Elvis Granola

This is another Centr recipe that my husband really likes. It keeps for two weeks in an airtight container and is really good on Greek yogurt.

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium banana, peeled and lightly mashed
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 320 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Blend peanut butter, maple syrup, oil and banana until smooth. In a large bowl combine oats, pecans, almonds and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Spread on baking sheet and bake, tossing 2-3 times for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool, then break into smaller clusters and store in an airtight container.

Summer Strawberry Cake

I started following a food blogger named Smitten Kitchen about 6 months ago and one of the things I like about her is that she makes recipes with simple ingredients, but they have a sophistication to them that takes it to the next level. This recipe is one such example. Very simple, but very tasty. Add to that the fact that our strawberry harvest was excellent this past June and you have a winner.

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the top
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 10″ pie pan, or 9″ deep dish pie pan. Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth. Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries. Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

Toasted Coconut Dutch Baby

While I was visiting family in Dallas a couple of years ago I found a cookbook by the food blogger Joy the Baker. It said it was a celebration of butter and sugar and I can’t think of a better recipe to represent that than her toasted coconut Dutch baby. The Dutch baby is a cross between a pancake and a crepe and is baked in a piping hot cast iron skillet. It is so delicious it doesn’t even need syrup, although I like mine with a dollop of Cool Whip!

  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature*
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup butter

Place your cast iron skillet on a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Spread coconut in a thin layer in a skillet over medium heat and stir until the coconut starts to brown. Make sure to keep a close eye on this because it can go from toasted to burned in seconds! Let it cool while you gather the rest of your ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and 2 tablespoons of cooled coconut. In a separate medium bowl whisk your eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. Add milk and whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Mixture will be thin. Carefully pull the rack out of your oven and put the butter in the pan to melt. As soon as the butter has melted, swirl the pan so it coats the sides and bottom. Pour the pancake batter over the melted butter and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until browned and puffed along the sides and center of the pan. While the pancake bakes prepare any fruit you would like to serve with it, banana and pineapple go really well!. Once baked, remove from the oven and top with your choice of fruit and remaining toasted coconut. Slice into thick wedges, served with syrup of your choice.

*To speed up getting your eggs to room temperature, place them in a container of warm (not hot) water. In just a couple of minutes they will be room temp!

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

I am one of those people that loves having buttermilk in the fridge, but can never seem to use all of it before it expires. Such a happenstance occurred last month and I googled the best way to use up a lot of buttermilk. This recipe popped up because it uses a whole cup of buttermilk and who doesn’t love a blueberry muffin. This recipe is a winner in so many ways, but I think my favorite part is the way these muffins bake up. Because you fill it to the top of the pan with batter, you get this beautiful looking muffin that you can’t help but want to eat.

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder*
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • coarse sparkling sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard size muffin tin with parchment paper liners and spray each one with nonstick spray for baking (If the muffins are just for your family to save time just generously spray your muffin tin with baking spray). In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nonfat dry milk powder. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually mix the buttermilk into the flour mixture, stirring gently and being careful not to over-mix. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Use a large scoop to divide the batter evenly into each muffin well. They will be filled to the very top. Sprinkle generously with sparkling sugar! Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

*I have started adding nonfat dry milk powder to all my baked goods and it adds just a little something something to my desserts. It is entirely optional though so if you don’t have any the muffins will still be delicious.

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°. 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° 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° 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.

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°. 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°. 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.