry. It comes from my favorite food blogger cookiesandcups.com and once again she doesn’t disappoint. The recipe recommends adding a drizzle to the scones, but because I freeze mine individually I leave it off. I will include it here in case you want to try it, but I personally don’t think they need it. Also, because I live at altitude I had about 2 more tablespoons than the recipe calls for in order to get everything to hold together.

Scone:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 1 medium banana, mashed (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for garnish

Drizzle:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture resembles very coarse sand. Don’t worry if you have butter the size of peas throughout the mixture, this is fine. Mix in the chocolate chips. In a medium bowl mix together 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and banana. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix the dough together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will be slightly dry, but will hold together. Don’t over-mix. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a disk about 1 1/2 – 2- inches thick. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 6 wedges. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15- 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

For the icing drizzle, whisk together the butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and milk until smooth. Drizzle the icing onto the scones and allow it to set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Kolaches!

00100lrPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200426113858822_COVERMy husband’s family is Czech and as such he has a huge love of kolaches. We’re talking the fruit-filled pastries, not the savory roll with sausage inside. Since I’ve been having success with my baking experiments this month I found a recipe and tried making them from scratch. They were delicious! I was so so pleased with how they turned out and start to finish they only took about two hours.

For the Dough:

  • 2/3 cup milk (2% or higher is best)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast, or instant
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine salt

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • thick fruit preserve of your choice, I had strawberry

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

Warm the milk in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds until lukewarm. The target temperature is 110 degrees. Once it’s at precisely 110, add the yeast, sugar and 2/3 cup of the flour. Mix together well and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (Because I used instant yeast I mixed this together while I got the rest of the ingredients together, but didn’t wait for it to double.) In another bowl, add the melted butter. Let cool briefly before stirring in the egg yolk. Add this to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add the remaining flour, salt, and mix very well well. Next, knead the dough for 10 minutes, making sure to lightly flour the board and your hands as you go. At the end of 10 minutes, the dough will be soft, supple, and not sticky at all. Grease a bowl with cooking spray and add the dough. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. (At the end of this rise, you could cover it and put it in the fridge to use the following day. It will deflate, but it’s okay).

Next, you want to evenly divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I do this by weighing the dough, and dividing it by 12. Roll each dough ball into a perfect circle (see photo). Line a 9″ pie plate with parchment paper, and arrange the dough balls in it. At this point, I press gently on the dough to make a slightly oblong shape instead of a perfect circle. Let the dough rise until doubled in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 375. Once the dough balls have doubled in size, use your fingers to make deep indentations for the fillings. Divide the fillings between the kolaches, I did 4 cream cheese, 4 strawberry and 4 strawberry cream cheese, but do what makes you happy.

Bake the kolaches for 18-21 minutes, until nicely golden brown. Use a toothpick inserted into the center kolache to ensure the rolls are done. Let cool slightly, and then tear apart and serve.

Blueberry Bagels

00100lrPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200424091834663_COVERThe saying practice makes perfect has really been on my mind the past month of being stuck in the house. I was always very intimidated by working with yeast because I felt it was finicky and took too long and I was never prepared for how early I had to prep. That is something I’ve been trying to remedy now that I have quite a bit of time on my hands. A couple of things have really helped me get more comfortable, the first being instant yeast. The fact that I can just add the yeast to the dry ingredients takes away that extra bit of chance I feel like yeast baking comes inherent with. Also, you can keep the yeast in the freezer to ensure that it stays fresh for up to a year at least! The second is really reading the recipe and making sure I have plenty of time to complete all the steps. When you see the steps for this recipe it is going to look very intimidating but it’s really more a case of it taking a lot words to describe a very easy process. So, if you are feeling a little apprehensive about making this recipe, don’t. Just take your time and don’t over-think it.

For the Sponge:

  •  1 teaspoon instant yeast
  •  4 (18 oz) cups high-gluten or bread flour
  •  2 1/2 cups water, at room temperature

For the Dough:

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups (17 oz) high-gluten or bread flour*
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons malt powder (or brown sugar if you don’t have malt powder)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried blueberries*

To Finish:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • cornmeal for dusting

To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining ¾ cup flour to stiffen the dough. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). Add the dried blueberries during the final 2 minutes of kneading. The dough should be firm, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated. If the dough seems too dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky. Immediately divide the dough into 12 pieces. Form the pieces into rolls. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and mist lightly with spray oil. To shape the bagels, poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2½ inches in diameter. The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots). Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days). If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels), preheat the oven to 500 degrees . Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with spray oil to prevent the bagels from sticking to the surface.) When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown (My bagels cooked for 8 minutes at 450). You may bake them darker if you prefer. Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

*Your flour measurement could vary depending on many factors, I only used 3 cups to get my dough to the consistency I wanted. I also only used 1 cup of blueberries so really just use your judgement and personal taste to decide how much to add.

How To: Homemade Pizza Dough

The-Best-Pizza-Dough-Recipe-5Another first for me during this quarantine is homemade pizza dough. I have really been making an effort to not shy away from using yeast so this was a logical next step. Again I used instant yeast so it came together really quickly. It also made enough dough for two pizzas so you can make two pizzas at once or save it for another day. Recipe and photo courtesy of houseofnasheats.com

  •  1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  •  2 teaspoons sugar
  •  2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast or instant yeast
  •  3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose if that’s all you have)
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  2 teaspoons salt

Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. If using active dry yeast, let it proof for 5 minutes until foamy. If using instant yeast, there is no need to wait for the yeast to proof. Add flour, olive oil, and salt and stir well with a wooden spoon or mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook until combined. Knead for 5 minutes using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment or 6-7 minutes by hand until smooth and elastic. The dough will be tacky and slightly sticky, but should still be manageable to work with. Drizzle a clean bowl with a little olive oil, then place the ball of dough in the bowl and turn it to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let rise for at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 1/2 hours) until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 2 or 3 balls (or more if you want to make personal-size pizzas). Roll, pat, or stretch the dough out until it is roughly 1/4″ thick, then top with 1/4-1/2 cup of pizza sauce, freshly grated mozzarella cheese, and other toppings.